Government proposes changes to cap wholesale domestic rates

The Government promised to regulate domestic roaming fees back in October. Industry Minister James Moore targeted the Rogers, Bell and TELUS and said, “The roaming rates that Canada’s largest wireless companies are charging other domestic providers can be more than 10 times what they charge their own customers.” Moore boldly stated that Canadians have been “hit in the face pretty hard” when it comes to the cost of roaming.

Following through on their promise, the Government unveiled the federal budget today and its plan to protect everyday Canadians by reducing their bills and bring in greater wireless competition. According to the document, the Government is proposing to amend the Telecommunications Act to cap wholesale domestic wireless roaming rates for voice, data and text.

In addition, they are also proposing changes to give more power to the Industry Minister and the CRTC “to impose administrative monetary penalties on companies that violate established rules such as the Wireless Code and rules related to the deployment of spectrum, services to rural areas and tower sharing.” The budget notes that they will “clarify the prohibitions against violating Industry Canada’s spectrum auction rules, to ensure fair and competitive bidding that achieves the greatest benefit for Canadians from this public resource.”

Unfortunately, no word on the estimated timing of when all these proposed changes will come into effect.

Source: Action Plan 2014