Communications Monitoring Report 2016: Introduction

1.0 Introduction

i) Purpose of the Communications Monitoring Report

Over the last few decades, communications technology has undergone radical transformations. Canadians now have real-time access to a world of information and entertainment across a multitude of platforms. They rely on their communications system to create meaningful content, contribute to Canada’s economy and democracy, and connect with their friends, families and communities. As Canadians adapt to technological change, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will continue to supervise and regulate in a responsible, measured, and intelligent way in the public interest.

The Commission’s Communications Monitoring Report is a tool for analyzing the evolving state of Canada’s communication system. It is designed to support evidence-based policy development, decision making, and open public discussion of broadcasting and telecommunications regulatory policies and issues. The Commission invites parties to use the data in this report to enrich their participation in its regulatory and policy activities.

ii) Scope and structure of this year’s report

The 2016 Communications Monitoring Report captures a wide range of information on financial performance, industry characteristics, Canadian programming expenditures, service prices and availability across Canada, and many other communications-related subjects.

Building on recent efforts to provide a concise overview, Section 2.0 highlights key trends and information directly relevant to Canadians as citizens, consumers, and creators. This section provides a general summary of those key trends and of market performance and competition, pricing, and access across all services. Subsequent sections offer more granular sector-level information.

Section 3.0 surveys Canada’s communications industry as a whole, focusing on such characteristics as market participants and the number of firms operating across the Canadian communications industry. The remaining sections provide information on specific markets, offering an in-depth view for those seeking granular data. For example, Sections 4.0 through 4.3 are dedicated to radio, television and broadcasting distribution markets, featuring a range of data on audience measurement, programming contributions and expenditures, and service availability. Sections 5.0 through 5.6 pertains to Canada’s telecommunications sector and addresses retail and wholesale Internet, wireline telephone (i.e., landlines), wireless, and data and private line services.

iii) Changes to the 2016 report

The CRTC seeks to enhance the relevance of the report to take into account emerging technologies, consumption patterns and business models in addition to shedding more light on existing services. Additions and changes for the 2016 Communications Monitoring Report include the following:

These changes will provide Canadians with improved indicators and trends to further enhance their understanding of the communications sector.

1.1 The CRTC

i) Who we are and what we do

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is an administrative tribunal within the Government of Canada that is responsible for regulating and supervising Canada’s communication system in the public interest.

The CRTC operates under a number of legislative authorities and Acts of Parliament. These include the following: the CRTC Act, the Bell Canada Act, the Broadcasting Act, the Telecommunications Act, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and the Canada Elections Act, which includes provisions that established the Voter Contact Registry.

At the heart of our mandate is the duty to serve the public interest by putting Canadians at the centre of the communications system. To this end, our role encompasses consulting Canadians on communications issues of importance to them, dealing with the many applications we receive by making decisions and rules, responding to enquiries and complaints, as well as reporting to Canadians on the progress and outcomes of our work. The CRTC promotes and enforces compliance with its regulatory policies and decisions. It encourages and facilitates industry co-regulation and self-regulation through consultations, committees and working groups with various industry stakeholders. The CRTC also plays a key role in resolving industry disputes. Finally, in the current dynamic and evolving communications environment, the CRTC collaborates with various domestic and international stakeholders to leverage capacity and intelligence on a host of interrelated policy issues and questions.

For more information on the CRTC’s mandate, mission, and activities please consult the CRTC’s three-year plan at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/backgrnd/plan2016/plan2016.htm.

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