April 9, 2015 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today launched a major proceeding to ensure that Canadians have access to world-class telecommunications services that enable them to participate actively in the digital economy. Canadians can participate in all stages of the consultation, including the public hearing.
The first phase of the proceeding, which begins today, consists of collecting information to better understand the telecommunications services provided to Canadians and determine the areas in Canada that are not being adequately served. The issues raised include the following:
The proceeding will also serve to examine the CRTC’s role in ensuring that basic telecommunications services are available to all Canadians. The CRTC’s current policy ensures that Canadians in all regions have access to, at a minimum, a low-speed Internet connection.
Comments for this first phase must be sent to the CRTC by June 30, 2015, in one of the following ways:
In the second stage, which will take place in fall 2015, the CRTC will hold a further public consultation to collect comments from Canadians regarding the issues identified. The details of this consultation will be announced at a later date.
The CRTC will also hold a public hearing, which will begin on April 11, 2016, in Gatineau, Quebec.
Canadians rely on telecommunications in their everyday lives. Thanks to broadband Internet services, Canadians have access to a range of important online services, such as e-health, e-learning, banking and government services. As more devices become connected to networks, Canadians are creating and making use of innovative applications. For instance, municipalities are using smart traffic control systems to more effectively manage congestion and home owners are using smart metres to measure their energy, water or natural gas consumption in real time. To learn more about the CRTC’s role, Canadians are invited to watch a new video.
In 2014, the CRTC appointed Commissioner Candice Molnar to investigate the Canadian satellite transport service market. Among the findings contained in her investigation report, which was made public today, Commissioner Molnar found that satellite dependent communities continue to rely almost exclusively on Telesat’s satellite network.
Given its continued market dominance, Commissioner Molnar recommended that the CRTC initiate a public review of Telesat’s current price ceiling. Furthermore, she recommended that the CRTC consult Canadians to determine whether the price ceiling for certain Telesat satellite services is still appropriate in light of current market conditions and future projections.
Accordingly, the CRTC is initiating a public consultation today to review the price ceiling for certain satellite services provided by this Canadian company. Canadians have until
August 7, 2015, to file their comments.
“The proceeding we are initiating today is both extensive and important for Canadians. As our habits change in this digital age, our telecommunications services must keep pace. Canadians are looking to the future, and the CRTC wants to ensure that the technology they depend on does so as well. The proceeding we are launching will help us ensure that telecommunications services meet the changing needs of Canadians.
I would also like to thank Commissioner Molnar for the excellent work she accomplished during her inquiry of satellite transport services. Further to the recommendations included in Commissioner Molnar’s report, the consultation launched today will examine the price ceiling for satellite services.”
Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman
“Today, I presented a report on satellite transport services that was prepared further to an exhaustive inquiry. I would like to sincerely thank all those who contributed to this report. The inquiry in question revealed that the prices for satellite services are well below the price ceiling that applies to Telesat. It is for this reason, in particular, that I recommended that the CRTC consult Canadians to find out if it continues to be appropriate to maintain such a price ceiling, among other things.”
Candice Molnar, CRTC Regional Commissioner for Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-133
Satellite Inquiry Report
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-76
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-685
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-44
Telecom Decision CRTC 2014-627
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