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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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.”

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?”

BCE -MTS merger approval by Competition Bureau experiments with Manitoba consumers: price increases, more consolidation expected

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC) reacted to a consent order filed with the Competition Tribunal today by The Commissioner of Competition, BCE Inc (Bell), and Xplornet Communications Inc. (Xplornet) permitting the acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS) by BCE, subject to certain divestitures and conditions. “Manitoba consumers are the guinea pigs in this cellphone market experiment,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC.

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.”
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