Technology & Science

CRTC surveys Canadians on broadband internet, telecom services

Online questionnaire is part of ongoing review of basic telecommunications services

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The CRTC is asking Canadians to fill out a short online questionnaire on their use of telecommunications services, especially internet services, and their views on regulation. (Rasulov/Shutterstock)



Do you have an opinion about internet speed and pricing in Canada? Canada's telecom regulator wants to hear it.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission is asking Canadians to  fill out a short online questionnaire on their use of telecommunications services, especially internet services, and their views on its regulation as part of its ongoing review of basic telecommunications services, it said in a news release today.

The review, launched in April 2015, is intended to determine:

  • Which telecommunications services Canadians require to "participate meaningfully in the digital economy."
  • What the CRTC's role should be in ensuring the availability of those basic services.

"As we look to the future of Canada's telecommunications needs, we are interested in hearing the views of Canadians from across the country, and especially those who do not have access to the technology they need in this digital era," said Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman and CEO of the CRTC, in a statement.

Some of the things the CRTC is interested in finding out about Canadians via the survey are:

  • What telecom services do you have and which do you use the most? Do you expect that to change in five years?
  • What kinds of activities do you use the internet for?
  • What kinds of devices do you use to access the internet?
  • How satisfied are you with your service?
  • What factors are limiting your use of the internet?
  • Do you think the government, market forces, or both should be responsible for ensuring a minimum standard for internet service?
  • How similar should telecommunications prices be in urban and rural areas?

'Basic' doesn't include broadband yet

In addition to the survey, the CRTC is inviting people to submit comments online. It has already received 25,000.

You also have the option to request to appear at a public hearing on April 11 in Gatineau, Que.

The CRTC's current definition of basic services doesn't include broadband or high-speed internet, but does include an internet connection "via low-speed data transmission at local rates," along with:

  • Touch-tone phone service.
  • Access to calling features such as emergency services, voicemail, long distance calling and directory assistance and privacy protection features.
  • A printed copy of the local phone book on request.

Its basic telecommunications services policy was established in 1999 and last reviewed in 2011.

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