Liberals clarify new telecom policy to reflect importance of investments

OTTAWA — A finalized change of policy for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has been tabled in the House of Commons, providing some tweaks to a proposal announced in February by the federal government.The new directive to the CRTC continues to place more emphasis on affordable consumer access to wireless, internet and other telecom services than a 2006 policy it replaces.However, the government has also amended its first priority to include encouragement of all forms of investments.Canadian telecommunications companies have warned the minister responsible for the new policy that they needed assurances that their spending on network investments won’t be eroded.The Liberal policy continues to put a higher emphasis on affordability than the 2006 Harper-era policy, and more clearly states that the CRTC should ensure high-quality telecommunications is available in all regions including rural areas.The new policy directive to the regulator goes into effect as of Tuesday. Companies in this story: (TSX:BCE, TSX:RCI.B, TSX:T, TSX:SJR.B, TSX:QBR.B)The Canadian Press