Virtually all Canadians, whether they live in urban centers or rural and remote areas, benefit from access to the Internet.
Recognizing that Internet service is increasingly important for communication, the Commission has established universal Internet performance target speeds of 5 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. These speeds should be available to all Canadians by the end of 2015.
To help meet these speed targets, the Commission is collaborating with service providers and other partners to measure the performance of the Internet access services Canadians receive. See Broadband Performance Measurement.
A retail customer is the end user who purchases access to the Internet. The CRTC does not intervene in how the retail customer is billed, the rates, quality of service issues, or business practices of Internet service providers as they relate to retail customers. This is because there is enough competition in the market and retail customers have a choice and can shop around for service packages.
A wholesale customer is an Internet service provider who must use part of the large telephone and cable companies' networks in order to offer Internet and other services to its own retail customers. The CRTC regulates how the wholesale customer is billed, rates and quality of service issues for wholesale services. This, in turn, ensures that Canadians have access to a range of Internet service providers.
Internet traffic has grown considerably in recent years. In response to the impact of this growth on their networks, some Internet service providers have implemented technical and/or economic Internet traffic management practices (ITMPs).
Technical practices include measures to slow a user's traffic, to prioritize traffic, or to detect heavy users in order to limit their bandwidth. Economic practices involve charging more for users whose Internet use exceeds a predefined threshold.
The CRTC has established a policy framework to evaluate whether existing and future traffic management practices applied to both retail and wholesale Internet services comply with the Telecommunications Act.
Before you submit a complaint to the CRTC about an Internet traffic management practice, you should first contact your Internet service provider to see if it can resolve the issue.
If your service provider doesn't address your complaint to your satisfaction, and you believe that your service provider's traffic management practices are not compliant with the CRTC's policies, you can submit a complaint to the CRTC. Before doing this, make sure that you know your rights and Information you should include in your ITMP complaint to the CRTC.
All findings of non-compliance will be published on our with the service provider's name and the nature of the complaint. Every three months, the Commission will publish a summary of the number and types of complaints it has received on its website, including the number of active and resolved complaints.
If you have a complaint about your Internet service, contact your service provider directly.
If you're not satisfied with your Internet service provider's response, you may contact the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS).The CCTS is an independent agency that helps resolve consumer complaints about your telecommunications service. Contact them at:
The CRTC does not intervene on content on the Internet. For content generated in Canada, there are Canadian laws, industry developed guidelines and content filtering software to deal with content that may be offensive. You can look at your Internet service provider's "Acceptable Use Policy" or the Canadian Association of Internet Providers "Code of Conduct" for more information about their respective standards. You can contact either your Internet service provider or your local police department to report illegal content.
The Government of Canada has set up a national tip line for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children. It also provides other resources to help Canadians keep their children safe while on the Internet. Visit www.cybertip.ca or call toll-free at 1-866-658-9022.
In Canada, services that broadcast over the Internet or using other mobile devices don't need a license from the CRTC. You can read about the CRTC's position in Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-329.
The rules that apply to these types of services are set out in the Exemption order for digital media broadcasting undertakings.
If you're concerned about illegal activities by Internet service providers, contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities – either a high-tech crime unit or your local police. Illegal activities fall under the Criminal Code of Canada or other federal statutes.