CRTC moves to es­tab­lish in­ter­net code of con­duct

Montreal Gazette - - FP MONTREAL - EMILY JACK­SON

Canada’s telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions reg­u­la­tor may slap more rules on large in­ter­net ser­vice providers in the face of ris­ing com­plaints about their ser­vices.

On Fri­day, the Cana­dian Ra­dio-tele­vi­sion and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion launched a pro­ceed­ing to es­tab­lish a manda­tory code of con­duct for in­ter­net ser­vice providers in or­der to ad­dress prob­lems of con­tract clar­ity, bill shock and bar­ri­ers to switch­ing ser­vice providers.

Codes for wire­less and tele­vi­sion ser­vices were in­tro­duced in 2013 and 2017, re­spec­tively.

The tim­ing of a call sur­prised the in­dus­try.

The CRTC just wrapped up a govern­ment-man­dated pub­lic in­quiry into whether tele­com providers use ag­gres­sive or mis­lead­ing sales prac­tices.

At the Oc­to­ber hear­ing, an in­ter­net code was dis­cussed as a po­ten­tial so­lu­tion.

Many com­plaints stemmed from the point of sale, where clients re­ported a mis­match be­tween what they thought they agreed to buy and the ac­tual price or ser­vice they re­ceived.

De­spite the over­lap be­tween the two files, the CRTC said the two pro­ceed­ings are dis­tinct.

It called for pub­lic com­ments on whether an in­ter­net code is needed, what should be in it and how it will be im­ple­mented, ad­min­is­tered and en­forced.

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