CRTC Dogged By Questions of Relevance

It was 1995, and consumers seemed ready to crown Canada’s broadcasting regulator as the most hated agency in the country.

Cable companies had rolled out new Canadian-owned specialty channels along with arbitrary price increases. They blamed their move on regulations from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which stipulated companies had to offer one Canadian specialty service for every U.S. service in a package. The CRTC, they said, had tied their hands.

Consumers were unimpressed, to say the least, and the industry as well as the CRTC suffered the public’s wrath. The regulator was pegged as an outdated agency hostile to the public interest. Critics also said new technologies were rendering the commission increasingly irrelevant.

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