CRTC looking into the Big Three wholesale roaming arrangements and if it provides an ‘unfair competitive advantage’

The CRTC announced today that they’ll be looking into the Big 3 wireless carriers (Rogers, Bell and TELUS) wholesale wireless roaming arrangements, specifically if they’re in anyway an “unfair competitive disadvantage” to its competitors, namely WIND Mobile, Mobilicity and Videotron.

Back in August, the CRTC was made “aware of concerns with respect to the rates, terms, and conditions associated with wireless roaming” and requested all Canadian carriers to submit roaming revenues. In a press release today, “based on information obtained by the CRTC,” they declared that “some of the large providers are charging, or proposing to charge, their smaller Canadian competitors significantly higher wholesale roaming rates than those charged to U.S.-based wireless companies.”

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC, was firm in his statement by saying “We are concerned that some wireless companies may be making it unfairly difficult for Canadian providers that do not operate a national network to compete in the marketplace. We have the authority to ensure that companies do not give themselves an unfair competitive advantage. This includes charging wholesale wireless roaming rates that are unjustly discriminatory or by insisting on unduly restrictive terms and conditions. If we find that this is happening in the market, we will act to rectify the situation.”

During the Throne Speech in October, Governor-General David Johnston, stated they’ll be “looking out for everyday Canadians” to reduce roaming costs within Canada. Looks like this will actually happen. The CRTC is seeking feedback, plus “possible solutions,” and have requested comments by January 29th, 2014.

Source: CRTC