GATINEAU, QC, Jan. 14, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is inviting Canadians to share their views on the telecommunications services they need to participate in the digital economy.
The CRTC is currently reviewing telecommunications services, including Internet services, which are offered in Canada. During the first phase of this proceeding, which was launched in April 2015, the CRTC began to collect information to better understand the telecommunications services provided to Canadians and determine the areas in Canada that are not being adequately served.
During this second phase of the proceeding, the CRTC is seeking more information from Canadians and making it possible for them to share their views in multiple ways. As it is important to hear from Canadians across the country on these important issues, the CRTC is using both online and more traditional methods to facilitate their participation.
Some of the questions that the CRTC would like Canadians to answer include the following:
- What telecommunications services do Canadians consider necessary to participate in the digital economy?
- Which services do Canadians rely on the most to communicate?
- Should the prices for telecommunications services in Canada be similar between urban and non-urban areas?
- What upload and download speeds for broadband Internet service would meet Canadians' needs?
Canadians have until February 8, 2016 to send comments and request to appear at a public hearing in April 2016. 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 is also making available a short questionnaire for Canadians to fill out in order to share their views on the telecommunications services available in their region.
Canadians who cannot access the questionnaire online may call 1-877-249-2782 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.
Finally, 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.
This phase of the proceeding will ensure that the public record has detailed information from Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
- The CRTC initiated a review of basic telecommunications services in April 2015. Since then, more that 25,000 comments have been received.
- 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 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.
"As we look to the future of Canada's telecommunications needs, we are interested in hearing the views of Canadians from across the country, and especially those who do not have access to the technology they need in this digital era. In order to fully participate in the digital economy, Canadians need reliable, affordable and modern telecommunications services. Wherever you live in Canada, from St. John's to Prince Rupert to Moose Jaw to Iqaluit, we want to hear from you."
- Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134 - Review of basic telecommunications services
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134-3
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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Video with caption: "Video: The CRTC’s role in the digital economy". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCcFpDHP-Z4
For further information: Media Relations, (819) 997-9403; General Inquiries, (819) 997-0313, Toll-free 1 (877) 249-CRTC (2782), TTY (819) 994-0423