Telecom

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Telecommunications:

  • is an electronic, two-way communication, usually at a distance
  • includes wireless (cellphones, tablets) and wireline telephone and internet services
  • is different from broadcasting, which simply sends the message one way
  • has been a special policy and legal area and has been carefully regulated in Canada since 1905
  • has its own law, the Telecommunications Act.

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Huge increase in consumer complaints requires CRTC to investigate

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018
Consumer complaints to the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) increased by a whopping 73% compared to the same period last year – an increase that must be investigated and fixed, said the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today. “Canadian consumers are sending a clear message that they are being poorly treated by, and are suffering from misleading sales practices of, Internet, wireless, home phone and subscription TV services,” said John Lawford, PIAC Executive Director and General Counsel. “Such a dramatic increase must be investigated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission,” he added.

CRTC throws consumers to telco sales dogs

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today reacted negatively to a letter from the Chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) rejecting PIAC’s call for the CRTC to pursue a public inquiry into reported inappropriate, aggressive and potentially misleading sales of communications services. John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC, said in reaction to the letter: “The CRTC refusal to inquire into the shocking sales practices of Canada’s major telecommunications and broadcasting companies says to consumers ‘You’re on your own.’”

CRTC widens the digital divide

Thursday, January 25th, 2018
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), ACORN Canada (ACORN) and National Pensioners Federation (NPF) today reacted negatively to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) rejection of their review of the CRTC’s previous decision to deny creating a fund to ensure all Canadians, including lower-income Canadians, have equal access to broadband and other telecommunications services. John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC, said “We are once again shocked that the CRTC will do precisely nothing to support affordable internet access. They are widening the digital divide by saying ‘it’s not our problem.’”

Media Release: CCTS Annual Report Shows Need for Internet Code and Sales Practices Review

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017
OTTAWA – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today noted evidence in the 2016-2017 Annual Report of the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS) which indicates that home internet is inadequately regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). PIAC also found evidence in the CCTS Annual Report that indicates that sales practices of communications service providers of wireless telephone, wireline telephone, internet and subscription television services are aggressive and lead to excessive consumer complaints, and likewise should be inquired into by the CRTC.

Summer Newsletter: Affordability and Accountability

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017
‘Passing the buck’ on affordability for internet hasn’t gotten us closer to helping low-income consumers.

Summer Newsletter: A Sign of Things to Come

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017
The Wireless Code hearings were a look at the progress of the Code since its implementation and hopefully will result in new measures to strengthen consumer protections

Wireless Code Now Stronger for Consumers

Thursday, June 15th, 2017
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today welcomed the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) decision on its Review of the Wireless Code, saying it will help Canadian cell phone users avoid unnecessary costs for cellphone unlocking and overage fees incurred by children and teens.

Media Advisory, PIAC and ACORN Canada will Comment on Government’s proposed low-income broadband announcement at the Canadian Telecom Summit 2017

Sunday, June 4th, 2017
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) Executive Director and General Counsel John Lawford and Donna Bordan, ACORN leader, ACORN Canada will be at the Canadian Telecom Summit 2017 analyzing the announcement by Minister Bains on affordable broadband and are available for comment on-site (just outside the conference area) at approximately 9:00 AM.

CRTC Protects Consumers from Discriminatory Differential Pricing Practices

Thursday, April 20th, 2017
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre today welcomed new rules generally prohibiting internet service providers from billing customers for data based on content. The new rules require that all data generally be billed at the same rate regardless of the type of data consumers access, effectively ending “differential pricing” or “zero-rating”.

CRTC asked to reconsider affordability subsidy

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), ACORN Canada (ACORN) and National Pensioners Federation (NPF) today jointly filed an application to review and vary the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) “Review of basic telecommunications” decision to reconsider a fund to ensure all Canadians, including lower-income Canadians, have equal access to broadband and other telecommunications services. “The CRTC missed a crucial opportunity to level the playing field so that all Canadians, regardless of their socio-economic status, can have access to the same standard of internet and telephone service that the CRTC said all must have”, said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC. “We must ask, therefore, on behalf of Canada’s least well-off, for the CRTC to use their mandate and authority to create an affordability fund.”
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