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Ottawa, 23 July 2014

File No.: 8661-P8-201314012 and 8480-B54-X

By E-mail

Mr. John Lawford
Counsel for Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Consumers’ Association of Canada

Re: Part 1 Application by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Consumers' Association of Canada regarding certain Telecommunications Service Provider billing practices (Fees for Paper Bills)

Dear Mr. Lawford:

This letter is with respect to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Consumers' Association of Canada (PIAC/CAC) Part 1 application requesting that the CRTC issue certain directives to Telecommunications Service Providers (TSPs) regarding the practice of charging fees for the provision of paper bills.

Prior to receiving PIAC/CAC’s application, on July 3, 2013, CRTC staff launched a fact-finding exercise and gathered information from a variety of communications companies. The purpose of this exercise was to obtain a better understanding of the extent of this practice across the Canadian communications sector. The results of the fact-finding exercise have been published today. As you will see, the results demonstrate that there is a wide variation in practices among service providers. 

The CRTC has decided to pursue issues relating to fees charged to Canadian consumers for paper bills in an alternative and comprehensive manner, involving both telecommunications service providers and broadcasting distribution undertakings.

As the CRTC has publically announced that it is pursuing issues related to fees for paper bills charged by TSPs, among others, in an alternative fashion (a copy of the news release is attached), it is closing the PIAC/CAC application related to this matter. By closing the application, the CRTC is not ruling on its merits. It should be noted that the alternative approach to these issues does not preclude the CRTC from taking future regulatory action in this regard. Further, closure of the application does not impact the PIAC/CAC’s application for costs.


John Traversy

Secretary General


c.c.: Bell Canada:

Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership:

MTS Inc.:

Saskatchewan Telecommunications:

TELUS Communications Company:

Data & Audio Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc. (Mobilicity):

Globalive Wireless Management Corp./Yak Communications (Canada) Corp:

Public Mobile Inc.:

Access Communications Co-operative Limited:

Bragg Communications Incorporated:

Cogeco Cable GP Inc.:

Novus Entertainment Inc.:

Shaw Telecom Inc.:

Rogers Communications Partnership:

Vidéotron G.P.:

Brooke Telecom Co-operative Limited:

Bruce Telecom:

CityWest Telephone Corporation:

Cochrane Telecom Services:

CoopTel coop de telecommunication:

Execulink Telecom Inc.:

Gosfield North Communications Co-operative Limited:

Hay Communications Co-operative Limited:

Huron Telecommunications Co-Operative Limited:

La Cie de Téléphone de Courcelles Inc.:

La Compagnie de Téléphone de Lambton Inc.:

La Compagnie de téléphone de St-Victor

La Compagnie de téléphone Upton Inc.:

Lansdowne Rural Telephone Company Ltd.:

Mornington Communications Co-operative Limited:

Nexicom Telecommunications Inc.:;

North Frontenac Telephone Corporation Ltd.:

NRTC Communications:

O.N.Tel Inc. (Ontera):

Quadro Communications Co-operative Inc.:

Roxborough Telephone Company Limited:

Sogetel Inc./Téléphone Milot Inc.:


Téléphone de St-Éphrem inc.:

Téléphone Guèvremont Inc.:

WTC Communications:

Tuckersmith Communications Co-operative Limited:

Wightman Telecom Ltd.

All Communications Network of Canada Co.:

AOL Canada Inc.:

Convergia Networks Inc.:

Distributel Communications Limited:

DERYtelecom Inc.:

Fibernetics Corporation:

Gold Line Telemanagement Inc.:

International Comwave Telecommunications:;

Iristel Technologies Inc:

Maskatel Inc.:

Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc.:

Sears Connect Inc.:

SSi Micro Ltd.:

TekSavvy Solutions Inc.:

Télécommunications Xittel Inc.:

Vancouver Telephone Company Limited:

Vonage Canada Corp:

Westman Media Cooperative Ltd.

Xplornet Communications Inc.:

Diversity Canada

Vaxination Informatique:

Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc.:

Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association:

News release

CRTC challenges communications industry to address paper bill fees

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that it will host a meeting with telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to discuss the practice of charging additional fees to customers who wish to receive paper bills. The CRTC also released the results of its fact-finding exercise on these practices.

Based on information obtained by the CRTC, there is a wide variation in how companies approach paper bill fees. As of November 2013, 36 companies indicated that they do not charge any fees. However, 27 companies acknowledged that their fees range from $0.99 to $5.95 per month for paper bills. Certain companies provide exemptions to these fees, such as for customers who do not have Internet access, but there is no consistent practice across the industry.

The CRTC is concerned that the approach taken by the industry in the transition from paper to electronic bills may not have taken into account the specific circumstances of some Canadians. The CRTC is inviting representatives from communications companies to a meeting that will be held on August 28, 2014, at its central office.

The meeting will be lead by the CRTC’s Vice-Chairs of Broadcasting and Telecommunications. Participants will be expected to come up with a clear and predictable approach to paper bill fees, if any, as well as exemptions for any such fees. This will ensure that Canadians are able to make informed decisions.

Quick Facts


“We are concerned that not all Canadians have a reasonable choice when it comes to paper bill fees for communications services. We are challenging telecommunications and broadcasting distribution companies to come up with a comprehensive approach that will enable Canadians to make informed decisions. We are prepared to explore regulatory options if the industry fails to find an appropriate approach.”

– Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Associated Links

Results of the fact-finding exercise on fees for paper bills


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Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218 Toll-free # 1-877-249-CRTC (2782) TDD - Toll-free # 1-877-909-CRTC (2782) Ask a question or make a complaint

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