Whoa, Canada: DAB Effectively Dead?

Grant Goddard notes the publication of a report by Industry Canada (our northern neighbors’ version of the FCC) on the state of the country’s digital audio broadcasting transition. Short answer: do-over time!
In the report, the Canadian government basically admits that its DAB transition has stalled (at just 76 stations), and is now in reverse (digital stations are going dark). The report cites many reasons for its failure: large up-front capital investment; expensive receivers leading to little audience; and, most importantly, DAB was designed as a technical solution to a content problem.
Most notably, the report observes that DAB now is, by policy, “no longer a replacement for analogue AM and FM services.” Industry Canada is now investigating ways to repurpose the spectrum it originally allocated for its Eureka-147 model of DAB, and is actively exploring other protocols.
Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that Industry Canada is apparently considering the implementation of HD Radio onto its AM and FM bands, noting its proximity and marketplace-thrall to the United States. Not the smartest idea: not only has the proliferation of domestic HD-enabled stations stalled, but any momentum this particular protocol has is iffy at best.
This is quite a turn of events, given that more than two years ago the Canadian government complained to the FCC that the imposition of HD Radio might be a violation of international spectrum-allocation treaties.