The area of telecommunications law historically meant the administration and regulation of telecommunications (telegraph and telephone) and broadcasting (radio, television, and cable) under the control of the CRTC and its predecessor agencies. Deregulation brought about immense changes. These include:
The Television Service Provider Code
In 2015 the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced the new Television Service Provider Code a mandatory code of conduct for television service providers (TVSPs). Among other things, the Code requires TVSPs to ensure written agreements and offers are clear. A core function of the Code is to require consumer agreements to strictly comply with:
clarity and language;
key information that must be set out in written agreements and the critical information summary (CIS) that accompanies agreements;
changes to programming options; and
service calls, service outages and disconnections.
It also sets out new rules for trial periods for persons with disabilities, changes to programming options, service calls, service outages and disconnections.
The Code will fully come into effect on 1 September 2017. All licensed TVSPs and TVSPs that are exempt from licensing and that are affiliated with or controlled by a licensed TVSP will be required to adhere to the Code. It will be implemented by way of amendments to the TVSPs’ conditions of licence. All TVSPs are strongly encouraged to meet the standards set out in the Code as soon as possible.
The Wireless Code
In June 2013 the CRTC created the Wireless Code, a mandatory code of conduct for wireless service providers. It establish minimum standards for wireless service providers in the delivery of wireless services. At the request of the CRTC, CCTS administers the Wireless Code. This means that CCTS applies the Code to resolve complaints it receives from wireless customers, and also tracks and reports on violations of the Code.
The Deposit and Disconnection Code
At the request of the CRTC, CCTS administers the Deposit and Disconnection Code. Since it came into effect on May 14, 2012, CCTS has been applying the Code to resolve complaints it receives from wireline customers, and also tracking and reporting on violations of the Code.
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