February 6, 2014 — Ottawa-Gatineau — Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced the launch of an inquiry regarding satellite services used to provide telecommunications services to northern and remote communities in Canada. This inquiry will be led by CRTC Commissioner Candice Molnar and will focus on communities that depend on such technology.
In a decision released last December concerning telecommunications services in certain areas of northern Canada, the CRTC identified a digital divide between communities that receive these services over terrestrial facilities and those that are served solely by satellite. It was also noted that there are other communities in Canada that receive their telecommunications services over satellite facilities.
The CRTC believes that modern telecommunications services are essential tools that Canadians in the North and remote areas need for economic development and to meet the growing demand for digital services such as health care, education and government services.
More information on satellite services used to provide telecommunications services to northern and remote communities in Canada is necessary in order for the CRTC to make informed decisions on the matter. This inquiry will examine the impact they have on the quality of the services and on the costs to service providers to offer telecommunications services to these communities.
Commissioner Molnar is expected to complete her review and report her findings to the Commission by October 2014.
- Satellite services are used by telecommunication service providers to offer telecommunications services (such as voice and Internet) in rural and remote communities that are located beyond the reach of existing terrestrial (fibre cables and microwave links) transport networks.
- Some of the issues that will be considered in this inquiry include: the current and future availability of satellite capacity needed for transport services, pricing of satellite services, and the competitive options available to telecommunications service providers that rely on such technologies to provide telecommunications services to Canadians.
- The inquiry will also consider aspects of the costs, including ancillary equipment such as ground stations, associated with the use of satellite transport services that are available to telecommunications service providers in the North and other remote communities.
- Candice Molnar is the CRTC Regional Commissioner for Saskatchewan and Manitoba and served on the CRTC panel for both the 2011 and 2013 Northwestel proceedings. She was initially appointed to the Commission on January 7, 2008 and reappointed for a 5-year term on December 1, 2011. She has more than 25 years of experience in telecommunications operations and regulatory affairs.”
“This inquiry will help us better understand the state of satellite services used to provide telecommunications services to certain communities and further help achieve an important goal: provide Canadians in remote regions with access to telecommunications services that are comparable to those available in the rest of the country." CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais
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