Requirement to Participate in the CCTS
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requires all companies that provide local telephone, long distance, internet and wireless services to Canadian consumers or small businesses to participate in the CCTS. If they do not currently participate, they must do so after being notified by the CCTS that we have received an in-mandate complaint from one of their customers. The CRTC also requires participation in the CCTS by licensed TV service providers and their affiliates, effective September 1, 2017.
When we receive a complaint from a customer of a telecom service provider that does not yet participate in the CCTS, we contact the company to inform it of its obligation to join the CCTS. We also inform the company about the consequences of not joining the CCTS, including referring the matter to the CRTC for enforcement action and publicizing the name of the provider.
Despite the regulatory obligation to do so, the following providers have failed to join the CCTS, currently leaving their customers with no recourse for the independent review of complaints.
The following companies were referred to the CRTC for enforcement action:
- Net2Web Inc.
- The CRTC has issued Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2021-338, a show cause proceeding for failing to join CCTS against Net2Web
- 9319-4082 Québec Inc. (Haute-Vitesse.com)
- 8064555 Canada Corp. (Northern Rural Net)
- VOIS Inc.
- On April 27, 2017, the CRTC issued Telecom Order CRTC 2017-115, ordering VOIS Inc. to rejoin the CCTS after its expulsion in 2016 for defaulting on its contractual commitments as a Participating Service Provider. The CRTC also imposed a $15,000 penalty on VOIS Inc. for failing to join the CCTS.
- On August 9, 2018, the CRTC issued Telecom Decision CRTC 2018-279, which imposed an additional $25,000 penalty VOIS Inc. and a $5,000 penalty on Harpreet Randhawa, the director of VOIS Inc., for failing to provide required information.
- On September 3, 2021 the CCTS referred VOIS Inc. to the CRTC for failing to join after the CCTS received a new complaint against VOIS Inc., which was believed to have ceased operating.
The CRTC has issued Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-363, a show cause proceeding for failing to join CCTS against the following service providers:
- MySignal.ca Solutions Inc.
- On May 20, 2021, the CRTC issued Telecom Decision CRTC 2021-179 and Telecom Order CRTC 2021-180, ordering MySignal.ca to join the CCTS within 60 days of the order. The CRTC also imposed a $15,000 penalty to William Robert John McQuaid (MySignal.ca) for failing to join the CCTS, as is required.
- On August 4, 2021, the CCTS issued a Press Release confirming that MySignal failed to join the CCTS within 60 days of the mandatory order from the CRTC and advised the CRTC that MySignal failed to join the CCTS.
Participating Service Provider Obligations
The CRTC requires all Participating Service Providers (PSPs) to comply with the obligations imposed on them due to their participation in the CCTS and the CCTS Participation Agreement. The obligations that PSPs must comply with include:
- Complying with the CCTS Procedural Code, which contains rules for the CCTS’ complaint-handling process;
- Carrying out the CCTS Public Awareness Plan; and
- Disclosing financial information and paying CCTS fees.
The CCTS actively monitors compliance with these requirements. When we determine that a PSP is non-compliant, we provide feedback on the non-compliance issues and engage with the PSP to bring them into compliance. If the PSP continues to be non-compliant, we inform the PSP about the consequences of non-compliance with the CCTS participation requirements. The CCTS has a range of enforcement tools that include publicly naming the PSP and ultimately the authority to expel them. Expulsion triggers a referral to the PSP to the CRTC for further action, because it is a regulatory requirement for these service providers to participate in the CCTS.
Despite the regulatory obligation to do so, the following service providers are not compliant with its participation obligations. They were expelled from the CCTS and have been referred to the CRTC for enforcement action:
- SkyChoice Communications Inc., for failure to implement a binding Recommendation, for failure to cooperate with the CCTS, failure to provide required financial information and failure to pay CCTS invoices. The service provider was expelled from the CCTS on April 29, 2021, and referred to the Commission on June 21, 2021.
- On July 22, 2021, the CCTS issued a Press Release announcing the participation of service provider SkyChoice Communications Inc. had been terminated for failing to comply with a number of mandatory elements of participation in the CCTS.