National Roll-Out of Multi-Platform Access Centres

Canada has 86 communities with populations over 30,000 people (called "large" communities for the purposes of this plan), and another 85 communities with populations between 10,000 and 30,000 ("small communities"). 90% of Canada's population lives in these communities. So, the target would be to establish centres in these 171 communities, and a certain number of regional centres that could serve areas that are more sparsely populated (fewer than 10,000 people in any one community).

CACTUS will work with the Community-Access Media Fund to identify communities that currently have no access to a community television channel.

The goal will be to establish model access centres in each region within the first year (at least one small and one large community), which can be used as models and training hubs for surrounding communities in subsequent years.

In order to take advantage of existing infrastructure, skills, and experience, the model centres will be set up in communities that already have some of the infrastructure for a multimedia access centre in place, such as:

- video or film co-ops
- public libraries
- existing over-the-air or cable co-op community channels or groups
- community radio channels

In subsequent years, these channels can be used as training hubs and models for communities in the surrounding areas that want to set up multimedia centres.

CACTUS will assist these communities to obtain CRTC over-the-air licenses for community TV, and will then assist new license holders to apply to the Community-Access Media Fund for financing for personnel, equipment, and facilities.

There will be criteria to ensure that the channels are run by representative and accountable community boards of directors.

CACTUS will support license and funding applicants with equipment lists, facility design, and staffing and training plans that best facilitate public access.

What Will Happen to Former Cable-Operated Community Channels?