Telecom groups launch new opposition to FCC net neutrality rules

An American association representing wireless service providers is asking for the United States federal court to rehear and re-evaluate June’s decision upholding the Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality rules.

In a Friday court filing, CTIA-The Wireless Association asked the U.S. appeals court for a full-bench review of the policy levied by the FCC last year that includes provisions against Internet Service Providers (ISPs) blocking or throttling Internet traffic.

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Community TV decision hurts community TV: CACTUS

The CRTC’s community television framework released in June is another hit to groups, the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) argued, calling the decision the “latest in a series that downgrades services to small communities.”

In a press release, CACTUS said the new funding model outlined in the decision to allow large companies to reallocate their community TV funds in major cities “will slash the budget for community TV to one sixth what it was under” the CRTC’s 2010 policy.  With the new policy, the contribution to community TV falls to less than 0.5 per cent of cable revenues, CACTUS said.

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CRTC opens Wireless Code review

The CRTC will be holding a public hearing as part of its review of the wireless code governing the conduct of service providers, the regulator announced Thursday.

Scheduled to begin Feb. 6, 2017, in Gatineau, Que., the hearing is part of a process that also includes an online discussion forum, which will be open Sept. 13 to 26, the CRTC said in a press release.

The deadline for formal interventions is Sept. 26.

“The Wireless Code has helped Canadians better understand their wireless services and make informed choices,” chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in the release.

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Long-distance payphone notification rules stand

Payphone service providers will have to abide by rules previously set out by the CRTC governing how Canadians who don’t use cash to make calls should be informed about long-distance charges. 

In a decision made Thursday, the commission directed incumbent local exchange carriers to follow safeguards aimed at avoiding bill shock for customers by properly notifying them about rates and associated charges. The decision follows a comment period in March.

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SaskTel connects Estevan to FTTH

Saskatchewan Telecommunications Holding Corp. announced Thursday its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service is now available in some residential areas of the southeastern city of Estevan.

The new connections will give residents the ability to sign up for SaskTel’s InfiNet service, the company said in a press release, which offers download speeds of up to 260 Mbps.

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