New federal policy aims to reduce tariffs and support consumers

27 May 2022

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Francois-Philippe Champagne, yesterday announced a new proposed policy direction in the telecoms sector which will require the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to put in place new rules to improve competition and support consumers, aimed at achieving lower prices and better services, declaring that: ‘While the progress we have made and witnessed to date on lowering prices is encouraging, more needs to be done. Canadians still pay too much for their internet and cellphone services.’

The new approach sets out to: ‘enhance wholesale internet access and competition; increase mobile wireless competition; improve consumer rights; speed up new infrastructure for universal access; and build better regulations to better support Canadian consumers.’

The statement clarified: ‘the new policy direction would require the CRTC to support a wholesale internet regime that is sustainable, effective and fair, because wholesale broadband is a proven regulatory tool for increasing retail competition in the internet service market. The new direction will directly improve this important tool, strengthen support for competitors and ensure that they continue to have a fair chance at entering markets to offer more options for Canadian consumers. This will be implemented as part of this broader direction to improve telecommunications services and consumer protection.’