Effective January 31, 2020, the CCTS begins administering the new Internet Code, issued by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in July 2019.
In recent years, the CCTS has observed an increase in complaints related to internet services, which it shared with the CRTC. As noted in our most recent Annual Report, internet-related issues have increased by 139.5% over the last five years.
Who is impacted by the Code?
In creating this new Code, the CRTC sought to generate a mandatory code of conduct that would apply to customers of retail fixed Internet access services. The Code applies to the following large internet service providers, as well as their brands and affiliates that provide internet services:
- Bell Canada (including Bell MTS, NorthernTel, and Télébec)
- Shaw Telecom
The Internet Code only applies to residential customers. This means that, while the CCTS can still accept internet-related complaints from small business customers, the provisions of the Code will not be considered during the investigation of the complaint.
What to expect?
Customers can expect several new benefits as a result of the Code’s implementation. For example, Internet service providers will now be required to provide customers with clearer information, notify customers when they are approaching data-usage limits, collaborate with other service providers on the production of sign-language videos (ASL and LSQ) and offer trial periods that will allow customers to take advantage of the competitive market should they not want to continue with their selected plan.
In the future, the CCTS will release an annotated guide to the Code, as it was done with other CRTC-issued codes. This will help customers and service providers better understand how the Code is used and administered by the CCTS when investigating complaints.
The CRTC has announced its intention to create a harmonized code of conduct that will cover wireless, internet, television and home phone services. This will help eliminate redundancy among the codes and make the codes more uniform across the services to which they apply.
*Some Northwestel internet services are subject to rate regulation. Customers may forward their complaint to the CRTC.
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