The CRTC is the primary regulator of communications in Canada. It has an ambiguous role with respect to Internet and web services. It is at arm's length from Canadian content production bodies such as the CBC or National Film Board, but sets quotas for such content in all broadcast media.

The role of the CRTC has given rise to many issues:

issue: the CRTC has approved many US cable television channels while making it difficult for Canadian urban focused channels for minorities or even the National Film Board to get started
  • position: the CRTC should be strictly concerned with the use of wireless spectrum and broadcast spectrum and not with the content - it should allocate according to a strict bandwidth auction as the US FCC has done. It isn't feasible for the CRTC to adopt very different policies given the broad swatch of border
  • position: micro-radio and micro-TV should simply be deregulated entirely below a certain wattage; apartment buildings or whole city blocks can have their own such stations on unused UHF bands, exploiting new technology to do so
  • position: the CRTC should be activist about what is on the airwaves and directly facilitate proposals like the NFB having its own cable TV station, government TV such as CPAC or its city equivalents (modelled on SeaTV in Seattle )

issue: the CRTC has never rescinded a broadcast license from a station broadcasting mostly American or foreign content

issue: the CRTC pretends to have jurisdiction over Internet and P2P and wireless net media but has no capacity to intervene - it should abandon this mandate in law as it cannot enforce it, to permit better self-regulatory methods and ordinary civil lawsuits to apply to this area