Minister Champagne announces final direction to the CRTC placing affordability and consumer rights at the forefront of its future decisions
February 13, 2023 – 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 using every tool at our disposal to ensure that telecom services are competitive, reliable and, above all, affordable.
“While progress has been made, Canadians still pay too much and see too little competition. That is why, last year, I announced a proposed policy direction to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to make sure that competition, affordability, consumer rights and universal access would be core to future CRTC decisions. Today, I am announcing that this new direction is coming into force.
“Following consultations with Canadians, organizations and businesses, we carefully considered all feedback received to prepare the renewed approach. The final policy direction will therefore put the following objectives at the top of the CRTC’s decision process:
- enhance wholesale Internet access and competition
- increase mobile wireless competition
- improve the reliability and resilience of services
- improve consumer rights
- speed up new infrastructure for universal access
- proactively improve the accessibility of telecom services for Canadians with disabilities
- build better regulations to better support Canadian consumers
“These objectives will ensure that affordable access to high-quality, reliable and resilient telecommunications services is available in all regions of Canada, including rural and remote areas and Indigenous communities.
“The direction also calls on the CRTC to continue to implement and adjust its Broadband Fund to meet connectivity needs across the country in coordination with other programs. Additionally, the government continues to roll out its $3.225 billion in Universal Broadband Fund to support connectivity in underserved rural and remote communities. With this and other sources, over $7 billion has been allocated and we are on track to provide all Canadians the connectivity they need by 2030.
“Additionally, it directs the CRTC to increase the transparency and clarity of service plan pricing, making it easier and affordable for Canadians to change or cancel services.
“Under the Telecommunications Act, the CRTC is responsible for implementing the policy direction and is required to take certain steps and approach all of its future decisions in a way that is aligned with it. I trust that the CRTC will act on this important work, and I look forward to seeing the direction being put into action soon.
“We will continue to push aggressively to generate innovation, improve coverage, reduce the costs of telecommunications services for Canadians and ensure the telecom sector meets the high standard Canadians rightfully expect.”
- Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on a Renewed Approach to Telecommunications Policy
- Backgrounder: Summary of the Government of Canada’s new proposed policy direction to the CRTC
- Backgrounder: Renewing Canada’s approach to Telecommunications Policy: Context for Action
- More affordable telecom services
- Reliable telecom services
- Universal Broadband Fund
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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