CRTC Communications Monitoring Report


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1.0 Introduction

Domestic and global competition, as well as consumer demand for communications services, has spurred rapid corporate and technological developments and contributed to the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunications service providers in Canada and abroad. Communications companies have crossed traditional boundaries between broadcasting and telecommunications. The evolving borderless world of communications is a source of innovation and opportunities for carving out a special place for Canadians.

1.1 Purpose of the report

This report provides a window on the broadcasting and telecommunications industries, and is intended to foster an open and better-informed public discussion of broadcasting and telecommunications policies and issues. The Commission invites parties to use this report to enrich their participation in the regulatory process.

The report contains disaggregated data on the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications industries and their markets, as well as international comparisons. It provides a means to assess the impacts of market and technological developments on, among other things, the cultural, social, economic, and policy objectives of the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act (the Acts), and to review the effectiveness of the CRTC’s regulatory frameworks and determinations in achieving those objectives.

The report focuses on the performance indicators and trends presented in last year’s report and, where appropriate, introduces additional indicators that address industry developments, such as the availability of higher-speed wireline and wireless broadband services. These developments contribute to the evolution of a modern and efficient communications network.

1.2 Data collection and outline of the report

Data collection

This report is based on (1) the responses from the broadcasting and telecommunications industries to the CRTC’s annual broadcasting returns and telecommunications data collection forms, issued jointly by Statistics Canada and the CRTC (referred to collectively as “CRTC data collection”); (2) data collected from other sources, including Statistics Canada, Industry Canada, company-specific financial reports, BBM Canada, and BBM Analytics’ MTM reports; and (3) information previously filed with the CRTC. Unless otherwise noted, all broadcasting data in this report are for the 12-month period ending 31 August for the years quoted, whereas all telecommunications data, including Internet service data, are for the 12-month period ending 31 December for the years quoted.

With respect to residential broadband availability data, the Commission entered into a three-year agreement with Industry Canada, which expires in 2012, to co-operate in the collection of data on the availability of broadband Internet access services to Canadians. The Commission is also collaborating with the provincial and territorial governments, as well as other government agencies and departments, in identifying communities that do not have access to broadband services. The resulting data will assist Industry Canada and the provinces and territories in the analysis of the broadband gap between urban and rural. These data collection initiatives minimize the reporting burden on the industry and enhance the quality of the data presented in this report.
The international comparisons and analyses in this report are based on data obtained from reports published by international organizations such as the OECD and reports or data published by national regulatory agencies in other countries.

Specific elements of the monitoring exercise change over time to take into account regulatory or market developments such as new technologies, changes in market structure or in domestic or international regulations and agreements, or the introduction of new or evolving services. These changes help ensure that the CRTC Communications Monitoring Report continues to be a useful tool for all stakeholders, including regulators, customers, and industry players. Certain figures published in previous years’ monitoring reports may be restated to be consistent with the data in this report. Other figures may change as a result of service providers resubmitting previous years’ data. All revised numbers are identified using a number sign (#).

Outline of report

This report is divided into a number of sections and appendices. An overview of the Commission’s regulatory frameworks is provided in Section 2. Section 3 presents the key financial statistics of the communications service industry. That section also addresses the financial landscape of the broadcasting and telecommunications industries by examining key financial indicators, including revenues, capital expenditures, and other operational data. As well, it provides an overview of the industries. The performance of the Canadian broadcasting system is presented in Section 4, encompassing traditional radio, television, and BDU results, and non-traditional new media broadcasting results. Section 5 discusses the major telecommunications market sectors: wireline voice, Internet, data and private line, and wireless. That section also examines the availability of broadband services. Section 6 presents current regulatory developments in other countries and compares Canada’s performance in broadcasting and telecommunications to the performance of those countries.

A description of the data collection methodology and analyses used in this report is provided in Appendix 1. Appendix 2 discusses the CRTC’s classification of the TSPs. The status of local forbearance applications relating to residential and business exchanges is presented in Appendix 3. Appendix 4 lists the assumptions used in the development of price comparisons between telecommunications services in Canada and those in other countries. Appendix 5 provides a description of the telecommunications market sectors. Appendix 6 lists all acronyms and symbols appearing in the report. Appendix 7 and Appendix 8 list the CRTC documents and companies referenced in the report, respectively.

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