ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission letter addressed to Distribution list

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Ottawa, 19 April 2016

Our reference:  8663-C12-201503186


Distribution list

Re: Review of basic telecommunications services, Telecom Notice of Consultation 2015-134Footnote 1 – Requests for information to provincial and territorial governments

As part of the above-noted proceeding, the Commission is examining the affordability of basic telecommunications services, including the extent to which support should be provided to Canadians living on low incomes, as well as digital literacy, including the programs being offered. Pursuant to section 37 of the Telecommunications Act (Act), the Commission may require that persons provide it with information necessary for the administration of the Act.

Attached are requests for information for which responses are required by 5 May 2016. The responses must be received, not merely sent, by that date. If the information requested in a specific question does not apply, indicate “not applicable” in the response. The responses will form part of the record of this proceeding.

Questions 1 and 2 below replace the substantially similar undertakings given at the public hearing by the Government of Yukon on 11 April 2016,Foo note 2 and by the Government of Nunavut on 12 April 2016.Foo note 3

Filing of Information with the Commission

Responses to these requests for information must 1) refer to the file number noted above and 2) be sent to the Secretary General of the Commission using only one of the following means:

via My CRTC Account (at the following link: and click on “Proceed to Broadcasting and Telecom Cover Page”)
by mail to
CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
by fax to


Original signed by

John Macri
Director, Policy Framework
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.: Christine Bailey, CRTC, (819) 997-4557,
Sarah O’Brien, CRTC, (819) 635-3217,

Attach. (1)

Distribution List

Government of Alberta,
Government of British Columbia,
Government of Manitoba,
Government of New Brunswick,
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador,
Government of Northwest Territories,
Government of Nova Scotia,
Government of Nunavut,
Government of Ontario,
Government of Prince Edward Island,
Government of Québec,
Government of Saskatchewan,
Government of Yukon,

Requests for information

Affordability of basic telecommunications services and digital literacy have been raised as a central issues in this proceeding.

For instance, in its intervention, the Affordable Access CoalitionFoo note 4 (AAC) referenced an Affordability Report conducted by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) which recommended that to be affordable, expenses related to all telecommunications services should represent 4% to 6% of a household’s monthly income. The AAC provided evidence that the prices for telecommunications services have been steadily increasing since 2008, which in its view suggests that there are affordability issues in Canada.

  1. Provide information on your government’s social welfare or social assistance programs, including:
    1. the criteria used to determine an individual’s or a household’s eligibility to the program;
    2. the maximum amount of income assistance provided to an individual or household; and
    3. the way in which income assistance is calculated, with an explanation of how amounts are allocated to different expense categories (e.g., shelter, food, clothing, healthcare).
  2. As part of your government’s social welfare or social assistance programs, is there an amount allocated to expenses related to an individual’s or a household’s telecommunications services?
    1. If yes:
      1. Which telecommunications services are included in the expense allocation?
      2. How much is allocated to telecommunications services?
      3. How is this amount calculated?
      4. Describe how this amount compares to the level assistance provided for other items, such as shelter, clothing, utilities, and healthcare.
    2. If no, provide any available details regarding your government’s intentions to provide social assistance for telecommunications services in the future.
  3. Does your government currently offer any digital literacy programs? If so, elaborate on the type of program(s) your government offers.


Footnote 1

Review of basic telecommunications services, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134, 9 April 2015, as amended by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134-1, 3 June 2015; Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134-2, 22 December 2015; Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134-3, 14 January 2016; and Telecom Notice of Consultation 2015-134-4, 9 March 2016.

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Footnote 2

Refer to paragraphs 205-218 of the hearing transcript of 11 April 2016 (

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Footnote 3

Refer to paragraphs 3224 - 3235 of the hearing transcript of 12 April 2016 (

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Footnote 4

The Affordable Access Coalition is comprised of the following organizations: the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Canada (ACORN Canada), the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC); the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of British Columbia (COSCO); the National Pensioners Federation (NPF); and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).

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