Montreal -- Rogers Cablesystems president Ted Rogers is
calling for cable to "go slow" as far as rolling out digital services.
Rogers told delegates at the annual Canadian Cable
Television Association trade show earlier this month that the industry would be wise to
wait until the cable operator-supported "OpenCable" initiative bears fruit in
producing digital-cable standards, rather than rushing into digital now.
Meanwhile, some companies holding digital-only cable
licenses -- such as Chum Ltd., which already operates two networks, MuchMusic and Space:
The Imagination Station -- want Canadian regulators to find them slots on the analog band
by September. When their licenses were issued, these companies were told that they'd
have to wait until September 1999 to go live, in order to give the cable industry enough
time to roll out the digital spectrum. This current push may reflect a lack of faith in
cable's commitment to doing so.