CRTC completes review of telecommunications regulations: Requires large telephone companies to provide free diagnostic services

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OTTAWA-GATINEAU — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) completed a comprehensive review of
over 80 telecommunications regulations, which resulted in the elimination
or streamlining of over 60 percent of these regulations. Regulations that
are in the public interest, such as those relating to 911 services,
accessibility and customer privacy were left unchanged.

“Service providers should have as much flexibility as possible to bring
innovative communications services to Canadians,” said Leonard Katz, the
CRTC’s Acting Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications. “We have
gone to great lengths to reduce costs and red tape for the industry by
ensuring that our regulatory measures don’t interfere with a competitive
marketplace, while maintaining necessary protection for Canadians.”

In 2007, the CRTC embarked on a comprehensive review of its
telecommunications regulations following the government’s policy direction
to rely as much as possible on market forces. During its review, the CRTC
removed 23 regulations, modified or streamlined 28 regulations and
maintained 33 regulations. The review was concluded today with the
publication of a decision regarding telephone wiring.

In today’s decision, the CRTC directed telephone companies, if their
customers experience a problem with their phone line and do not have a
jack-ended demarcation device (a special jack commonly found either in the
basement or outside the home), to provide a free diagnostic service.
Companies must install this jack following the diagnostic service, after
which customers can perform the diagnostic themselves by plugging their
phone into it. If they hear a dial tone, then the problem is with the
inside wiring and they can choose a repair service. If they do not hear a
dial tone, then the problem is in the network outside and the telephone
company must repair it free of charge.

Going forward, the CRTC will continue to favour market forces and
carefully weigh the need for any new regulations. In particular, the CRTC
will be mindful of the administrative burden any proposed requirement,
enforcement measure or penalty may create for small Canadian businesses.

Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-83

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

Reference document:
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-219
Telecom Decision 2011-69
Telecom Decision 2008-34
Telecom Decision 2007-51
Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on Implementing the Canadian
Telecommunications Policy Objectives SOR 2006-355


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