CRTC actually does something right for once, simplifying the process of changing providers

In a rare consumer-friendly movie, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has declared that it has simplified the process for Canadians looking to change providers for their landline, wireless, television, and/or internet services.

“In a competitive marketplace, consumers are always encouraged to explore different options for their broadcasting and telecommunications services,” said Konrad von Finckenstein the now-infamous chairman of the CRTC. “The new rules will make the transfer process a seamless and convenient experience, while enabling Canadians to benefit from receiving retention offers from their current providers.”

According to the release by the CRTC, consumers will now be able to switch service providers with a single phone call. “Once it has obtained the proper consent, the new provider will make all the arrangements on behalf of consumers to have the services transferred over,” the release reads. “The CRTC requires that customer transfers be completed within two business days, except for wireless service where transfers must be completed within 2.5 hours.”

Of course, the CRTC can’t negate the vicious termination fees these providers will surely impose on you. But on the bright side, the CRTC says it established safeguards to prevent service providers from “sharing confidential customer information with their internal sales and marketing groups during the transfer process.”

All in all, it’s a good move and one that most consumers will appreciate. But this will not act as a smokescreen for the usage-based billing debacle currently under a review. If the national media regulator made this move strictly to benefit Canadian consumers and increase competition in the telecom industry, good on them—but if they’re trying to distract Canadians from a much bigger and more severe issue at hand, shame on them. We have to trudge through enough political swamp water as it is.