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  • 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.


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”.

Canada Budget 2017: Low-Income Internet Support a “Cruel Joke”

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
"This Budget is a cruel joke for low-income Canadians struggling to afford broadband internet for education, health, employment and other key services," said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC. "Acknowledging such a fundamental problem with a token amount and having the gall to call it an 'Affordable Access program' is insulting," he added.

#WCRD2017: Building an Affordable Digital World For Everyone

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
Tomorrow is World Consumer Rights Day 2017, Building a Digital World Consumers Can Trust. Organized by Consumers International, of which PIAC is a member, this year’s WCRD theme is consumer digital rights, including one of four key digital issues—“access and choice” to high-speed internet. Broadband access, however, is almost impossible to discuss without addressing the affordability of broadband internet. At PIAC, we ask, “How do we build a digital world that is affordable for everyone?”

Public interest and consumer groups applaud CRTC’s internet access decision, look forward to more work on affordability

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
“The CRTC seized an important opportunity to make sure all Canadians, regardless of where they live can have access to the same standard of internet service that most Canadians already have”, said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC. “Although we believe more work is needed to address affordability, we are hopeful the CRTC’s submissions on affordability to the federal government, and its commitment to monitoring affordability, will eventually result in more support for low-income Canadians.”

No Such Thing as Free Data

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
Exempting some entrants from data caps hurts innovation and competition and ultimately, all consumers.

Media Advisory and Backgrounder: Affordable Access Coalition Regarding Upcoming CRTC Decision on Basic Telecommunications Services

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
PIAC outlines the position of the “Affordable Access Coalition” in preparation for the upcoming CRTC decision on a review of basic telecommunications services.

CCTS Annual Report Suggests Participating Service Providers Won’t Change Policies Despite CCTS Rulings

Thursday, November 24th, 2016
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) believes evidence in the 2015-2016 Annual Report of the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) released today suggest some service providers continue employing practices that violate the spirit of the Wireless Code of Conduct, to the detriment of Canadian consumers.

Affordability of Communications Services for Low-Income Canadians Risks Increasing Digital Divide

Thursday, September 15th, 2016
A new report from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) suggests many low income Canadians struggle to afford their communications services, and provides policy suggestions to address this ongoing challenge.

PIAC files CRTC Part I application regarding Québec Bill 74 and purported ISP blocking

Friday, July 8th, 2016
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre today filed the attached part I application regarding Quebec Bill 74, Loi concernant principalement la mise en oeuvre de certaines dispositions du discours sur le Budget du 26 mars 2015 and blocking of certain websites associated with online gambling.

Summer 2016 Newsletter: Basically Broadband

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
The essential nature of the internet was all but confirmed by the CRTC, but work is still needed towards affordability and access
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