Telecommunications Chapter

Telecommunications services play a critical role in supporting national economies and international trade. They connect businesses and citizens to each other, and countries and regions to the rest of the world. In this context, the liberalization of telecommunications services promotes the advancement of modern and sophisticated telecoms networks. This leads to newer and more competitive communication services, and a diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs). ICTs, in turn, play an integral role in improving connectivity and quality of life by providing access to services such as online education, e-government and e-health.

The TPP will open markets for telecoms services and encourage investment in this sector, leading to economic development and stimulating innovation. The TPP also recognizes the importance of the telecommunications sector to Canada’s economy. Not only is telecommunications an ever-growing service sector, it is also one of the most important enablers in the modern economy, providing the means of delivering other services that Canadians depend on.

Canada has preserved the right in all of its international trade agreements, including the TPP, to maintain its foreign investment regime with respect to telecommunications.

Technical Summary of Negotiated Outcomes: Telecommunications Chapter

  • Builds on previous agreements by including strong commitments that will provide enhanced regulatory certainty for telecommunications service suppliers when operating or investing in TPP markets.
  • Includes, for the first time in a trade agreement, a dedicated article addressing the high cost of international mobile roaming.
    • Ensures that a Party’s regulated rates and conditions on wholesale international roaming services are provided to the other Parties’ telecommunications service suppliers on a reciprocal basis.
  • Includes key obligations regarding access to and use of telecommunications services, interconnection of telecommunications networks, independence of the regulatory body, licensing procedures, and resolution of domestic disputes.
    • Ensures that Canadian service suppliers will be treated in a fair and objective manner when providing telecommunications services to other TPP markets.
  • Includes enhanced regulatory commitments on:
    • approaches to regulation;
    • phone number portability;
    • unbundling of network elements;
    • co-location of telecommunications equipment;
    • the provision of private leased circuits;
    • resolution of domestic telecommunications disputes; and
    • enforcement and transparency.
  • Does not apply to broadcasting services, except to ensure that broadcasters will have access to and use of telecommunications services.