No guarantee of right to Internet; CRTC

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GATINEAU, Que. – The country’s telecom regulator says there are no guarantees it will enforce minimum Internet speeds and service levels across Canada, even if it comes up with new target levels.

The chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says it will be up to participants in hearings being held in Gatineau to demonstrate why the regulator should act.

Jean-Pierre Blais says it’s important for proponents of regulation to show why market forces are not enough to ensure the public’s need for Internet services is being met.

Blais made the comments as the regulator began a three-week examination of basic telecommunication services and whether high-speed Internet service should be declared a right.

Currently, basic telecommunications services in Canada include individual line, touch-tone phone service, the ability to connect to the Internet at low speeds, access to long distance, directory assistance services, enhanced calling features and privacy protection features, emergency services and voice mail.

Blais says if the definition of basic telecom services is to change, it has to be based on facts.

“The CRTC must make informed decisions, based on solid evidence, while taking into account the real and reasonable needs of the population,” Blais said in an opening statement to the hearings.

“As it is crucial not to confuse ‘wants’ with ‘needs’, the CRTC is asking parties to take a fact-based and objective approach to these discussions,” he said.

“It is also important to note that any target speed or service level that, in the course of the hearing, the CRTC finds to be ideal or a good measure of success would not necessarily guarantee regulatory action in this regard.”

3 COMMENTS

  1. Heres a tidbit about the real market forces at work.
    ” A non-compete agreement signed by Ted Rogers and J.R. Shaw, controlling shareholder of Shaw, prohibited the Western cable company from encroaching on Rogers turf in the East and vice versa.”

    Source
    http://www.canada.com/story_print.html?id=0fde3a22-6e0b-40eb-a6d2-6fe1bac110f9

    Must be nice to have a business where you’re the only game in town and your competitors agree not to expand into your turf. A twelve year old can run a company under those condtions and turn a profit.

  2. What market forces? You have a choice between Shaw or Bell here or a reseller. Coincidentally the prices between the two are almost identical. Dejvu it’s like the oil cartels all over again. Both companies increase rates far outpacing inflation and I haven’t seen any significant improvement in the service to justify the neverending rate hikes.

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