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CRTC Take Action, Improves Consumer Complaint Process Against ISP Bandwidth Issues

It looks like the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is getting serious with Canadian telecoms, last week we reported on a warning the government body issued to Rogers (an other telecos) who have been caught throttling bandwidth. Today, the CRTC issued guidelines on how it will deal with complaints about Internet service providers (ISPs) slowing down certain types of traffic. They have made updates to the policy that governs this area, since its last update must be transparent about its use of traffic management practices.

“The policy sets out clear ground rules, which we expect all ISPs to follow,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “The guidelines we issued today will help Canadians understand which practices are permitted and how to make a complaint. We will require ISPs that are not following the rules to take corrective action as quickly as possible.”

As part of the update to the policy, CRTC staff will now all consumer complaints to the ISP in question and request a response. If the ISP fails to respond or bring itself into compliance, the CRTC will take further action to enforce its policy. This can include meeting with the ISP to discuss a complaint in more detail, requesting an on-site inspection or independent third-party audit, or calling the ISP to a public hearing. Any ISP that fails to comply will have its company and the nature of the complaint. In addition, the CRTC will publish, four times a year, a summary of the number and types of complaints it has received, including the number that have been resolved and those that are still under investigation.

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