In July 2019 the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) created the Internet Code, a mandatory code of conduct that applies to large Internet service providers (including all of their brands and affiliates that provide Internet services) and to all retail fixed Internet access services (including, cable, fibre, DSL, fixed wireless, and satellite services). Mobile wireless Internet services, such as those provided through turbo hubs and data sticks, are covered by the Wireless Code.
At the request of the CRTC, the CCTS administers the Internet Code. This means that the CCTS applies the Code to resolve complaints it receives from internet customers, and also tracks and reports on violations of the Code.
The Internet Code applies to the following internet service providers:
- Bell Canada (including Bell MTS, NorthernTel and Télébec)
- Shaw Telecom
The Internet Code applies to individual customers only. The Code does not apply to small business customers, but they can still file complaints with the CCTS if they have billing, contract, service delivery or credit management disputes with their internet service providers.
As explained in the CRTC’s detailed regulatory policy, the goal of the Internet Code is to make it easier for individual customers to understand their Internet service contracts, to prevent bill shock from overage fees and price increases, and to make it easier for Canadians to switch Internet service providers.
The Internet Code helps customers by requiring internet services providers to:
- Provide customers with clearer information about prices, service bundles, promotions and time-limited discounts
- Notify customers when they approach their data-usage limits and include the price of the internet plan in the agreement as a key contract term, which may not change during the commitment period, to reduce bill shock
- Collaborate other service providers on the production of sign-language videos (ASL and LSQ)
- Offer trial periods that will make it easier to switch providers and take advantage of competitive offers
*Some Northwestel internet services are subject to rate regulation. Customers may forward their complaint to the CRTC.