The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is an independent entity that regulates and supervises the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications systems. The CRTC operates under the provisions of the Telecommunications Act (1991) and the Bell Canada Act (1987), and its mandate is to ensure that the telecommunications systems serve the Canadian public. The CRTC does not regulate cell phone company rates, quality of service, or business practices.
In 2006, the CRTC approved proposed rates for third-party access to leading cable TV systems networks. The CRTC aims to eventually deregulate all of the telecommunications market in order to increase price competition in markets with sufficient competitors. In 2008, the CRTC introduced a new framework for the deregulation of non-essential wholesale services. A number of wholesale services, which have been identified as non-essential and therefore not mandated, will gradually be deregulated over three to five years. One-third of the wholesale services have been identified to be deregulated by the end of 2012, and the remaining services are to be reviewed in 2013.
On October 21, 2009 the CRTC issued a framework to be used in evaluating complaints about Internet traffic management practices. The framework states that ISPs must be transparent about the use of such practices. In addition, economic approaches to traffic management, such as network investment or charging consumers based on usage, should be preferred to technical means such as traffic shaping. Traffic management practices must address a defined need and must not be unjustly discriminatory. The framework applies only to fixed broadband access and not to wireless access platforms.
In August 2010, the CRTC required incumbent telephone companies and cable carriers to make their Internet access services (aggregated ADSL service and third-party Internet access service) available to competitive ISPs at speeds that match their own retail offerings. In recognition of the investments that telephone companies have made in their networks, the CRTC allows them to charge competitors an additional 10% mark-up over their costs. Cable companies had already been required to provide access to alternate ISPs at speeds that match their own retail offerings.
- ↑ CRTC, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-657: Review of the Internet traffic management practices of Internet service providers (2009).
- ↑ http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/com100/2010/r100830.htm.