CKBN-FM , Community, Trois-Rivières

Coopérative de solidarité radio communautaire Nicolet-Yamaska/Bécancour

CKBN-FM200790.534,000Coopérative de solidarité radio communautaire Nicolet-Yamaska/Bécancour


On January 30th, the Coopérative de solidarité radio communautaire Nicolet-Yamaska-Bécancour, Quebec, received CRTC approval to operate a new French-language community radio programming undertaking in Bécancour and Nicolet. The station would operate on 90.5 MHz, with an effective radiated power of 34,000 watts.

The station would broadcast 126 hours of programming weekly, of which 116 hours would be produced by the station. The licence would expire on August 31st 2010.


In July, by which time the station had still not gone on the air, the licensee applied to the CRTC for permission to amend the licence of CKBN-FM Bécancour by changing the frequency from 90.5 MHz  to 88.1 MHz. The licensee also proposed to change the authorized contour by decreasing the average effective radiated power from 34,000 watts to 2,600 watts, by increasing the antenna height and by relocating the transmitter (maximum effective radiated power of 5,400 watts/antenna height of 262.4 metres).


On February 16, the CRTC denied the application by Coopérative de solidarité radio communautaire Nicolet-Yamaska/Bécancour to change the frequency and authorized contours of CKBN-FM. The applicant proposed to change the frequency from 90.5 MHz to 88.1 MHz and to change the authorized contours by decreasing the average effective radiated power from 34,000 watts to 2,600 watts, and by increasing the antenna height and by relocating the transmitter from Bécancour to Mont-Carmel. The applicant stated that, when it filed its initial application in April 2003, frequency 88.1 MHz was not available. The applicant also submitted that, in the villages of Pierreville and Saint-François and the Aboriginal community of Odanak, there was a risk of its signal interfering with the signal from the transmitter of CBFX-FM-2 Sherbrooke, using 90.7 MHz, and that it would have to lower the power of its signal towards Sherbrooke to reduce the possibility of interference with CBFX-FM-2. The applicant argued that the use of frequency 88.1 MHz would provide better coverage of the area in question while reducing the possibility of interference. The Coopérative also stated that it could not build a tower of a safe size for its transmitter on the site proposed in the original application. The applicant noted that it received a letter from the urban development department of the municipality of Bécancour notifying it that building a transmission tower on the site in question would not be allowed. The applicant added that the presence of a residential neighbourhood near the transmitter site would increase potential complaints. According to the applicant, the people living near the 34,000 watt transmission site could have trouble receiving other signals. The Commission noted that moving the transmitter from Bécancour to Mont-Carmel would result in a significant shift to the north of the authorized 3 mV/m contour, and that the municipalities of Shawinigan and Shawinigan Sud would be included in the contour, whereas the municipalities of Nicolet and Odanak would be excluded. The Commission noted that moving the transmitter would change CKBN-FM’s principal market and the proposed 3 mV/m contour would significantly encroach on the market of CFUT-FM Shawinigan. The Commission also considered that the changes to the technical parameters could interfere with the launch of the Louiseville community radio station authorized in Decision 2005-353. The CRTC also noted that the amendments proposed by the applicant would permit it to serve the metropolitan region of Trois-Rivières, which, according to the Statistics Canada 2001 census, had a population of 137,507, as well as the agglomeration of Shawinigan, which included 57,304 people, according to the same census. The Coopérative did not persuade the Commission of the need to move the transmitter to Mont Carmel. The Commission noted that the applicant based its application on technical reasons aimed at avoiding potential interference, and did not provide any evidence in support of its application. Furthermore, the applicant had not convinced the Commission that it had conducted an in-depth study of existing sites available within the station’s authorized 3 mV/m contour.


On February 8th, the CRTC issued a final extension of the time limit to 30 July 2007 for the licensee to commence the operation of the new French-language FM Type B community radio programming undertaking, CKBN-FM Bécancour and Nicolet, Quebec.

The station began broadcasting on May 8th.


On January 13th, the Commission renewed the broadcasting licences for CKBN-FM from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011, subject to the terms and conditions in effect under the current licence. In doing so, the CRTC said that this decision would allow the Commission to consider the future renewal of the licences of CKBN and other stations in light of the determinations resulting from the review of campus and community radio that was to be undertaken at a public hearing beginning on 18 January 2010 in Gatineau, Quebec 


On August 31, the CRTC administratively renewed the licence for CKBN-FM to December 31, 2011.


On August 28, the CRTC administratively renewed CKBN-FM’s licence to December 31, 2012. On December 21, the licence was renewed to August 31, 2017.

The story continues elsewhere…
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