Canadians can shape the future of the telecommunications ombudsman during public hearing - CRTC launches online discussion forum for CCTS mandate review

OTTAWA, Nov. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) invites Canadians to share their views on the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS). The public hearing for the review of the CCTS mandate will be held from November 3 to 6, 2015. Starting today, Canadians can participate by sharing their comments in an online discussion forum.

The CCTS is an independent organization that helps Canadians and small businesses resolve complaints relating to their wireless, Internet and telephone services, in addition to administering the CRTC's Wireless Code. The organization handles over 10,000 complaints each year and can require telecommunications service providers to provide up to $5,000 in compensation per customer in addition to any amount to be refunded in correction of a billing error.

In June 2015, the CRTC launched a review of the CCTS to ensure its mandate and structure continues to be appropriate in light of the evolution of the market for communications services. As part of the public hearing, the CRTC will also consider whether television service providers should be required to participate in the CCTS given that many Canadians obtain their telecommunications and broadcasting services from the same company. This consideration stems from the Let's Talk TV decision where the Commission determined that consumers would benefit from the creation of a television service provider code of conduct and that the CCTS would be the appropriate administrator of the code. 

Through the CRTC's online discussion forum, Canadians will be able to follow the hearing, leave comments or engage in discussions with other Canadians. Comments shared within the forum will become part of the information taken into account during the CRTC's decision process.

The online discussion forum will remain open from November 2 to 9, 2015.

Quick facts

  • The CRTC will hold a public hearing from November 3 to 6, 2015, in Gatineau, to review the structure and mandate of the CCTS, as well as the mandatory participation of telecommunications service providers.
  • The CRTC will review how the structure and mandate of the CCTS can be modified to enable it to take on the role of administrator of the television service provider code of conduct.
  • The CRTC will examine whether changes to the CCTS's approach are needed to promote and raise public awareness of its existence. For the CCTS to be fully effective, consumers must be aware of its existence and the assistance it can provide.
  • The CRTC invites Canadians to participate in an online discussion forum to share their views and opinions on the CCTS. The forum will be open until November 9, 2015.

Quote
"While our public hearing is being held in the National Capital Region, the room itself stretches from coast to coast to coast to include all Canadians. The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services plays an important role in a competitive marketplace, and is a resource for those who have experienced problems with their service providers. We invite Canadians to share their views throughout the public hearing to help us make decisions that are in the public interest."

Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman

Related links

Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services 
Broadcasting and Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-239 
Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-104 
Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-105

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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Media Relations: (819) 997-9403; General Inquiries: (819) 997-0313, Toll-free 1 (877) 249-CRTC (2782), TTY (819) 994-0423

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http://www.crtc.gc.ca

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