We help protect Canadian interests

Navigating the complex communications marketplace can be challenging at times. Part of CRTC’s mandate is to help Canadians find their way through the maze of products and services, and protect their interests.

We also ensure compliance to the CRTC’s Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.

What we do

On this page

Regulation for next generation 9-1-1 services

The CRTC regulates the telecommunications companies that operate the wireline and wireless networks Canadians use to connect to 911 call centres and therefore ensure that they have access to reliable communications services during emergency situations.

As a result, the vast majority of Canadian telephone subscribers can access either basic or enhanced 911 services. With basic 911 services, callers must specify their location to be connected with the emergency response center in their area. With enhanced 911 services, a 911 call automatically provides the 911 operator with the phone number and address or location of the caller.

The CRTC also ensures Canadians are protected by allowing telephone companies to provide enhanced 9-1-1 information for a telephone-based community notification service which is used to notify them, via an automated telephone message, of alerts and emergencies in their area.

Finally, access to 911 services (Text with 911) for Canadians with hearing or speech impairments through the use of text messaging will also be possible where 911 services are currently available in Canada. Telephone and wireless companies have completed the necessary upgrades to their networks, and the service is being rolled out across the country as 911 call centers managed by local governments, become ready to provide it.

You can find more information here:

Deployment of the National Public Alerting System (NPAS)

The CRTC has taken measures to ensure that Canadians receive timely warnings – over their televisions, radios and on their mobile devices connected to an LTE network – of imminent risks to life and property, such as floods, forest fires, tornadoes, industrial disasters and similar events.

The CRTC worked with the Canadian broadcasting industry, and with government stakeholders to develop the National Public Alerting System (NPAS). The CRTC has required the broadcasting industry to relay emergency alert messages to Canadians. The system is also used for Amber Alerts, urgent bulletins about child-abduction cases where it is believed the child’s life is in grave danger.

The CRTC requires cable and satellite companies, radio stations, over-the-air television stations, CBC, video-on-demand services, campus, community-based and Indigenous broadcasters to distribute emergency alert messages.

The CRTC has also required all wireless service providers to distribute emergency alert messages on their long-term evolution (LTE) networks.

Learn more about the NPAS and how you can receive public alerts.

Address complaints about loud television commercials

In response to consumer complaints about loud TV commercials, the CRTC now requires broadcasters and television distributors to follow rules to ensure that television commercials are broadcast at a volume similar to television programs. The CRTC makes sure that broadcasters, cable and satellite companies follow these rules, and has put in place a complaint process that consumers can follow to report any breaches of the rules.

For more information, see Loud TV commercials.

Administer the National Do Not Call List (DNCL)

The CRTC enhances the safety and interests of Canadians by promoting compliance with the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules (UTRs), including those associated with the National DNCL that gives Canadians the choice whether to receive telemarketing calls.

Over the years, we have also established strong partnerships with foreign enforcement agencies to address common issues, share best practices and to take action to ensure that Canadians’ rights are protected.

For more information, see National Do Not Call List.

Enforce Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

The CRTC is committed to reducing the harmful effects of spam and related threats to electronic commerce and is working towards a safer and more secure online marketplace for Canadians.

Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) helps protect Canadians while ensuring that businesses can continue to compete in the global marketplace.

For more information see Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation

Establish and maintain Canada’s Voter Contact Registry (VCR)

The Voter Contact Registry helps protect Canadians from rogue and misleading telephone calls during federal elections, and to ensure that those who contact voters during an election do so transparently.

Certain entities who call Canadians during an election period for any purpose related to an election must register with us within 48 hours of making the first call.

We are responsible for establishing and maintaining the Registry.

For more information see Voter Contact Registry.

Enforce the Wireless Code developed in collaboration with consumers and the communication industry

The CRTC’s Wireless Code protects consumers by making it easier for individuals and small business owners to understand their contracts for cell phones and other mobile devices.

The Code helps consumers understand their rights, and ensures that wireless contracts are presented using clear, easy-to-understand language.

For more information about the Wireless Code, including how to protect yourself, see Information about the Wireless Code.

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