Let's #TalkBroadband public hearing begins today! CRTC launches online discussion forum

GATINEAU, QC, April 11, 2016 /CNW/ - Starting today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is holding a three-week public hearing on basic telecommunications services in the National Capital Region.

During this hearing, the CRTC is examining the services that Canadians need in order to participate meaningfully in the digital economy, as well as its role in ensuring the availability of affordable basic telecommunications services across the country.

Canadians can once again provide their opinions on these issues by participating throughout the hearing in an online discussion forum that will be open until 8pm EST on April 28. Specific issues raised in the online forum include what Canadians need from the telecommunications system, as well as how Canadians' basic telecommunications needs can be met. Canadians can also comment in real-time on issues raised throughout the hearing.

Canadians can watch the hearing online on the Cable Public Affairs Channel's website or listen to the audio feed on the CRTC's website.

The hearing is the third phase of Let's #TalkBroadband Internet, the CRTC's consultation on basic telecommunications services, which began in April 2015.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC is holding a public hearing on basic telecommunications services, starting today and ending April 28, in the National Capital Region.
  • A transcript of the discussion on the online forum will be added to the public record of the CRTC's evidence-based proceeding and considered as part of its decision-making process.
  • More than 25 000 comments were received during the first phase of the consultation and more than 30 000 Canadians filled out the questionnaire during the second phase.
  • The CRTC is reviewing telecommunications services in order to be in step with Canadians' current and future needs.
  • Currently, basic telecommunications services include:
    • individual line local touch-tone service;
    • capability to connect to the Internet via low-speed data transmission at local rates;
    • 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 at which time the CRTC's broadband Internet target speeds were established.
  • The CRTC has not made any decisions regarding possible outcomes of this process.

"Today, we are starting a three-week hearing to examine the basic telecommunications services that Canadians need to participate in the digital economy. This will be an opportunity for the CRTC to test, challenge and validate the evidence that has been put on the public record. Even if they cannot attend or appear at our hearing, we invite Canadians, including those who follow us on social media, to participate in these discussions through our online forum. This is a way to ensure their views are taken into account as part of our evidence-based process."

- Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC

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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, Ask a question or make a complaint: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/question.htm


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