Telus files motion seeking permission to appeal CRTC’s recent wireless decision

The carrier will be allowed to appeal the decision if the court gives it permission to do so

Telus has filed a motion seeking the Federal Court of Appeal’s permission to appeal certain parts of the CRTC’s recent wireless decision issued on April 15th.

As part of the decision, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission stated that national wireless carriers will be required to “implement seamless roaming to help prevent dropped calls and data sessions when customers move from one network to another, especially during travel.”

The Vancouver-based national carrier argues that the new condition conflicts with the Conditions of Licence for spectrum licenses, which state that wireless carriers are not required to provide seamless handoff to competitors that roam on their networks.

Telus argues that the CRTC is not permitted to “impose a different obligation” upon national wireless carriers and that the power to issue this sort of condition lies solely with the innovation minister and his department.

“While seamless roaming is technically possible, it is challenging to implement and expensive to maintain. Therefore, the commission should not change its existing wholesale roaming policy to include seamless roaming, because such arrangements would require commercial negotiation,” the carrier argued in court documents filed on May 14th.

The carrier also notes that although seamless roaming is technically possible on LTE and 5G technologies, it presents major technical challenges.

“For example, elements of the host network need to be physically connected to elements of the home network in areas where networks overlap, and radio sites along the border areas of the respective networks need to be defined for special hand-off.”

Telus is also arguing that the CRTC “made errors of law” by concluding in the same decision that it lacks jurisdiction over access to public infrastructure.

The CRTC had stated that “ISED already has well-established rules” when it comes to approving new cellular sites. However, the carrier argues that the ministry does not have jurisdiction for granting such access.

“Jurisdiction over the access to public property needed to connect such structures into a telecommunications network lies with the CRTC under the Telecommunications Act,” Telus outlined in the documents.

Telus will only be allowed to appeal the decision if the Federal Court of Appeal gives the carrier permission to do so.