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The Georgia Straight: CRTC eyes new wireless rules, asks Canadians to help

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced they will hold a public hearing and consultation to create measures that will protect cell phone users. We're making headway in fixing our broken telecom market thanks to your support of our campaign and our crowdsourced Action Plan. Read more on these developments in our Press Release, send your comments to the CRTC via email, regular mail or fax and stay tuned for more information on how you can make your voice be heard. Article by Stephen Thomson for The Georgia Straight OpenMedia, a Vancouver-based open-Internet advocacy group, is pleased the CRTC is developing a retail code intended to protect users of mobile wireless services. The CRTC said Canadians have complained about the cost of such services, how clear contracts are, how prices are advertised, and customer service quality.

The federal regulator has determined a mandatory code is needed to better protect users of cellphones and other mobile devices and help them make informed decisions.

The CRTC said the code will detail the rights of consumers and the responsibilities of service providers.

“The Commission shares the view that market forces alone cannot be relied upon to ensure that consumers have the information they need to participate effectively in the competitive mobile wireless market,” the CRTC said in a written decision today (October 11).

OpenMedia spokesperson Lindsey Pinto welcomed the move.

“Right now there are three companies that control about 94 percent of Canada’s cellphone market and there are very few protections that are extended to users and that basically ensure that citizens aren’t being price-gouged, are not being stuck in contracts that are unfair,” Pinto told the Straight by phone.

The CRTC is now accepting comments from the public until November 20 on how the code should be developed. The commission is looking for input on who the code should apply to, how it should be enforced, and how its effectiveness should be assessed.

“We’re in favour of this code. We are excited to be involved in the process of developing it,” Pinto said. “We’re glad that the CRTC is involving citizens and we would encourage the CRTC, as this process unfolds, to be sure to keep citizen interests, the public interest, at the forefront of their priorities.” Read more »

Read more at The Georgia Straight

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