snIP/ITs Insights on Canadian Technology and Intellectual Property Law

Category Archives: Telecommunications

Subscribe to Telecommunications RSS Feed

CRTC Extends Direct Regulation to Resellers of Telecommunications Services

Posted in Regulatory Compliance, Telecommunications

With relatively little fanfare, on January 17, 2017, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a regulatory policy imposing new direct regulatory obligations on Telecommunications Service Providers (TSPs) in Canada.

Historically, the CRTC’s direct regulatory powers have applied to “Canadian carriers”, who are the owners (or operators) of the physical telecommunications infrastructure in Canada.

The CRTC’s authority over non-carrier TSPs, who do not own that infrastructure was, until recently, more tenuous. In the absence of a direct statutory authority to impose conditions on non-carrier TSPs, the CRTC instead required Canadian carriers to impose certain requirements (such as the obligation … Continue Reading

NPEs Beware: Contorted Construction of a Patent Will Attract Elevated Costs

Posted in Intellectual Property, Patents, Telecommunications

On January 4, 2017, the Honourable Justice Locke of the Federal Court of Canada released his decision in Mediatube Corp. et al. v. Bell Canada, 2017 FC 6. This was a patent infringement action in respect of Canadian Patent No. 2,339,477 (the “‘477 Patent”) by the plaintiffs, NorthVu Inc. (patent owner) and MediaTube Corp. (licensee) against Bell Canada  (including former Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership, together “Bell”). The plaintiffs alleged that Bell infringed the ‘477 Patent through the delivery of its digital Internet Protocol Television (“IPTV”) services called Fibe TV and FibreOp … Continue Reading

“Impairing the Core”: Supreme Court Rules that Municipalities Cannot Interfere with Federal Authority Over Cell-Tower Locations

Posted in Telecommunications

On June 16 the Supreme Court of Canada handed down its decision in Rogers Communications Inc. v. Châteauguay (City), 2016 SCC 23. After reviewing and applying the doctrine of interjurisdictional immunity, the Court reaffirmed the Federal government’s jurisdiction over radiocommunication and allowed Rogers’ appeal.… Continue Reading

From Broadcasting to Telecommunications and Everything in Between: Reflections on the Recent New Developments in Communications Law and Policy Conference

Posted in Privacy, Regulatory Compliance, Telecommunications

We recently attended the 18th Biennial National Conference: New Developments in Communications Law and Policy, a national symposium of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Entertainment Media and Communications Law section of the Canadian Bar Association.  This conference is always a stimulating and fascinating opportunity to share thoughts with colleagues in the Canadian communications sector.  This year’s event was no exception.… Continue Reading

New tariffs on the horizon after CRTC revamps rate-setting process for wholesale broadband Internet services

Posted in Telecommunications

Wholesale rates for broadband Internet services are set to change. This month wholesale broadband providers will file new tariff applications in response to a recent CRTC decision announcing changes to the rate-setting process.  On March 31, 2016, the CRTC announced changes to how it sets rates for wholesale access to broadband Internet services. In Telecom Decision CRTC 2016-117 (the “Decision”) the CRTC made three key changes:

  • It modified how it sets rates for wholesale broadband Internet services. Going forward, wholesale rates will be the same for all Internet speeds within a given range.
  • It adopted new cost assumptions. The CRTC
Continue Reading

“Do Not Call” means Do Not Call: CRTC Enters into MOU with FTC on Spam and Unsolicited Telecommunications

Posted in Anti-Spam, Regulatory Compliance, Telecommunications

On March 24, 2016, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (“CRTC”) signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with the United States Federal Trade Commission.[1]  This MOU is an effort by Canada and the United States to work together on anti-spam enforcement measures, and expressly refers to unsolicited telecommunications, unsolicited commercial electronic messages (spam), and other unlawful electronic threats (e.g., malware and botnets).… Continue Reading

Not so fast: High speed 5G network may be the future of connectivity, but not until a global standard is set

Posted in Telecommunications

5G was the hot topic at this week’s Mobile World Congress. The ultrafast wireless network will increase opportunities for businesses and consumers to connect through the internet. However, it likely will not be rolled out until 2019 as international bodies must still develop a global standard for 5G wireless technology. In the meantime, carriers and telecom equipment manufacturers are racing to set the bar for what constitutes 5G.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology, characterized by dramatically increased data transfer speeds. For the consumer, this means being able to download entire movies within seconds. The … Continue Reading