CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais On the Wireless Code and Next Plans

Speaking at the three-day Canadian Telecom Summit, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission chairman Jean Pierre Blais has shed light on how the Commission drafted the freshly published Wireless Code and what plans they have to ensure Canadians have a world-class telecom service. His main keyword word was “convergence,” as he invited telcos to think ahead along with the CRTC in a common way, by converging public and private interests.


Sticking with the tried and tested scenario isn’t valid anymore, as change has become the trend. From this perspective, innovation becomes essential to survive in a fast-changing digital world, Blais said.

Today, I want to propose another definition of convergence. One that people in your sector have as great a stake in.

I’m talking about the new convergence of public and private sector interests.

A new convergence that is both client-centric and Canadian-centric.

Dynamic companies recognize that convergence is not just about marrying marketing and technology. Its main value is that it enables businesses to gain insights into the interests and preferences of their customers.

Why do this? Well, because intelligence can help build relationships with customers, which can lead to improved service and, in turn, increased profits. Information can be integrated into an organization’s core business to better anticipate, and respond to, clients’ needs.

He envisions a communication industry fully aware of its social responsibility towards all Canadians: as public and private interests converge, an investment in a telco goes beyond being a private interest. From Blais’ perspective, it also has to serve the interest of the public.

A great example of the public and private interest convergence envisioned by Blais is the industry’s move to voluntarily take action on the growing problem of stolen handsets, by adopting the International Mobile Equipment Identity database.

Before developing the Wireless Code, CRTC examined the terms and conditions of carriers and took into account the complaints registered by the CCTS (Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services), which were up 60% compared to a year ago with a total of 8,000 complaints received, as well as listed to the industry players and consumers.

Blais also sketched the three-year plan CRTC has to ensure Canadians continue to have access to a world-class communication system. The Commmision:

  • plans to overview the wireless services available north of 60;
  • will review the essential services definition, with the goal of making sure the wholesale service regime supports the development of a competitive mobile market in the country;
  • will hold a public hearing to review the minimum level of service that should be provided to Canadians.

The Three-Year Plan aims to keep pace with the interest of Canadians and secure a world-class wireless service for them. As Blais points out, these will contribute to greater trust and confidence between the public and the CRTC.

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