OTTAWA-GATINEAU, April 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada today
exercised its powers under the Telecommunications Act and varied the
forbearance framework decision that the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued last April. The varied order
establishes a simpler approach to the deregulation of local telephone services
provided by the incumbent companies (Bell, Telus, Aliant, Sasktel, Télébec and
Both the Commission's original framework and the modifications made by
the Government today have the common objective of fostering competition in the
Canadian telecommunications market. The Commission will implement the revised
framework without delay.
The CRTC also welcomes the Government's order regarding the establishment
of a consumer agency to resolve complaints from individual and small business
customers of telecom service providers.
The proposed consumer agency would be self-funded and independent from
the telecommunications industry, and the CRTC would approve its structure and
mandate. In addition to resolving complaints, the agency would be asked to
develop voluntary codes of conduct and standards for the industry.
In its forbearance framework decision, the Commission invited the
industry to propose a system that would set out clear rules and standards and
resolve consumer complaints. The Telecommunications Policy Review Panel also
recommended the creation of a consumer agency in its report.
The Commission will work closely with stakeholders and within its
existing legislative framework to establish this agency as soon as possible.
"We look forward to working diligently to provide Canadians with the
benefits of competition while establishing safeguards where required to
protect them," said Konrad von Finckenstein, Chairman of the CRTC. "This will
help to ensure that Canadians continue to enjoy a world-class telecom system
that is modern, adaptable to change and responsive to consumer interests."
The CRTC is an independent, public authority that regulates and
supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
Reference document: Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-15,
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