CRTC wants to know if Canada's telecom system is 'world class'

The federal telecom regulator wants to assess Canada's telecom system to find out whether it is adequate for the digital economy.

Canadians asked to weigh in on what they need to live in the digital age

Canadians are increasingly relying on telecommunication connections, says the federal telecom regulator, which is reviewing the system to see if it is 'world class.' (CRTC)

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission wants to assess Canada's telecom system to find out whether it is adequate for the digital economy.

The regulator plans to hold public consultations in the fall to ask Canadians what they think about their telecom services, including internet providers, broadband access and wireless.

In an online video, the CRTC says it wants Canada's telecom system to be "world class."

Among the issues it might consider:

  • What services are necessary to participate in the digital economy.
  • What kind of upload and download speeds do we need?
  • Should there be new funding mechanisms for upgrading telecommunications?
  • How should they be regulated?

New emerging uses for the internet, including smart meters to measure municipal utilities and smart homes that require digital access, could put pressure on existing services, the regulator said.

As more government and public services are moving online, including e-health, e-learning, banking and government services, some Canadians risk being left behind, especially those who have limited access to the internet.

Right now, CRTC policies ensures that Canadians in all regions have access to, at a minimum, a low-speed internet connection, the regulator said.

Canadians can send submissions to the CRTC by June 30 and a public hearing will begin on April 11, 2016.

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