CRTC completes review of telecommunications regulations: Requires large telephone companies to provide free diagnostic services

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, February 9, 2012 — Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) completed a comprehensive review of over 80 telecommunications regulations, which resulted in the elimination or streamlining of over 60 per cent of these regulations. Regulations that are in the public interest, such as those relating to 911 services, accessibility and customer privacy, were left unchanged.

“Service providers should have as much flexibility as possible to bring innovative communications services to Canadians,” said Leonard Katz, the CRTC’s Acting Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications. “We have gone to great lengths to reduce costs and red tape for the industry by ensuring that our regulatory measures don’t interfere with a competitive marketplace, while maintaining necessary protection for Canadians.”

In 2007, the CRTC embarked on a comprehensive review of its telecommunications regulations following the government’s policy direction to rely as much as possible on market forces. During its review, the CRTC removed 23 regulations, modified or streamlined 28 regulations and maintained 33 regulations. The review was concluded today with the publication of a decision regarding telephone wiring.

In today’s decision, the CRTC directed telephone companies, if their customers experience a problem with their phone line and do not have a jack-ended demarcation device (a special jack commonly found either in the basement or outside the home), to provide a free diagnostic service. Companies must install this jack following the diagnostic service, after which customers can perform the diagnostic themselves by plugging their phone into it. If they hear a dial tone, then the problem is with the inside wiring and they can choose a repair service. If they do not hear a dial tone, then the problem is in the network outside and the telephone company must repair it free of charge.

Going forward, the CRTC will continue to favour market forces and carefully weigh the need for any new regulations. In particular, the CRTC will be mindful of the administrative burden any proposed requirement, enforcement measure or penalty may create for small Canadian businesses.

Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-83

The CRTC

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

 

Resources

Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-219

Telecom Decision 2011-69

Telecom Decision 2008-34

Telecom Decision 2007-51

Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on Implementing the Canadian Telecommunications Policy Objectives SOR 2006-355

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