Communications Monitoring Report 2015: Introduction
Purpose of the Communications Monitoring Report
Over the last few decades, communications technology has undergone radical transformations. Canadians now have real-time access to a world of information and entertainment across a multitude of platforms. They rely on their communications system to create meaningful content, contribute to Canada’s economy and democracy, and connect with their friends, families and communities. As Canadians adapt to technological change, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will continue to supervise and regulate in a responsible, measured, and intelligent way in the public interest.
The Commission’s Communications Monitoring Report is a tool for analyzing the evolving state of Canada’s communication system. It is designed to support evidence-based policy development, decision making, and open public discussion of broadcasting and telecommunications regulatory policies and issues. The Commission invites parties to use the data in this report to enrich their participation in the regulatory process.
Scope and structure of this year’s report
The 2015 Communications Monitoring Report captures a wide range of information on financial performance, industry characteristics, Canadian programming expenditures, service prices and availability across Canada, and many other communications-related subjects.
Building on last year’s efforts to provide a concise overview, Section 2.0 highlights key trends and information directly relevant to Canadians as citizens, consumers, and creators. This section provides a general summary of those key trends and of market performance and competition, pricing, and access across all services. Subsequent sections offer more granular sector-level information.
Section 3.0 surveys Canada’s communications industry as a whole, focusing on such characteristics as market participants and the number of firms operating across the Canadian communications industry. Within the broadcasting sector, this encompasses radio stations, television services (over-the-air stations, discretionary (i.e., specialty and pay) services, video-on-demand services and pay and pay-per-view services), and broadcasting distribution undertakings; in the telecommunications sector, this covers local voice and access, long distance, Internet, wireless, data, and private line.
The remaining sections focus on specific markets, providing in-depth information for those seeking granular data. For example, Sections 4.0 through 4.3 are dedicated to radio, television and broadcasting distribution markets, featuring a range of data on audience measurement, programming contributions and expenditures, and service availability. Sections 5.0 through 5.6 focus on Canada’s telecommunications sector and addresses retail and wholesale Internet, wireline telephone (i.e., landlines), wireless, and data and private line services.
Changes to the 2015 report
The 2015 Communications Monitoring Report includes new and expanded data reflecting regulatory and market developments. These include new technologies and the introduction of new or evolving services, as well as changes in market structure and in domestic regulations and agreements.
The CRTC has adapted the report to take into account emerging technologies and shed more light on existing services. Additions and changes for the 2015 Communications Monitoring Report include the following:
- Summary pages featuring key indicators have been added to each section of the report.
- As part of the Open Data project, the CRTC has launched datasets on television ownership and television viewing via the Government’s Open Data portal .
- Data on wholesale high-speed access (mainly for broadband Internet) revenues, lines and speeds are now presented.
- Section 5.5 now includes data on Wi-Fi hotspot availability and pricing.
- The report now measures the rate at which Canadians are subscribing to various wireless plans.
- New information has been added on the number of titles in the inventories of video-on-demand services.
- An International perspective section has not been included in the 2015 as the CRTC has resolved to focus on the analysis of data it collects directly. For those seeking additional data relevant to international comparisons, please visit the Innovation and Technology Data Portal or Broadband Portal on the website of The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
These changes will provide Canadians with improved financial, pricing, and other key indicators and trends to further enhance their understanding of the communications industry.
1.1 The CRTC
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications in the public interest, as well as enhances the privacy and safety of Canadians.
The CRTC’s main responsibilities include the following:
Regulatory Policy, Legislative Implementation and Regulation
- Developing regulatory policies for Canada’s communication system;
- Approving mergers, acquisitions and changes of ownership of broadcasting undertakings;
- Approving tariffs and agreements for certain telecommunications services;
- Issuing, renewing and amending licenses for broadcasting distribution and programming undertakings;
- Resolving competitive disputes.
Outreach and Engagement with Stakeholders and Canadians
- Consulting and informing Canadians;
- Responding to enquiries and complaints from stakeholders and Canadians;
- Collaborating with domestic and international partners on issues;
- Facilitating industry co-regulation and self-regulation through consultations, committees and working groups.
Monitoring, Compliance and Enforcement
- Monitoring and reporting on the Canadian communication system;
- Promoting and enforcing compliance with legislation, regulation and rules such as the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules (UTRs), Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) and the Voter Contact Registry (VCR).
For more information on the CRTC’s mandate, mission, and activities please visit our website at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/acrtc/acrtc.htm.
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