Satellite Confusion

Spring 2004 CSANews Issue 50  |  Posted date : May 05, 2007.Back to list

Many members have asked us if it is legal to use their Canadian satellite system in the U.S., and vice versa. We have been contacting satellite providers (DirecTV in the U.S., Bell ExpressVu and StarChoice in Canada), the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and the answer, in a nutshell, is no.

DirecTV is licensed to provide service in the U.S. only, and in fact are working to "zap" all currently bootlegged cards in both the U.S. and Canada as they move to a new operating platform for their programming.

Bell ExpressVu and StarChoice are only licensed to provide a signal in Canada, however their call centre staff may be able to provide information to individual subscribers on where to point your dish in the U.S. (keep in mind that it is technically illegal to do so).

The House of Commons is currently debating proposed changes to the legislation that covers satellite service to make it an offense to be in possession of or caught manufacturing boot-legged satellite signals and equipment in Canada. For now, it's a "grey area," and we recommend you ask your satellite provider before taking your satellite across the border.