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Canada Directs Regulator To Improve Telecom Competition

 |  February 15, 2023

This week the Canadian government providing its communication regulator new guidelines for regulating telecommunications companies.

This is the first update in a few years, the previous guidelines issued in 2006 instructed the CRTC to “rely on market forces to the maximum extent feasible.” Guidelines expected this week place a greater emphasis on regulation.

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“That didn’t work, and that’s gone now, thank goodness,” said John Lawford, executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa.

The new guidelines look to make it easier for smaller telecom companies to enter the market and compete with bigger rivals. This includes cell phone companies that buy access to the national providers’ networks and then sell cheaper service to customers.

The CRTC will use the directive to determine how it should be regulating the telecom sector going forward.

That could include consumer-protection measures such as mandatory rebates, service standards or more proactive investment in networks.