Canada's telecom commission asks consumers to list essential communications services

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has asked the country's consumers and business owners to tell it what services they need to be a part of the growing digital world.

The regulator wants to know which services Canadians rely on most to communicate, if they think prices should be the same in urban and non-urban areas, and what upload and download speeds would meet their needs.

The CRTC will accept comments until Feb. 8.

In April, the CRTC began reviewing the country's telecom services, including Internet services, in the first phase of its effort to determine what areas of the country are not being served.

For the second phase of the initiative, the CRTC is asking for additional information, and plans to use a mix of online and traditional methods to entice consumers to participate.

Another big part of the CRTC's efforts looks at broadband speed performance.

By gathering data from the homes of 4,500 citizens across Canada in a study it began in November, CRTC hopes to find a way to help improve its broadband policymaking by gaining a better understanding of network performance. The broadband study is the first national, independent report on just how well -- or how poorly -- high-speed networks are performing.

For more:
- see the release

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