Government directs CRTC to place consumer interests and innovation at the forefront of telecom decisions
Directive aims to encourage all forms of competition and investment to bring down costs of Internet and cellphone bills
June 18, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario
The prices Canadians pay for telecommunications services continue to be high when compared to other nations, and affordability is an ongoing concern for many Canadian families. This is why the Government of Canada is working to drive down prices by increasing competition and improve services by encouraging greater investments and innovation in telecommunications.
Today, the Government of Canada tabled the final version of a policy direction that requires the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to consider competition, affordability, consumer interests and innovation in all of its telecommunications decisions and demonstrate to Canadians that it has done so.
Competition is the best way to bring down the prices of telecommunications services. Domestically, wireless data plans in regions with strong competition are up to 32% cheaper than the national average. The Government of Canada will continue to monitor market dynamics and promote greater competition in the telecom sector to promote access to quality services at reasonable prices.
“As long as Canadians pay too steep a price for their cellphone and Internet bills, our government will take extraordinary means to continue driving down the prices of telecommunications services. We are also fostering a climate of investment and innovation for Canada’s telecom service providers to improve the quality of services delivered to Canadians. Today, we are giving clear direction to the CRTC that consumers and innovation must be at the forefront of all future telecom decisions.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
In February 2019, the CRTC concluded a public inquiry mandated by the Government. The CRTC confirmed that inappropriate sales practices were taking place and outlined a range of measures to help address these issues, including a code of conduct for Internet service providers and a secret shopper program.
In Budget 2019, the Government announced an ambitious set of investments so that all Canadians would have access to high-speed Internet at speeds of at least 50/10 Mbps (megabits per second). This builds on the successful Connect to Innovate program launched in 2016 that is connecting 900 communities.
The recently concluded 600 MHz auction provided additional spectrum for current and next-generation technology.
In May 2019, the Government presented Canada’s Digital Charter, the first principle of which is to provide Canadians universal access to the digital economy and society.
- Government of Canada proposes new CRTC direction to put Canadians at the forefront of future decisions
- Greater competition leads to reduced mobile wireless plan prices for Canadians
- 2018 Price Comparison Study of Telecommunications Services in Canada and Select Foreign Jurisdictions
- Minister Bains comments on CRTC announcement on lower-cost data-only mobile wireless plans
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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