CRTC approves Broadcasting Accessibility Fund

The $5.7 million fund, part of BCE's commitment from its CTVglobemedia takeover, will support accessibility initiatives that go above and beyond the CRTC's current regulatory obligations.

The CRTC on Tuesday green-lit BCE’s proposal for a Broadcasting Accessibility Fund.

The $5.7 million fund will support accessibility projects that go above and beyond the CRTC’s current regulatory obligations, and could include initiatives for online or mobile programming services in both English and French.

BCE’s investment in the fund is part of the commitment it made before its 2011 takeover of CTVglobemedia.

The acquisition deal also saw the phone giant commit to a $245 million tangible benefits package, which included $100 million for indie producers for “programming of national interest,” as well as the creation of the $3 million Broadcasting Participation Fund in March.

The Participation Fund aims to help public-interest and consumer groups offset the costs of participating in regulatory proceedings.

The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund will begin accepting applications Dec. 5.