The CRTC publishes an Internet code for providers
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has published a new Internet Code of conduct. Like the Wireless Code and the Television Code, the new Internet Code is intended to provide more contract clarity for consumers.
The CRTC has specified that the code will apply specifically to Canada’s 10 largest Internet service providers, although it wants all ISPs to abide by these principles. 90% of Canadians households have an Internet service subscription and 87% of those are with one of the following 10 large ISPs : Bell Canada, Rogers Communications, TELUS, Cogeco, SaskTel, Videotron, Eastlink, Shaw Telecom, Xplornet and Northwestel.
ISPs have until Jan 31, 2020 to abide by the code.
Much like the previously established Wireless Code (2013) and the Television Service Providers Code (2017), the Internet code aims mainly to make contracts, policies and pricing easier to understand for consumers.
The CRTC initiated the formation of the new code after noting the increasing number of consumer complaints received against ISPs. The CCTS’s Annual Report of 2017-2018 noted a 56% increase in the number of complaints received against ISPs as against the previous year.
However, despite the rising number of complaints, it was not until end of last year that the CRTC took steps towards implementing an Internet Code, by asking consumers as well as ISPs to submit their comments on a proposed Internet Code. And in February of this year, consumers were once again invited by the CRTC to share the concerns and complaints they had regarding their ISPs.
The current Internet Code is a direct result of these proceedings and consultations. According to Ian Scott, Chairperson of the CRTC, contract clarity and bill shock were amongst the biggest concerns raised by Canadians.
Thus, the current Internet Code will require ISPs to:
- notify users when they reach 75%, 90% and 100% of their data usage limit during their billing cycle;
- provide easier-to-understand contracts, documentation and policies regarding their services and the customer’s contract;
- provide clear information about prices, including for bundles, promotions and time-limited discounts; and
- permit contract cancellation within 45 days, with no early cancellation fees, if the contract differs from the offer.
In short, the #InternetCode will:
✅Ensure you are notified when you approach your data-usage limit;
✅Allow you to cancel a contract within 45 days without cancellation fees if the contract differs from the offer;
— CRTCeng (@CRTCeng) July 31, 2019
Do you welcome this Internet Code? Do you believe this will make a difference to the internet subscription experience of the average Canadian? Is there anything else that you think the code should have covered? Let us know in the comments below!