OTTAWA-GATINEAU, December 23, 2010 —The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that new Rules of Practice and Procedure will go into effect on April 1, 2011. The rules are intended to guide public participation in the CRTC’s broadcasting and telecommunications proceedings.
“I’m pleased that we have reached this important milestone in our efforts to adapt to the convergence of the communications industry,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “Our different rules for broadcasting and telecommunications have been harmonized to the extent possible under our legislation and combined into a single document. We also took this opportunity to not only modernize the rules, but also eliminate unnecessary costs and delays for the industry.”
The CRTC holds a variety of public proceedings to gather evidence and hear the views of the communications industry, interested parties and the general public. More than 1,000 documents related to ongoing proceedings are filed with the CRTC during a typical week, a number that can rise to over 10,000 in the case of a highly publicized matter. Submissions may include applications, interventions, procedural requests and responses to questions.
At the moment, broadcasting proceedings are conducted under the CRTC Rules of Procedure, while telecommunications proceedings are carried out under the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure. In developing a set of rules that will apply to both sectors, the Commission purged 29 sections and 13 forms to avoid duplication or because they were no longer necessary.
Starting in April 2011, applications must be submitted to the CRTC electronically using the applicable forms on its website. In addition, certain broadcasting applications, such as a request to modify a television or radio licence, will be published separately on the CRTC’s website for comments instead of by way of a notice of consultation. This will enable the CRTC to process these applications more quickly, and the procedure will mirror the current practice for similar telecommunications applications.
The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
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