DAILY NEWS Jul 15, 2023 8:09 AM - 0 comments

All Canadians Should Have Fast, Affordable Internet Access -- PIAC

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    The Public Interest Advocacy Centre today filed arguments in the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s “Review of basic telecommunications” hearing arguing all Canadians, no matter where they live, have a right to broadband internet today and much faster broadband by 2023, and that low-income Canadians should be financially supported with a subsidy to help them afford any basic telecommunications service.

    “The CRTC has an important opportunity to make sure all Canadians, regardless of where they live and what their socio-economic status, can have access to the same standard of internet and telephone service that most Canadians already have”, said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC.

    The proposals were filed as part of a submission to the CRTC in its broad review of basic telecommunications services in Canada, including whether broadband (i.e., high speed internet access) should be considered “basic telecommunications services” and therefore available to all Canadians, and whether funding support (i.e., subsidies) are necessary to make sure all Canadians have access to basic telecom services.

    “There should be no question that broadband, like home telephone service, is a ‘basic’ telecommunications service that all Canadians should have access to so that they are able to participate in Canadian society and the digital economy,” said Geoff White, Counsel to the coalition.

    PIAC filed its proposals as part of a coalition with other organizations, named the Affordable Access Coalition. The other organizations are:

    *The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Canada

    *The Consumers’ Association of Canada;

    *The Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of British Columbia;

    *The National Pensioners Federation.

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