Letter: TV rebroadcasting discontinues

Dear Editor:

Columbia Electoral Area A Television Rebroadcasting Society (CAATS) has been serving rural Area A residents since 1992 with over-the-air television and radio signals.

Currently these services are received via aging analog technology.

In the early 2000s, the advent of digital communications arrived on the scene promising much sharper definition television.

The advancements in technology have come at a faster pace than originally anticipated and the society finds itself in the position of justifying the massive cost of transforming from analog to digital.

The cost of the transformation is estimated at more than $240,000 with required additional annual funding increases to maintain and operate the system on a go forward basis.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) tax records indicate that approximately 2,300 individual assessed properties in Area A contribute a portion of their property taxes to the society.

The exact number of residents currently using the services is not available however the society has knowledge of around 30 households that actually use the TV broadcasts.

Most residents use their own small dish satellite receivers (Shaw or Bell), or cable service (Nicholson and Hospital Creek).

All things considered, it has become clear that the society cannot handle the rapidly changing technology in consuming television and radio entertainment.

Additionally, it is unrealistic to expect all rural landowners to pay for an assessment increase in their property taxes to support a service used by so few residents.

Please be advised that the board of directors for the CAATS society has made the decision that it can no longer continue to operate and will discontinue television rebroadcasting as of August 2019, with radio services to follow.

Respectfully,

Ron Van Vugt

President

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