CRTC
Forecast
2021-2022

CRTC Forecast 2021-2022

The CRTC Forecast 2021-2022 supplements the CRTC Departmental Plan 2020-2021. Together, these publications are designed to help foster a predictable regulatory environment by providing advance public notice of the CRTC’s activities over the next two fiscal years (each running from 1 April to 31 March).

The CRTC will adjust its plans as needed, particularly given that proceedings may be initiated at any time by an application filed by a stakeholder or a member of the public (a “Part 1 proceeding”), a request from the Government of Canada, or on the CRTC’s own initiative, given that its broader operating environment is subject to change. At the same time, the CRTC will also continue to support the Government of Canada’s review of Canada’s legislative framework for communications and prepare itself to respond to any legislative changes to the Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act.

Highlights

Telecommunications

Improve broadband internet access service across Canada

The CRTC’s Broadband Fund will provide up to $750 million over its first five years to support projects that will improve broadband Internet access services to underserved Canadians. This funding will help ensure that Canadians, particularly those in rural and remote areas of Canada, can access affordable, high-quality fixed and mobile broadband Internet access services. In 2019-2020, the CRTC issued its first and second call for applications to begin the competitive process to evaluate and select projects.

In 2020-2021, the CRTC will make funding decisions on the applications from the first call. In 2021-2022, the CRTC will distribute funding to the selected recipients and monitor the implementation of their broadband projects. The CRTC will also assess applications and issue decisions to provide funding to selected applicants from the second call. The CRTC will distribute funding to the selected recipients who will begin implementing their broadband projects.

Remove barriers to broadband internet access in underserved areas in Canada

Despite the financial support to be received from the Broadband Fund or public funding, internet service providers face challenges and obstacles that can limit their ability to provide improved broadband internet access services in some areas of Canada.

In 2021-2022, the CRTC will oversee the implementation of its determinations resulting from its consultation on potential barriers to deployment of broadband-capable networks in underserved areas in Canada.

Implement the regulatory framework for mobile wireless services

In 2019, the CRTC launched a comprehensive review of the regulatory framework for the mobile wireless market, and held a hearing in February 2020.

In 2021-2022, the CRTC will monitor the implementation of its determinations resulting from that consultation to help ensure improved competition and reduced barriers to entry in the mobile wireless market.

Continue the implementation of the wholesale high-speed access service regime

In 2021-2022, the CRTC will continue the implementation of the wholesale high-speed access service regime for large cable and telephone companies for all regions in Canada.

Implement rate-setting for wholesale telecommunications services

In 2021-2022, the CRTC will begin the implementation and roll-out of its determinations, as required, resulting from the review and consultation on the methodology and approach for rate-setting of wholesale telecommunications services.

Review wireline wholesale services and interconnection

Effective competition requires that service providers interconnect with one another and make various wholesale services available to support residential and business retail markets. In 2021‑2022, the CRTC will continue its review of wireline wholesale services and interconnection, issue its determination resulting from the consultation launched in 2020-2021, and initiate follow-up proceedings as required.

Review Northwestel Inc.’s regulatory framework

In 2021-2022, the CRTC will continue its review of Northwestel Inc.’s regulatory framework to support and respond to the unique needs of consumers and businesses in the North.

Broadcasting

Preparing for legislative change

In the context of possible legislative change, the CRTC will examine options for the appropriate measures needed to ensure that all content providers on all platforms contribute to the creation of Canadian content in both official languages, that Canadian content is promoted and given appropriate prominence, and that it is easily accessible by Canadians. This work will enable the Commission to continue to adapt the regulatory framework for broadcasting as needed to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing creative and business environment. This work is expected to be ongoing during 2020-2021 through 2021-2022.

Co-develop and implement the Indigenous broadcasting policy

In 2020-2021, the CRTC will continue a multistage review of its Indigenous broadcasting policy, which was launched in 2019-2020. In 2021-2022, the CRTC will follow up on the implementation of the new regulatory framework and continue the reconciliation efforts it has undertaken with Indigenous peoples. The renewed framework aims to contribute to diversity and inclusiveness by helping ensure that Canadian broadcasting is properly reflective of the cultures, languages, and perspectives of Indigenous peoples across Canada.

Initiate the renewal of the group-based licences of private television stations

In 2021-2022, the CRTC intends to launch a process to consider applications for the renewal of television licences held by the large English- and French-language ownership groups, which will expire on 31 August 2022.

Implement a digital monitoring system for radio

The CRTC will continue to implement a digital system for monitoring compliance in the radio market, which will also improve business processes and data analytics. This system will be accompanied by a database available to the public.

Consumer and public protection

Ensure compliance with the Accessible Canada Act (ACA)

In its role as a regulator, the CRTC will ensure that the broadcasting and telecommunications regulatory frameworks advance the objectives of the Accessible Canada Act (ACA). In its role as an employer, the CRTC will implement the ACA by reviewing and updating its internal processes, as appropriate, to ensure employees with disabilities are able to contribute to the development and design of regulations, policies, programs and services.

Protect Canadians against nuisance calls and spam

The CRTC will continue to protect Canadians against nuisance calls and spam by promoting and enforcing compliance with the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules (which protect Canadians against unwanted telemarketing calls by such means as the National Do Not Call List), Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and the Voter Contact Registry.

Measure national broadband performance

The CRTC will continue to evaluate internet service providers’ bandwidth performance through independent testing and reporting. This data will be made public and will help internet service providers improve their networks to better serve Canadian consumers.

Follow up on the CRTC’s 2019 report on the retail sales practices of large telecommunications service providers

In 2021-2022, the CRTC will report on activities it has undertaken to address issues identified in the February 2019 Report on Misleading or Aggressive Communications Sales Practices and to promote fair treatment and empower consumers, and prevent misleading or aggressive sales practices.

  • CRTC Secret Shopper Program: The CRTC will assess what was accomplished in the 2020-2021 edition of the CRTC Secret Shopper Program, including whether the program needs to be modified based on that experience and what regulatory activity, if any, should be undertaken as a result of the findings of that edition of the program.
  • Consolidating the CRTC’s various codes of conduct for service providers: The CRTC will continue preparations to consolidate the CRTC’s various codes of conduct for service providers, which will eventually involve the launch of a CRTC proceeding. The objective of that proceeding will be to ensure that customers – regardless of the communications service to which they subscribe – benefit equitably from the protections put into place by the CRTC.

Review wireless service plans for persons with disabilities

Following a proceeding launched in early 2020 to examine the issues related to wireless service plans for persons with disabilities, the CRTC will work to ensure the needs of Canadians with disabilities are being met by the industry.

Continue the implementation of Next-Generation 9-1-1 services

The CRTC, through regulation, will continue the implementation of NG9-1-1 emergency communication services by the telecommunications industry. This will include approving and mandating new, innovative 9-1-1 services and tools that harness the capabilities of modern communications networks and other technology, and establishing rates associated with the Canada-wide deployment of the NG9-1-1 network, which will benefit and enhance the safety of all Canadians.

Monitor public emergency alerting

The CRTC will continue to monitor the participation of Canadian broadcasters and wireless service providers in the National Public Alerting System (NPAS). The CRTC will collaborate with public and private partners to ensure that Canadians receive emergency alert messages at times of imminent or unfolding hazards to life, giving them the information they need to make informed decisions.

Review video relay service in Canada

The CRTC will conclude its proceeding to review the regulatory framework for video relay service in Canada to be launched in 2020-2021, thus ensuring Canadians whose first language is American Sign Language (ASL) or Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) are able to fully leverage the benefits of the telephone system in Canada, including calling 9-1-1 in emergency situations.

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