High-definition TV service slated to start this spring
By Robert Frank
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) gave the green light, Feb. 19, to let Securenet launch a new high-definition television service from Sault Ste. Marie to Rivière du Loup. The CRTC approved the small local company’s bid to deliver more than 150 television channels along the lines that it already uses to provide phone and Internet service.
“They gave me everything that I wanted,” enthused Securenet president Jean-Marc Vandette, who said that the CRTC decision promises to revolutionize his small company. “They didn’t restrict me on anything.”
“I will be keelhauling the company from one end to the other, to reorganize for this new service,” he told The Suburban. “We have been working hard on the proposal since 2009.”
“We’re two-to-three months away from bringing our service to the market,” Vandette said in an interview. “We aim to make it all seamless at the customer end. Something that you can pick up, drop into place and—boom—it’s up and running.”
Although all of the channels will be transmitted in high-definition format, Vandette said that his new service will be compatible with older television sets.
“If you’re still using Old Faithful, the set-top box will be compatible with standard definition and regular analogue television,” he said. “When the old set dies, you can just take it and plug it into your new tv et voilà, off it goes!”
The whole world is watching
In addition to his plans to carry networks like Shaw, TV5, TVA, City, Astral, Superécran and Teletunes’ ethnic channel, Vandette is looking forward to the prospect of carrying specialty channels from Poland, Spain and Greece.
“We are also looking at carrying Arabic channels out of Morocco and Lebanon he said, “as well as Italian channels from Corus such as Telelatino. We are working with members of the Arabic community to put together for them a package with phone and Internet.”
“Basically we have a target around $39/month for regional and certain specialty channels,” he said. “We will fit in as much as we can into that television service for our customers, and offer to bundle it with their Internet and home phone service, but as a smaller carrier, the most important thing that we will be offering is good quality and good service.”
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