Telecom Commission Letter addressed to the Distribution List

Ottawa, 22 April 2022

BY EMAIL

RE:  Guidance to regulated entities on submitting attestations to the Commission

Hello,

As you may be aware, the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) and the CRTC Accessibility Reporting Regulations, which came into force respectively in 2019 and 2021, require that regulated broadcasting and telecommunications providers publish the following accessibility materials on their websites:

Consequently, we would like to provide some information concerning your responsibilities and the coming deadlines.

The CRTC Regulations categorize different classes of providers and specify the deadlines when each class must publish its accessibility materials. Classesare generally based on the number of employees.

For larger entities (100 + employees), the first deadline is June 1, 2022. By that date, these entities must publish their “feedback process description.” This must describe the process these entities have introduced to allow the public to contact them about accessibility issues.

The deadlines for the plans and reports begin one year from the feedback process description deadline and follow a three-year cycle, i.e.:

Certain classes of providers can qualify for later publishing deadlines or an exemption based on the number of employees. To qualify, you must submit to the Commission an attestation affirming that your organization meets the employee thresholds of a specific class. As explained in greater detail below, if you have fewer than 100 employees, you can file an attestation, and should do so no later than June 1, 2022.

For smaller entities (10 – 99 employees) that have filed an attestation, the deadline for publishing the “feedback process description” is June 1, 2023, unless exempted. The deadlines for the plans and reports also follow a three-year cycle.

The smallest entities (0 – 9 employees) are exempt from publishing these accessibility materials if they have filed an attestation.

Therefore, your first step is to determine the class your organization belongs to and its deadlines by consulting the Appendix below. If you qualify for a class that has later publishing deadlines or is exempt, your second step is to submit an attestation to the Commission. You can access the online form through our Data Collection System (DCS). Simply follow the instructions.

In order to access DCS, your entity must appoint a single point-of-contact and establish a secure account with the CRTC. For more information, please refer to: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/dcs/acces.htm. If you have any questions regarding access to DCS or “My CRTC Account” please contact our Help Desk by phone at (819) 997-4597 or at 1-866-845-6036, by fax at (819) 994-0218, by email at: cd-dc@crtc.gc.ca, or electronically at: https://applications.crtc.gc.ca/sdc-dcs/eng/contact-form.

Please submit your attestation before June 1, 2022.  This lets us know that your organization is either exempt or will begin its publishing cycle on June 1, 2023. If we don’t receive an attestation, your organizations must meet the June 1, 2022, deadline for publishing the feedback process description.

Attestations must be completed by authorized individuals, for example, an owner, officer or director – someone who has the legal authority to make an attestation on behalf of the entity. You can revise or even revoke your attestation if circumstances change, such as employment changes that shift your organization into a different class, for example.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jennifer Porteous, Manager Social and Consumer Policy, at engagement@crtc.gc.ca. Don’t forget to monitor the CRTC’s website as we are planning to publish more information, including an Information Bulletin.

Commission staff is sending this letter to help you understand your obligations, and is written in a less formal way than the Regulations. It is meant to complement the Regulations, not replace or override them. If anything in this letter conflicts with the ACA or the Regulations, they must take precedence. Nothing in this letter should be considered legal advice, and you are responsible for ensuring your compliance with the ACA and the Regulations. You are encouraged to read the Regulations and the associated Commission policy via the above links.

Thank you,

Nanao Kachi
Director, Social and Consumer Policy

Appendix:  Classes of Regulated Entities and Publishing Deadlines by Class

Table 1:

Classes of Regulated Broadcasting and Telecommunications Entities

Table 1: Classes of Regulated Broadcasting and Telecommunications Entities
Note: “B” refers to broadcasting and “T” refers to telecommunications Attestation Required
Class B1 and Class T1 Consists of federal governmental/Crown entities No
Class B2 and Class T2 Consists of private sector entities that have 100 or more employees No
Class B3 and Class T3 Consists of private sector entities having 10 or more employees but fewer than 100 employees Yes
Class B4 and Class T4 Consists of private sector entities having fewer than 10 employees Yes
Class T5

Consists of those TSPs who are exempt from the requirement to register with the Commission – that is, TSPs whose telecommunications service is limited to:

  1. a service that is offered without an explicit charge,
  2. a service that offered on a temporary basis only to individuals located on the entity’s premises, or
  3. a service that does not allow individuals to engage autonomously in two-way voice telecommunications or to access the Internet autonomously.
No

Table 2:

Publishing Deadlines by Class

Table 2. Publishing Deadlines by Class
Class Feedback Process Description Initial Accessibility Plan Initial Progress Report Second Progress Report Updated (second)
Accessibility Plan
B1/T1
B2/T2
June 1, 2022 June 1, 2023 June 1, 2024 June 1, 2025 June 1, 2026
B3/T3* June 1, 2023 June 1, 2024 June 1, 2025 June 1, 2026 June 1, 2027
B4/T4* No publishing requirements/obligations (exempt)
T5** Exempted

* Publishing deadlines contingent on submitting an attestation to the CRTC to affirm compliance with the conditions of the class (i.e., number of employees).

** No attestation required

                       

Number of Employees:

Refer to the CRTC Regulations for a definition of “employee.” In calculating the number of employees, the attester should count the total number of employees of the regulated entity, regardless of whether or not those employees are based in Canada. The attester should exclude volunteers.

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