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Cable unbundling can't happen in Nunavut

An intriguing plan that would allow Canadians to pick and choose which TV channels they want to pay for may not be available in Nunavut because the technology there doesn't allow for it.
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An intriguing plan that would allow Canadians to pick and choose which TV channels they want to pay for may not be available in most of Nunavut because the technology in many areas doesn't allow for it. 

Last week, the federal government revealed its intention to look into the possibly of "unbundling" cable television packages. That means that rather than having to buy large blocks of dozens of channels at a time for increasing price points, Canadians may soon be able to buy only the channels they want, and not have to pay for extra channels they don't want.

The deal is tantalizing for consumers, but it appears it could be a moot point in much of Nunavut due to technical limitations. That's because with the exception of Iqaluit, which has digital cable, the rest of the territory is still on analog cable.

Analog cable systems don't allow for "splitting" of signals to only offer certain channels.

"If there are 42 channels being offered in a coop cable community, then those 42 channels are provided to each and every subscriber," says Rod Wilson, a spokesperson with Arctic Co-op Cable, which provides cable television service across the territory.

The federal legislation is still at least a year away from coming into effect, but so far the cable company isn't saying how they plan on possibly unbundling cable channels for Nunavummiut.

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