In an unusual development, the CRTC has initiated a proceeding
that may lead to possible re-regulation of the terms and conditions
for the provision of wireless services to consumers. Even
more surprisingly, the proceeding is in part the result of an
application by a wireless service provider that requested that the
Commission step in to regulate some aspects of currently
deregulated wireless services.
In its Notice of Consultation, the
Commission is first seeking comments on whether the conditions for
forbearance have changed sufficiently to warrant CRTC intervention
in the development of a national retail wireless services code.
Since the first licensing of wireless service providers in
the early 90's, the CRTC has been of the view that the
wireless market was sufficiently competitive to protect the
interests of users with respect to almost all aspects of wireless
However, two recent applications have requested that the
Commission regulate some of the terms under which wireless services
are offered by consumers. One application seeking CRTC
intervention was from consumer groups; however the other actually
originated from a wireless
provider, and was supported by other members of the
Faced in recent years with new consumer protection laws in a
number of provinces which directly or indirectly impact wireless
services, such as Québec and Manitoba, some wireless
providers are seeking a single national consumer code that would
provide uniform obligations across Canada.
Comments as to whether it is appropriate for the CRTC to become
involved in the development of such a consumer code are due by 3
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