The CRTC is considering whether it’s appropriate to impose a fine ranging between $750,000 to $1.2 million CAD on Telus and Iristel.
This follows years of dispute between the two companies, and the commission has now found that both companies violated the Telecommunications Act in relation to the routing and termination of phone calls to the 867 area code in Northern Canada.
“The Commission states the preliminary view that it would be appropriate to impose AMPs on both Iristel and TCI, and that a penalty in the range of $750,000 to $1,250,000 may be appropriate for each company,” the CRTC outlined in a notice.
Iristel, which is the parent company of Ice Wireless, filed a complaint to the CRTC in 2018 stating that Telus was blocking calls from their customers to Ice Wireless customers, as reported by the CBC. Telus then told the CRTC that it wasn’t blocking calls, and was controlling the flow of traffic to Iristel.
Telus said that it was doing so because Iristel was assigning numbers in Northern Canada to services not located in the area. The CRTC has outlined that Iristel gave itself an advantage by doing so.
The commission said that regulatory intervention is needed to stop traffic stimulation, and is modifying Iristel’s long-distance call termination rate.
Further, the CRTC stated that Telus had unjustly discriminated against Iristel by reducing the ability to complete calls to numbers in the 867 area code.
The commission has stated that both of the companies acted in a way that was self-serving. The CRTC is now asking for comments on whether the fines would be appropriate. Both of the companies have expressed disappointment with the possible penalty.