Conditions of licence relating to data sharing : The CRTC is overstepping its jurisdiction

July 5, 2019 - Press Release

Montréal, July 5, 2019 – Videotron intends to challenge in court the refusal by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to lift conditions of licence related to the sharing of data from set-top boxes. Videotron believes that the CRTC is overstepping its authority by requiring it to provide data to a third party.

It is because of Videotron's major investments in equipment and facilities, which it owns, that it is possible to obtain data from set-top boxes. The Broadcasting Act contains no explicit provisions empowering the CRTC to force operators to share their facilities with third parties as a condition of licence, and certainly not for the purpose of giving third parties a commercial advantage.

Videotron has a strong commitment to confidentiality. Videotron is responsible for the set-top box data in question and intends to maintain tight protection of the information, for the benefit of its customers.

Contrary to the CRTc's claims, these new conditions of licence will do nothing to stem the decline in subscriptions to cable TV services. The real solution is to modernize the regulatory framework for the broadcasting industry and to drop historical regulations that are not suited to current content consumption trends. Canadian broadcasters would then be in a better position to compete with the global giants.

Videotron does not believe that the CRTc's general power to impose conditions of licence gives it unlimited discretion. Videotron hopes the CRTC will stay within the bounds set by Parliament and is therefore asking to be released from the conditions of licence in question.

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About Videotron
(, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, Internet access, cable telephone and mobile telephone services. Videotron is a leader in new technologies with its illico interactive television service and its broadband network, which supports high-speed cable Internet access, digital cable television, and other services. As of March 31, 2019, Videotron was serving 1,582,600 cable television customers. The Club illico over-the-top video service had 431,700 members. Videotron is also the Québec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 1,710,800 subscribers to its cable service as of March 31, 2019. As of the same date, Videotron had 1,193,600 subscriber connections to its mobile telephone service and was providing cable telephone service to 1,094,900 Québec households and organizations. Videotron places on the prestigious Canada's Top 100 Employers and Montréal's Top Employers lists.

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Véronique Mercier

Vice-president, Communications QMI