Fri. Jul 1st, 2022

A person navigates to the on-line social-media pages of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on a cell phone in Ottawa on May 17, 2021.Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press

Ottawa has issued a new proposed policy directive for the telecom sector that emphasizes competition and affordability in the Internet and mobile phone markets and instructs the federal telecom regulator to improve its wholesale network access regimes.

The proposed new policy directs the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to improve the rates that Canada’s large phone and cable companies can charge smaller internet providers for access to their broadband networks. (Large telecom firms are required to sell broadband network access to third-party operators, which then sell Internet services to their own customers.)

The federal government is also instructing the CRTC to improve its regime governing wireless network access for eligible regional competitors “as necessary.”

In April 2021, after a lengthy review of the country’s wireless industry, the telecom regulator ruled that Rogers Communications Inc., BCE Inc., Telus Corp. and SaskTel must sell wireless network access to regional competitors who commit to building their own networks.

However, the CRTC stopped short of opening up national wireless networks to competitors without their own infrastructure, known in the industry as mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs.

Still, “the government is prepared to move to a full MVNO model, if needed, to support competition in the sector,” Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada said Thursday.

Canadians have until July 19 to submit comments on the proposed new directive, which the government aims to finalize by the fall.

More to come.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.