How to Distribute TV and Other Services

If your community is considering rebroadcasting or cablecasting remote TV, radio, or Internet into your community (with the option of offering local content in the mix), there are seven steps (click to expand):

  1. Define Goals
  2. Consult an Engineer
  3. Decide whether you need a distribution licence
  4. Decide whether you need a programming licence
  5. Build the distribution infrastructure
  6. Negotiate for the channels you want
  7. Set up a local production facility (optional)

Easy, right!?

More than 100 communities in Canada already act as their own rebroadcasters and approximately 70 are part of cable co-operatives (non-profit, and owned by the community). Many of these communities have only a few hundred residents. Once the infrastructure is set up, it's relatively easy to train a local person to maintain them. In very small communities, volunteers may do it. In larger communities, the venture may employ 1, 2 or up to a dozen individuals.

If you're curious where some of these communities are located, the link below is to a list of communities that had their rebroadcasting licences renewed by the CRTC in 2000.

The majority of cable co-operatives still in existence (there used to be more, but some have been sold to private cable providers in recent years) are located in Saskatchewan (Access Communications) and Manitoba (Westman Communications).

Click here for help Estimating Costs.

If you've already read Estimating Costs, are serious about exploring the potential for community distribution in your community, see Support/Next Steps.


Click here for a list of communities that had their rebroadcasting licences renewed by the CRTC in 2000. (This list is not exhaustive and may not be to date, since the CRTC no longer requires rebroadcasting licences for transmitters with less than a 12-kilometre radius.)