CRTC grants Comp Bureau request, will provide more data on wireless review

CRTC logo on wall

The CRTC has granted the Competition Bureau’s procedural request for more information concerning the review on the wireless market in Canada.

After reviewing the bureau’s request again, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the commissioner’s request, a letter from the CRTC read.

“We are pleased that the CRTC ruled in favour of our request. Today’s decision is an important first step towards a more competitive wireless market for Canadians. With this additional data, the Competition Bureau will be able to provide the CRTC with more informed advice, grounded in objective evidence,” the bureau’s commissioner, Matthew Boswell, said in an email.

“In any event, the Commission is of the view that the benefits to having the additional information on the record outweigh any additional burden placed on parties in providing the information. While the Commission recognizes that smaller WSPs have fewer resources available, they would also have less data to compile,” the CRTC wrote in its letter.

The deadline to provide “granular information” from wireless service providers has been extended from June 5th to June 19th.

The bureau will be studying and helping the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) review the scope of mobile wireless services in Canada. That review was announced in February and a hearing is set to take place in January 2020.

Boswell had sent a letter previously to ask for more detail to conduct an economic analysis to determine competition in the market.

The CRTC replied asking to clarify how this type of information would be relevant and to elaborate regarding the specifics of the request. Bell and Rogers both pushed back and complained that the volume of information requested was too large and argued that “it could derail the CRTC proceeding.”

The CRTC also called for responses from others in the industry, including Telus, Shaw, SaskTel and Tbaytel, which all expressed concern regarding the amount of information the bureau was asking for.

Companies that will provide more information include: Bell, Bragg Communications, Brooke Telecom, Execulink Telecom, Hay Communications, Huron Telecommunications, Mornington Communications, Quadro Communications, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, SSi Micro, TBayTel, Telus, Videotron, Ice Wireless, and Wightman Telecom.