Aliant Telecom files for experimental Internet retransmission licenceAliant Telecom Inc. has filed an application with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for an experimental licence to continue its Internet retransmission service TV-on-my-PC, Canadian NEW MEDIA has learned. The filing was made early this month, according to Bell Canada chief regulatory officer Sheridan Scott, and details will be confidential until gazetted by the commission. Scott will say, however, that Aliant’s reported ability to control the geographic distribution of the service seems to put the application onside with the CRTC’s decision last week (Broadcasting Public Notice 2003-2) not to re-open the New Media Exemption Order to deal with Internet retransmission (CNM Special Update, Jan. 17/03). " a perspective that geographic limitations are a matter of concern," Scott tells Canadian NEW MEDIA. "It’s the issue that causes them to ask questions about the implications for the broadcasting system, and it’s the heart of the Aliant application. But, what we’re going to have to look at is some of their characterizations, their conclusions. Their thoughts will be relevant to us for that application. It may be that we want to write further to them and provide further details to address some of these issues that they’ve raised." Aliant’s filing was expected in light of the passage of Bill C-11 last December, which denied companies operating under the New Media Exemption Order the protection of the compulsory retansmission licence built into the Copyright Act (CNM, Dec. 11/02). Without special authorization from the CRTC, several of the over-the-air television signals included in the TV-on-my-PC service (CNM, July 10/02) would be off-limits to the Atlantic telco, which is majority owned by Bell Canada parent BCE Inc.Scott says part of Aliant’s application to the CRTC is an offer to work cooperatively with broadcasters as a way to keep over-the-air TV signals on the system. "I certainly think the commission is going to be looking at the IP-based services and what this has to offer the broadcasting system," she says. "Those are very, very important questions and we believe that the TV-on-my-PC service is unique in shedding some insights. Part of the experimental licence will offer up to broadcasters the ability to work with Aliant to use it as a bit of a test bed if they want to look at some of the ways Canadians will use these new services." Canadian NEW MEDIA will have further reaction to the CRTC’s Internet retransmission decision in its full issue this week.