Senator Percy Downe has obtained interesting information on the enforcement side of the do-not-call list. According to data obtained by Downe, the CRTC has imposed $73,000 in fines, but has collected only $250 (as of March 1, 2010).
Post Tagged with: "Do-Not-Call"
The CRTC has posted updated data on the experience with do-not-call. It reports that as of September 30, 2009, there have been over 7.6 million registrations and 200,000 complaints. The CRTC has 87 active investigations, issued 145 warning letters, 10 notices of violations, and imposed 7 administrative monetary penalties.
The Federal Communications Commission has just posted a comprehensive study it commissioned on broadband policies around the world. Completed by researchers at Harvard University (and led by Professor Yochai Benkler), the study combines a review of international rankings with differing policy approaches. While supporters of the Canadian status quo are sure to find fault with the study (it uses OECD and Speedtest.net data after all), the report is particularly noteworthy given that it attempts to link Canadian policy with its falling rankings.
On the issue of rankings, the study uses several reports to conclude yet again that Canada trails much of the developed world on broadband. The specific rankings are:
- Overall – 22nd
- Access – 16th
- Speed – 20th (using the same Speedtest.net source that Rogers relied upon in its ad campaign that led to a lawsuit by Bell)
- Price – 25th
The report address some of the same criticisms found in a recent Canadian ISP commissioned report such as population density and measuring subscribers vs. households. It concludes that the data is not dramatically different when accounting for these issues. More important, however, is the analysis on how Canada's regulatory environment has led to its middling performance.
This month marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Canada's do-not-call list. Over the past 12 months, millions of Canadians have registered their numbers on the list and filed hundreds of thousands of complaints with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which is tasked with enforcing the law. While the CRTC has found itself subject to considerable criticism for investigating only a small percentage of complaints and levying just a handful of fines for do-not-call violations, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that a review of tens of thousands of complaints obtained under the Access to Information Act reveals a potentially bigger problem.
Many of Canada's best-known companies have been the target of frequent complaints, yet are not subject to investigation due to the large number of exceptions found in the law. This has led to genuine dismay, with many people using a comment section in the complaint form to register their disappointment with the do-not-call list.
Working together with University of Ottawa students Sean Murtha and Frances Munn, I recently reviewed more than 60,000 complaints released by the CRTC. The complaints were lodged in late 2008 and early 2009 using the do-not-call list's Internet-based complaints mechanism. In each case, the complaint included all relevant information with the exception of the complainant's name and telephone number, which were excluded for privacy reasons. There were hundreds of complaints about automated calls promising cruise vacations or lawncare services. But the undisputed leader among reputable companies was Bell Canada, which alone was the subject of nearly one thousand complaints. In fact, the wireless sector had the distinction of taking the top three spots with Rogers and Telus ranking second and third respectively. There were also hundreds of complaints against Canada's top financial institutions and retailers including RBC, CIBC, Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, and Sears.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on October 12, 2009 as Do-Not-Call List Undermined By Loopholes in Law This month marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Canada's do-not-call list. Over the past 12 months, millions of Canadians have registered their numbers on the list and filed hundreds of thousands […]