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FRPC sets out concerns about quality of evidence purporting to justify increase in price charged for cable and satellite “basic service”

In January 2022 four of Canada’s major distributors of programming services – Bell Canada, Bragg (aka Eastlink), Cogeco and Sasktel – asked the CRTC for permission to raise the the monthly rate they charge their subscribers by $3/month and by inflation each year afterwards. On 28 November 2022 FRPC intervened in BNoC 2022-267, to oppose the application because – although broadcast applicants to the CRTC are required by its Rules of Practice and Procedure to submit arguments and evidence – the applicants in this proceeding offered no evidence and based much of their argumentation on the Telecommunications Act rather than the Broadcasting Act.

The CRTC subsequently re-opened the 2022 proceeding on 20 February 2023 because it had asked the applicants (and four other companies) for additional information. FRPC filed comments on 24 February 2023 setting out inconsistencies in the information provided by the companies to the CRTC, and filed reply comments on 27 February 2023 responding to the companies’ arguments.

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