How to Make a Complaint about your Internet Service

Internet service providers compete to have you as a customer. When businesses compete, the CRTC does not intervene in the retail rates that are charged to customers. The CRTC is also not directly involved in their billing and marketing practices, quality of service issues, and customer relations. We encourage you to contact your provider to resolve your specific concerns. You may also contact the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS). The CCTS is an independent agency mandated to help resolve eligible consumer and small business complaints relating to certain retail telecommunications services.

You can submit your complaint directly to the CCTS by clicking on the following link: https://ccts-cprst.ca/complaints/complaint-form

You can also contact the CCTS using the following methods:

  • Online: http://www.ccts-cprst.ca
  • By email: response@ccts-cprst.ca
  • By telephone: Call, toll free, 1-888-221-1687
  • By fax: 1-877-782-2924
  • By mail: CCTS, P.O. Box 56067 - Minto Place RO, Ottawa, Ontario K1R 7Z1
  • by toll-free TTY: 1-877-782-2384

Two Notable exceptions where the CRTC will pursue your concerns directly with your Internet service provider

1) Northwestel Retail Internet Rates

Northwestel provides internet services to a small population that is dispersed across a large territory. In 2013, the CRTC found that there was limited competition for certain residential and business Internet services offered by Northwestel in the north. The CRTC decided that it would regulate, on an exceptional basis, Northwestel’s rates for these services. If you have specific questions or concerns about your Northwestel internet service we encourage you to contact Northwestel. If you remain unsatisfied you may write to the CRTC:

  • on-line form: Ask a question or make a complaint
  • mail: Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
  • fax: 819-994-0218
  • toll free telephone: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
  • toll free TTY: 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)

2) Internet Traffic Management Practices

Internet traffic has grown considerably in recent years and in response to the impact of this growth, some internet service providers have implemented internet traffic management practices (ITMPs) to manage the flow of traffic on their networks. The CRTC oversees how internet service providers use 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 limit. These are legitimate business practices, provided the internet service provider is transparent about its use of ITMPs, and its customers are aware as to how their traffic will be managed.

Your Internet service provider must disclose to you:

  • Information about pricing, including any pricing that links Internet service rates to how much you use the Internet
  • Information about whether technical traffic management practices are being used and, if they are, the effect they have on your Internet service

  • Why the Internet traffic management practice is being used
  • Who is affected by the practice
  • When it will apply the practice
  • The type of Internet traffic—for example, peer-to-peer file sharing—subject to the practice
  • How the traffic management practice will affect your Internet experience, including the specific effect on the speed of your Internet connection

At least 30 days before introducing a new traffic management practice or revising an existing one, your service provider must display information about the change on its website. This is not required if the change makes the practice less restrictive. All ISP website disclosures must be accessible to persons with disabilities.

Prohibited traffic management practices

Unless your service provider has received prior approval from the CRTC, it may not use traffic management practices that do any of the following:

  • Block the delivery of content to you
  • Noticeably degrade time-sensitive Internet traffic
  • Slow non-time-sensitive traffic to the extent that it amounts to blocking the content

If you believe that you service provider’s traffic management practices are not compliant with the CRTC policies, we encourage you to contact your provider. If you remain unsatisfied you may write to the CRTC. Please indicate which ITMP your feel has been breached; when the problem occurred and if it is recurring; which software program, or application, has been affected and how; and the steps you have taken to try to resolve the issue, including your provider’s response:

  • on-line form: Ask a question or make a complaint
  • mail: Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
  • fax: 819-994-0218
  • toll free telephone: 1-877-249-CRTC (2782)
  • toll free TTY: 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)

All findings of non-compliance are published on our website with the service provider’s name and the nature of the complaint. Every three months, the Commission publishes a summary of the number and types of complaints it has received on its website, including the number of active and resolved complaints: Status Report – Complaints Related to Internet Traffic Management Practices (ITMPs)

Concerns that are not ITMP violations, but rather concerns about quality of service issues (including slow internet speeds that do not amount to blocked delivery), marketing practices, and customer relations should be directed to the CCTS as indicated above.

Related information

Internet Traffic Management Practices

Status Report – Complaints Related to Internet Traffic Management Practices (ITMPs)