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DOC-509 New CRTC Chairperson Intensifies Consumer Focus With National Wireless Code

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By Geoff White, Nordicity 
 
An Intensified Consumer Focus for the CRTC
On June 8th, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Jean-Pierre Blais would take the helm of Canada's telecommunications regulator the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for a 5-year term, effective June 18. In his first three months as Chairperson, Mr. Blais quickly intensified the CRTC's focus on consumer protection by creating a Chief Consumer Officer position; setting out a 3-year work plan that emphasizes consumer protection as one of the three key pillars of create, connect and protect; and overseeing a high-profile denial of BCE Inc.'s $3.4B bid to purchase Astral Media Inc. for failing to demonstrate that the deal was in the public interest.
In keeping with this consumer-oriented focus, on October 11, 2012, the CRTC decided to break with the past and intervene in the wireless marketplace by establishing a national code regarding wireless service contracts.
This article sets the stage for what will be another high-profile, high-stakes hearing, and also looks ahead to what promises to be a very interesting year for telecommunications in 2013.
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