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Importance of Canadian Telecommunications Act

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Table of contents

  1. History Of It (revisions/prior documents)
  2. Why is it Important
    What Does it Regulate
    Who (branches of government) Might Use It

The Telecommunications Act governs telecommunications in Canada. It defines the broad objectives of Canada’s telecommunications policy and provides the Government of Canada with the power to give general direction to the CRTC on any of its policy objectives.

History Of It (revisions/prior documents)

The Canadian Telecommunications Act is administered by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) which reports to Industry Canada. It replaced the Railway Act of 1906, which governed telecommunication prior to 1993, making it the first full legislative scheme addressing telecommunications.

Why is it Important

The Telecommunications Act of 1993 is an Act of the Parliament of Canada that regulates telecommunications by ensuring reliable services, protecting privacy, and to protect and encourage the Canadian media.

It is hereby affirmed that telecommunications perform an essential role in the maintenance of Canada’s identity and sovereignty and that the Canadian telecommunications policy has as its objectives

  • to facilitate the orderly development throughout Canada of a telecommunications system that serves to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the social and economic fabric of Canada and its regions;
  • to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada;
  • to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness, at the national and international levels, of Canadian telecommunications;
  • to promote the ownership and control of Canadian carriers by Canadians;
  • to promote the use of Canadian transmission facilities for telecommunications within Canada and between Canada and points outside Canada;
  • to foster increased reliance on market forces for the provision of telecommunications services and to ensure that regulation, where required, is efficient and effective;
  • to stimulate research and development in Canada in the field of telecommunications and to encourage innovation in the provision of telecommunications services;
  • to respond to the economic and social requirements of users of telecommunications services; and
  • to contribute to the protection of the privacy of persons.

What Does it Regulate

The Telecommunications Act regulates by ensuring reliable services, to protect and encourage the Canadian media, protecting privacy.

Who (branches of government) Might Use It

Canada’s telecommunications history reveals a mix of private and public sector investment in regionally-based service providers. Canada did not have a single, publicly owned telecommunications carrier as was the case in Australia. Liberalisation of the telecommunications marketplace encouraged the development of competing infrastructures, with cable companies (traditionally focused on broadcasting distribution) and telephone companies now both providing wireline and wireless, voice, Internet and television services. Competition for wireline services remains regionally based, while wireless providers compete nationally.

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