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ISED releases new telecom policy framework

New policy directive to the CRTC promises improvements in innovation, competition and affordability for Canadian telecom. - May 26, 2022

OAKVILLE - May 26th, 2022: SkyChoice Communications is pleased to learn that improvements in innovation, competition and affordability for telecom services in Canada could be coming soon as the federal government today released a new telecom policy directive for the CRTC.

However, SkyChoice is disappointed that as a result of this announcement, the CRTC has rejected appeals to reinstate its 2019 decision for reduced wholesale access rates which would have immediately lowered internet rates for all Canadians. This means that in the short term, Canada will continue to pay some of the highest telecom prices in the world. As well, independent ISPs who have struggled with high costs, especially with increased usage during the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue to suffer.

The new Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) policy directive is essentially a road map to provide guidance to the CRTC on the Government’s objectives pertaining to Canadian telecommunications. The new policy should have a positive impact in the long term by replacing two previous directives which had conflicting objectives, but critics argue that improvements may take too much time to implement. This is especially an issue with certain independent ISPs who had prematurely reduced their prices anticipating reduced rates which never took place. In fact Bell recently bought out EBOX which was Quebec’s largest independent telecom provider.

A summary of the proposed policy is as follows:

Enhance wholesale Internet access and competition for more affordable Internet

It will achieve this by:
* requiring large companies to continue to give access to competitors at regulated rates so they can offer better prices and more choices to Canadians. The CRTC must take action to have more timely and improved wholesale rates available.
* directing the CRTC not to phase out the existing model for wholesale access by third-party competitors and instead preserve and strengthen it in conjunction with the introduction of a new access model that it is planning to introduce.
* directing the CRTC to ensure that wholesale Internet access is available evenly across the market, including on fibre-to-the-home networks.
* requiring large companies to make the speeds that Canadians are demanding available to competitors.

Increase mobile wireless competition for more affordable cellphone plans

It will achieve this by:
* directing the CRTC to improve its hybrid mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model as necessary. The government is prepared to move to a full MVNO model, if needed, to support competition in the sector.

Improve consumer rights so Canadians can make better-informed choices

It will achieve this by:
* requiring new measures to address unacceptable sales practices and improve transparency and clarity of service pricing, making it easier and more affordable for consumers to change or cancel services.
* requiring service providers to implement mandatory broadband testing so Canadians will know that the service they’re getting is what they’re paying for.
* directing the CRTC to improve accessibility of telecommunications services for Canadians with disabilities.
* directing the CRTC to strengthen the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS), including by giving consumers and non-industry representatives a more prominent voice in its governance.
* raising public awareness of the CCTS and its powers to resolve disputes for consumers.

Speed up service deployment and universal access

It will achieve this by:
* directing the CRTC to improve access to telephone poles and similar infrastructure so service providers can deploy new services more quickly.
* directing the CRTC to continue implementing and adjusting its Broadband Fund to meet connectivity needs across the country in coordination with other programs.

Build better regulations

It will achieve this by:
* directing the CRTC to use the tools available to gather the necessary information to make sound decisions while being more proactive in strategic planning and market monitoring.
* directing the CRTC to ensure that its regulations are efficient and proportionate to their purpose, balancing economic regulation with competition and investment considerations.
* combining these measures with enhanced CRTC resources to improve decision timeliness.

The proposed directive is now in the process of being reviewed and members of the public are invited to submit their comments and feedback to ISED via email up until July 19th, 2022 at

About SkyChoice Communications
Since 2013, SkyChoice has been offering innovative and value added television, home phone and high speed Internet services across Canada. In addition to DSL and Cable, SkyChoice also offers Internet service direct to the home or business via its own WiFibe wireless fiber network which continues to expand on a regular basis. For more information, please visit:

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