Minister Champagne announces a new policy direction placing consumer interests and innovation at the forefront of telecom decisions
May 26, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, issued the following statement:
“Access to affordable and reliable Internet and wireless services is critical in today’s society and economy. This is why our government is making every effort to ensure that telecommunications services are innovative, competitive and, above all, affordable.
“While the progress we have made and witnessed to date on lowering prices is encouraging, more needs to be done. Canadians still pay too much for their Internet and cellphone services.
“As part of our continued efforts, we are proposing a new policy direction that requires the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to put in place new rules to improve competition and support consumers, which will lead to lower prices and better telecommunications services for Canadians.
“This new approach sets out to:
- enhance wholesale Internet access and competition
- increase mobile wireless competition
- improve consumer rights
- speed up new infrastructure for universal access
- build better regulations to better support Canadian consumers
“Building on the previous commitments we made to place consumer interests and innovation at the forefront of telecom decisions, the new direction would require the CRTC to improve support for service providers that want to offer Internet and mobile services at lower prices to Canadians.
“This decision follows careful consideration of the feedback received from stakeholders and Canadians regarding the CRTC’s May 2021 decision on wholesale Internet rates.
“We recognize the important balance that must be achieved between the need to invest in our networks and the need to promote continued competition and affordability. The wholesale rates decision made by the CRTC in 2021 is an attempt to correct errors made in 2019, and it makes permanent the rates that have been in force since 2016. The decision provides stability, and the government has determined that it will not alter this decision.
“That is why the new policy direction would require the CRTC to support a wholesale Internet regime that is sustainable, effective and fair, because wholesale broadband is a proven regulatory tool for increasing retail competition in the Internet service market. The new direction will directly improve this important tool, strengthen support for competitors and ensure that they continue to have a fair chance at entering markets to offer more options for Canadian consumers. This will be implemented as part of this broader direction to improve telecommunications services and consumer protection.
“Our government will welcome comments on this proposed direction over the coming weeks, while we continue to do everything we can to make life more affordable for Canadians and to enhance competition for Internet and wireless services.”
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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