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CIRA statement on Bill C-299 to promote broadband advertising transparency

By Josh Tabish
Public Affairs Manager

JUNE 3, 2021 – OTTAWA – Earlier this week, Dan Mazier, the Member of Parliament for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, tabled a new private Member’s bill C-299 that would amend the Telecommunications Act to promote greater transparency in advertising for broadband internet services.

Responding to today’s development, CIRA president and CEO Byron Holland had this to say:

“We’re pleased to see that Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum recognize how essential broadband has become. Today’s bill is complementary to the Liberal government’s objective of bringing fast reliable internet access to all Canadians. Canadians will benefit from greater transparency when it comes to internet services. It’s well known that real-world performance often fails to live up to its promises. Currently, internet service providers (ISPs) advertise the speeds their networks can get ‘up to’. This can be confusing for consumers, and often doesn’t reflect the actual performance of their internet.

Bill C-299 would compel ISPs to advertise speeds based on the typical performance of their networks at peak times, which would help educate consumers when selecting a provider. We hear all the time that Canadians feel they aren’t getting what they pay for. Data from more than 1 million Internet Performance Tests shows that wide swaths of Canadians are stuck with inferior internet speeds. This is especially true in Canada’s rural, remote, and Indigenous communities, where average internet speeds run at one-tenth of their urban counterparts. We hope that lawmakers can work together to help increase transparency for customers and help promote competition between providers based on actual, real-world speeds.”