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Canada rules on downstream resellers

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued a regulatory policy imposing new direct regulatory obligations on telecoms service providers (TSPs) in Canada, notes the Canadian Tech Law blog. “Historically, the CRTC’s direct regulatory powers have applied to carriers who are the owners (or operators) of the physical telecoms infrastructure in Canada. The CRTC’s authority over non-carrier TSPs, which do not own that infrastructure was, until recently, more tenuous. In the absence of a direct statutory authority to impose conditions on non-carrier TSPs, the CRTC instead required Canadian carriers to impose certain requirements (such as the obligation to register with the CRTC and to comply with various consumer safeguards) on their TSP customers through their tariffs and service contracts.” In 2014, as part of the federal budget omnibus bill, the Telecommunications Act was amended to give the CRTC express authority to impose conditions directly on TSPs. Contraventions can be subject to substantial penalties.

Now the telecom regulatory policy (CRTC 2017-11) directs all TSPs to register with the CRTC, abide by regulatory obligations, and include flow-down obligations in their service contracts, requiring any downstream resellers to register with the CRTC before receiving telecoms services. “The first two are not substantially new obligations. However, the shift of responsibility for policing downstream compliance is new. TSPs are now expected both to impose downstream compliance obligations in their service contracts and to ‘actively monitor and enforce’ these obligations. As a consequence, TSPs could, in principle, face regulatory consequences for non-compliant behaviour by their downstream customers. See more and the policy here.

  • Friday, 17 March 2017

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