CRTC raises ques­tions about fu­ture In­ter­net ser­vices as ‘dark cloud’ looms

Asian Journal - - Nation - By Terry Pedwell, The Cana­dian Press

Ottawa: A “dark cloud of un­cer­tainty’’ hangs over pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions launched Thurs­day on whether Cana­di­ans are get­ting the In­ter­net ser­vices they need and want, says an ad­vo­cate for bet­ter on­line ac­cess. The lat­est in a se­ries of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions con­sul­ta­tions by the Cana­dian Ra­dio-tele­vi­sion and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion asks con­sumers what tele­com ser­vices they con­sider nec­es­sary, what they rely on most and whether the cost of those ser­vices should be the same ev­ery­where. A sur­vey in­cor­po­rated as part of the con­sul­ta­tions also asks whose re­spon­si­bil­ity it should be to en­sure a min­i­mum stan­dard of In­ter­net ser­vice, par­tic­u­larly in ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas, mar­ket forces, govern­ment, the CRTC or a com­bi­na­tion of the three. The con­sul­ta­tions are tak­ing place while a ma­jor In­ter­net ser­vice provider, Bell Canada, is ap­peal­ing a 2015 CRTC rul­ing that would force the tele­com gi­ant to share its high-speed in­fra­struc­ture with other car­ri­ers on a whole­sale ba­sis. Bell’s ap­peal to Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s cab­i­net is cast­ing a shadow over the out­come of pub­lic hear­ings set for April that will wrap up the con­sul­ta­tion process, says Josh Tabish of OpenMe­dia. ``It’s tricky to make ar­gu­ments about the types of ser­vices Cana­di­ans have and will have avail­able to them while Bell is try­ing to re­strict the range of ser­vices that will be made avail­able and re­shape the mar­ket­place in their favour as this con­sul­ta­tion is go­ing on,’’ Tabish said. ``Bell’s ap­peal has placed a kind of dark cloud of un­cer­tainty over the hear­ing that makes it much more dif­fi­cult for the com­mis­sion to de­cide what op­tions will and won’t be avail­able to Cana­di­ans.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.