January 19, 2016 – Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
In just 5 days, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has already received over 15,000 responses to its questionnaire on telecom services, indicating that the topic is an important issue for many Canadians.
The CRTC is currently reviewing the telecommunications services, including broadband Internet services, offered across the country. Canadians are invited to share their views on topics such as broadband availability, how they communicate and service pricing by filling out a simple questionnaire.
As it is important to hear from Canadians across the country on these topics, the CRTC is using both online and more traditional methods to facilitate people’s participation, even from individuals who are not online.
Canadians who cannot access the questionnaire online may call 1-877-249-CRTC (2782) to fill it out over the phone with an agent or to request a paper copy. (A prepaid return envelope will be supplied.) Canadians may also send a fax to 819-994-0218 to request a copy to complete and send back. The responses to the questionnaire (online, phone, fax or mail) must be completed and received by the CRTC by February 29, 2016.
Canadians who want to file interventions or request to appear at a public hearing in April 2016 have until February 8, 2016 to inform the CRTC. They can do so by:
filling out the online form;
writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A ON2; or
sending a fax to 819-994-0218.
The CRTC will be conducting focus groups in small communities across Canada where a large percentage of the population is underserved or unserved by modern telecommunications services.
The CRTC initiated a review of basic telecommunications services in April 2015.
The CRTC is reviewing the telecommunications services available in Canada in order to be in step with Canadians’ current and future needs.
Currently, basic telecommunications services include:
capability to connect to the Internet via low-speed data transmission at local rates;
individual line local touch-tone service;
access to the long distance network, operator/directory assistance services, enhanced calling features and privacy protection features, emergency services, voice message relay service; and
a printed copy of the current local telephone directory upon request.
The CRTC’s current policy was established in 1999 and reviewed in 2011.
Canadians are invited to fill out a questionnaire to help the CRTC shape the future of telecommunications services in Canada.
The CRTC received nearly 10,000 responses in the first 24 hours after making the questionnaire available on Thursday, January 14.
The CRTC has not made any decision regarding possible outcomes of this process.
The CRTC is holding a public hearing on these issues starting April 11, 2016 in Gatineau, Québec.
“The fact that many Canadians have responded so quickly tells us that our review of telecom services is timely, necessary and important. We look forward to hearing from even more people as we consider the services that Canadians need to fully participate in the digital economy. We have worked to make the process as simple as possible. So no matter where you live, we hope to hear from you.”
– Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC