The Telecommunications Policy Branch plays a lead role in developing policy and legislation that promotes competitive, innovative and affordable telecommunications services. The Branch works on telecommunications policy issues with departmental partners, other departments and governments and key stakeholder groups. It develops its positions based on legal, technical and economic research.
Specific policy proposals address the structure of the telecommunications services industry and the development and use of Canadian national and international telecommunications facilities and networks, including radio spectrum and satellite orbit policies. New media and the Internet also fall within the scope of Telecommunications Policy.
The Branch is responsible for developing policy and providing advice to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the federal cabinet in relation to the Government of Canada’s responsibilities under the Telecommunications Act and for ensuring the broad public policy direction for the development of sound radio spectrum policies under the Radiocommunication Act.
Directorates and Key priorities
The Branch has three directorates, the key priorities of which are described below.
- The Business and Regulatory Analysis directorate monitors Canada's telecommunications regulatory framework to ensure that it is consistent with government policy; advises the Minister on the exercise of Cabinet’s powers under the Telecommunications Act; and conducts research on telecommunications trends and the implications for policy.
- The Industry Framework Policy directorate develops and maintains telecommunications framework policies for: spectrum auctions, foreign investment, consumer-related policy issues and trade negotiations. The directorate also provides analysis of the Canadian telecommunications industry and its evolving market structure.
- The International Telecommunications Policy and Coordination directorate manages and coordinates the development of Canada’s international telecommunications policy and strategies, including Internet governance, through representation in a number of international multilateral and bilateral telecommunications and spectrum forums.
- Information and Communications Technology Standards Advisory Council of Canada
- International Telecommunication Union
- Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications Gateway
- Communications Research Centre
- Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
- Radio Advisory Board of Canada