Calgary-based VOIS, a telecom that offers digital phone, internet and TV services, may be one step nearer to shutdown after failing to rejoin the Commission for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS), as mandated by Canada’s telecom regulator, the CRTC.
The CRTC fined VOIS $15,000 CAD for being expelled from the CCTS on April 27th — the first time the CRTC has fined a telecom provider for failing to comply with the Telecommunications Act in a case not related to telemarketing.
The regulator also ordered VOIS to rejoin the CCTS — a mandatory group for all telecoms in Canada — within 30 days and announced a public proceeding to consider whether it should impose additional penalties of $25,000 on VOIS and $5,000 on its director, Harpreet Randhawa, for failing to provide information.
The CCTS expelled VOIS in August 2016, after it investigated six different complaints against VOIS, concluding each one with a binding decision requiring the company to compensate those customers, in addition to taking other action. VOIS failed to take steps and, according to the CCTS, ignored its communications altogether.
Following the CRTC’s fine, CCTS notified VOIS it would have to fulfill its commitments to the above six customers, but once again received no response from the telecom.
In a press statement, CCTS Commissioner Howard Maker said he “look[s] forward to the CRTC’s next steps in this matter.”
Since membership in the CCTS is a requisite for all telecoms in Canada, VOIS is now in breach of its regulatory obligation — and has been for quite some time. Considering its non-responsiveness, the 11-year-old telecom is sure to face serious consequences from the CRTC, which may result in the company ceasing operations.