CRTC unveils public opinion research report
March 30, 2016 – Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
Since April 2015, more than 25,000 comments have been received for the review of basic telecommunications services and more than 30,000 Canadians have filled out the Let’s Talk Broadband questionnaire.
Today, two weeks before the beginning of the public hearing, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has added a public opinion research report to the public record of its evidence-based proceeding on basic telecommunications services.
EKOS Research Associates conducted two types of public opinion research on telecommunication services in Canada and prepared a report for the CRTC. The first part of the report presents results gathered through a questionnaire that was completed by more than 30,000 Canadians. Between January 14 and February 29, 2016, close to 29,000 individuals completed the questionnaire. EKOS also administered the questionnaire with a separate sample group of over 1,600 Canadians representative of the population as a whole.
The second part of the report presents information gathered through focus groups held in small communities across the country which have limited or no access to broadband Internet services.
Highlights of the report
- Canadians’ online activities have increased dramatically over the past five years. Most have increased by 50 % and some doubled.
- Emailing, reading news online, researching medical information, banking and interacting with government websites are Canadians’ top five online activities.
- More than half of Canadians report using their home Internet connection more frequently than their mobile phone and home phone services. Also, they expect to still be using mostly their home Internet connection five years from now.
- One in five Canadians have limited their use of the Internet in the past 12 months for various reasons.
- Seven in ten Canadians are satisfied with the speed and reliability of their home Internet service.
- Only one in three Canadians are satisfied with the cost of their home Internet service.
- Two in three Canadians believe that prices in rural and remote areas within Canada should compare with prices in urban areas for telecommunications services.
A public hearing related to this review will be held from April 11 to 29, 2016, in the National Capital Region. To give Canadians another chance to comment on these issues, the CRTC will host an online discussion forum throughout the hearing. Canadians will also be able to follow the hearing closely, as it will be streamed on the Cable Public Affairs Channel’s website.
- The CRTC initiated a review of basic telecommunications services in April 2015.
- More than 25 000 comments were received during the first phase of the consultation and more than 30 000 Canadians filled out the questionnaire during the second phase.
- The CRTC is reviewing telecommunications services in order to be in step with Canadians’ current and future needs.
- Currently, basic telecommunications services include:
- individual line local touch-tone service;
- capability to connect to the Internet via low-speed data transmission at local rates;
- access to the long distance network, operator/directory assistance services, enhanced calling features and privacy protection features, emergency services, voice message relay service; and
- a printed copy of the current local telephone directory upon request.
- The CRTC’s current policy was established in 1999 and reviewed in 2011 at which time the CRTC’s broadband Internet target speeds were established.
- The CRTC is holding a public hearing on these issues starting April 11, 2016 in the National Capital Region.
- An online discussion forum will be open during the hearing so Canadians can continue to comment on these important issues.
- The CRTC has not made any decisions regarding possible outcomes of this process.
“Access to basic telecommunications services is crucial for Canadians to actively participate in the digital economy. Since the launch of this consultation, we have been researching and analyzing the vast amount of information submitted. Canadians have risen to the occasion and have been participating in great numbers.”
– Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC
- Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134 – Review of basic telecommunications services
- Let’s Talk Broadband Internet! Web page
- News release: The CRTC wants to talk about broadband Internet with Canadians!
- News release: CRTC initiates review of basic telecommunications services for all Canadians
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