April 9, 2015 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today launched a major proceeding to ensure that Canadians have access to world-class telecommunications services that enable them to participate actively in the digital economy. Canadians can participate in all stages of the consultation, including the public hearing.
The first phase of the proceeding, which begins today, consists of collecting information to better understand the telecommunications services provided to Canadians and determine the areas in Canada that are not being adequately served. The issues raised include the following:
- services that should be identified as necessary for Canadians to participate in the digital economy
- upload and download speeds necessary in this digital age
- the possible need for funding mechanisms to support the provision of modern telecommunications services, and
- the roles of the economic and regulatory players in telecommunications services, such as the private sector, governments and the CRTC.
The proceeding will also serve to examine the CRTC’s role in ensuring that basic telecommunications services are available to all Canadians. The CRTC’s current policy ensures that Canadians in all regions have access to, at a minimum, a low-speed Internet connection.
Comments for this first phase must be sent to the CRTC by June 30, 2015, in one of the following ways:
- filling out the online form
- writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2, or
- sending a fax to 819-994-0218.
In the second stage, which will take place in fall 2015, the CRTC will hold a further public consultation to collect comments from Canadians regarding the issues identified. The details of this consultation will be announced at a later date.
The CRTC will also hold a public hearing, which will begin on April 11, 2016, in Gatineau, Quebec.
Canadians rely on telecommunications in their everyday lives. Thanks to broadband Internet services, Canadians have access to a range of important online services, such as e-health, e-learning, banking and government services. As more devices become connected to networks, Canadians are creating and making use of innovative applications. For instance, municipalities are using smart traffic control systems to more effectively manage congestion and home owners are using smart metres to measure their energy, water or natural gas consumption in real time. To learn more about the CRTC’s role, Canadians are invited to watch a new video.
In 2014, the CRTC appointed Commissioner Candice Molnar to investigate the Canadian satellite transport service market. Among the findings contained in her investigation report, which was made public today, Commissioner Molnar found that satellite dependent communities continue to rely almost exclusively on Telesat's satellite network.
Given its continued market dominance, Commissioner Molnar recommended that the CRTC initiate a public review of Telesat's current price ceiling. Furthermore, she recommended that the CRTC consult Canadians to determine whether the price ceiling for certain Telesat satellite services is still appropriate in light of current market conditions and future projections.
Accordingly, the CRTC is initiating a public consultation today to review the price ceiling for certain satellite services provided by this Canadian company. Canadians have until August 21, 2015, to file their comments.
Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman
Candice Molnar, CRTC Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan
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These documents are available in alternative format upon request.