crtc1Ottawa: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ordered Radio India to not carry on a broadcasting undertaking in Canada, in whole or in part, without a licence. Radio India must also stop having its programming broadcast from an over-the-air transmitter located in the United States whose signal reaches into Canada.

The CRTC called Radio India to appear at a public hearing on October 15, 2014. Among other things, the CRTC found that Radio India produces programming for broadcast on the radio at its studios in Surrey, British Columbia. The company has an agreement with Way Broadcasting Operating LLC, the licensee of KVRI 1600 AM, located in Blaine, Washington, to transmit the programming over the air from a transmitter that reaches into Canada. In addition, the majority of Radio India’s revenue comes from Canadian advertisers.

Tom Pentefountas, Vice-Chairman, Broadcasting and Chairman of the hearing panel said, “Operating without an authority is one of the most serious offences under the Broadcasting Act. We will not tolerate any business or individual that is broadcasting illegally in Canada. The issuance of these mandatory orders demonstrates that we are committed to maintaining the integrity of the Canadians broadcasting system. We will not hesitate to act when necessary.”

Under the terms of the CRTC’s mandatory order, Radio India must cease having its programming broadcast over the air on KVRI 1600 AM by 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on November 13, 2014. It is also prohibited from carrying on a broadcasting undertaking at Surrey or anywhere else in Canada, except in compliance with the Broadcasting Act.

The mandatory order does not affect Radio India’s programming that is streamed over the Internet, provided that the company complies with the CRTC’s exemption order for digital media.

The CRTC also issued mandatory orders to Radio Punjab Ltd. and Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc. These companies had previously entered into agreements with the CRTC and taken steps to address the CRTC’s concerns regarding their compliance with the Broadcasting Act.