Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) decided that Bell Canada has unfairly blocked access to its fixed infrastructure, giving Videotron a sense of victory.
Videotron has claimed that Bell Canada is intentionally delaying the approval process of giving it access to the incumbent’s towers and other support structure. According to Videotron, the process had taken two and a half years during which it has submitted thousands of pole access requests.
The CRTC ordered Bell to open up access to its poles and is considering imposing a financial penalty on the incumbent.
“The CRTC found that the preference Bell Canada has granted itself and the disadvantage it has imposed on Videotron are undue and unreasonable. The Commission further found that Bell’s arguments to justify the delays were not valid but rather consistent with Bell’s practice of giving itself more efficient access to build out its own network,” stated Videotron.
This step followed new measures announced by the CRTC to spur more mobile wireless competition for Canadians. Certain telecommunications providers will be able to access the wireless networks of Canada’s dominant providers to offer Canadians more choice and affordable options.
As a result, regional providers that invest in network infrastructure and spectrum will be able to offer competitive services to millions of Canadians as mobile virtual network operators in areas where competition is limited. These companies have already been contributing to greater competition and helping to lower prices.
Furthermore, these regional providers will have the flexibility to resell their wholesale access to mobile virtual network operators, which will enable further competition in the marketplace.