OpenMedia.ca pleased with CRTC plans to protect Canadian cell phone users

Grassroots group lauds announcement of public consultation for national rules for wireless

October 11, 2012 – The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced today they will hold a public hearing to develop measures to protect cell phone users.

Grassroots group OpenMedia.ca is welcomes this consultation, noting that with only three large companies controlling 94 percent of the cell phone market in Canada, there simply isn’t enough choice to ensure Canadians are getting a fair deal.

Through a form on the OpenMedia.ca website, Canadians have been asking the CRTC to put the public interest first in the development of these protections – to build on the proposed Ontario rules, as well as the protections in Manitoba and Quebec.

“From price-gouging to tight contracts, Canadians have been targeted by unfair practices for a long time,” says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “We already pay some of the highest cell phone fees and are forced into some of the most punitive, long-term contracts in the industrialized world. We’re pleased the CRTC has plans to protect Canadians.”

Anderson also warns Canadians to be cautious: “We at OpenMedia.ca will be scrutinizing the results of the proceeding; we don’t want to enter into a situation where strong provincial rules (in places like Manitoba and Quebec) are superceded by weaker national rules.”

The CRTC will be accepting comments from today until November 20th, 2012, and the public hearing will begin January 28, 2013.

OpenMedia.ca encourages all Canadians to participate in the proceeding.

About OpenMedia.ca

OpenMedia.ca is a grassroots organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open and affordable Internet. The group works towards informed and participatory digital policy.

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Contact

Lindsey Pinto
Communications Manager, OpenMedia.ca
1-778-238-7710
lindsey@openmedia.ca

Background

The CRTC has asked for comments on the following:

  1. The content of the Wireless Code
  2. To whom the Wireless Code should apply
  3. How the Wireless Code should be enforced and promoted
  4. How the Wireless Code’s effectiveness should be assessed and reviewed

They are of the “preliminary view that the Wireless Code should address (1) clarity of contract terms and conditions, (2) changes to contract terms and conditions, (3) contract cancellation, expiration and renewal, (4) clarity of advertised prices, (5) application of the code to bundles of telecommunications services, (6) notification of additional fees, (7) privacy policies, (8) hardware warranties and related issues, (9) loss or theft of hardware, (10) security deposits, and (11) disconnections”.

CRTC documents

Topics: Cell Phones

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