Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Media and socio-cultural communication

Publication Details

The Radio Conference: A Transnational Forum, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK, July 16-19, 2007.


This paper examines the position of digital radio in Canada. It examines the Canadian experience of digital radio development from its introduction in 1995 to the present and asks whether the approach adopted and the lessons learned provide useful models for application elsewhere. Three main strands form the background to digital radio’s current stage of development: firstly, the introduction and early support for Digital Audio Broadcasting or (DAB) in the mid 1990s; secondly, the response of the radio industry to the internet and new media as complementary to traditional radio broadcasting provision; and thirdly, the more recent experience of the introduction of satellite radio in Canada. The focus for this particular paper’s analysis is the revised digital radio policy issued by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in December 2006, replacing the earlier transitional digital radio policy of 1995, and seeking to implement a multi-platform framework in an increasingly complex technological environment. The paper assesses initial response to the new digital radio policy and examines some of the potential scenarios for the future environment of radio. The research is informed by policy analysis, interviews and expert opinions with leading members of the Canadian broadcasting profession.