CRTC new policy direction

What is a policy direction, and why does it matter?

A policy direction is guidance from the government on how the CRTC makes all of its decisions, and regulates Big Telecom.

Until now, the CRTC has been relying on a policy direction set in 2006, which told the CRTC to maximize its reliance on market forces – which meant minimizing its own regulation and interventions.2 But this path has led to Canada having some of the highest Internet prices in the world.

In contrast, the focus of this new proposed policy direction is to “promote competition, affordability, consumer interests and innovation.”3 This has the potential to fundamentally shift the way that the CRTC approaches every decision it has to make, and completely change the playing field.

How will this new policy direction help me?

  • We simply can’t afford to keep paying some of the highest prices in the world for Internet and mobile in Canada.2 A new policy direction for the CRTC is one of the best ways we have to make sure that all future CRTC decisions better tackle affordability, bridge the digital divide and bring Canada’s telecom market up to speed with our international counterparts.
  • This opens the door to more competition – which is the key to bringing down our Internet prices! This opens the door to new providers, more competition and lower prices for customers – for instance, by bringing Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) to the mobile market.5
  • By putting customers first in its decision, the CRTC’s new policy direction has huge potential to bridge the digital divide by bringing affordable and quality services to people across Canada, especially in rural and remote areas.
  • A policy direction focused on competition, affordability, customer interests and innovation is poised to benefit customers and address the affordability issues affecting thousands of people across the country, particularly low income and marginalized individuals.

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[1,3] Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 153, Number 10: Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on Implementing the Canadian Telecommunications Policy Objectives to Promote Competition, Affordability, Consumer Interests and Innovation: Government of Canada

[2] Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on Implementing the Canadian Telecommunications Policy Objectives: Government of Canada

[4] Media and Internet Concentration in Canada, 1984-2017: Canadian Media Concentration Research Project

[5] A sea of change for Canada’s telecom market?: OpenMedia

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