Federal government won’t intervene on CRTC’s MVNO ruling

Data on Tap's CEO said refusal to intervene isn't good for Canadians

The federal government won’t be weighing in on a decision forcing Bell, Telus, Rogers and SaskTel to sell network access to only some competitors.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made the ruling on April 15th, 2021.

The Commission stated regional wireless carriers who invested in network infrastructure and spectrum could use the larger companies’ networks if applicable.

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), operators without their own spectrum and infrastructure, were deemed ineligible. The decision left many smaller players disappointed.

Weeks later, Data on Tap Inc. petitioned the federal government to overturn the ruling. They wanted wholesale access from the dominant networks to be available to carriers without spectrum licenses. dotmobile, an operator run by the company, was the first in Canada to become a full MVNO.

But today’s decision upholds the CRTC’s original decision.

François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said expanding MVNO access to providers without spectrum “would undermine the work of smaller regional providers that have already invested substantially to increase competition.”

“Based on this review, the Governor in Council has declined to vary the CRTC’s decision,” he continued.

Algis Akstinas, founder and CEO of Data on Tap Inc., told MobileSyrup the news is only a win for the Big Three “telecom lobbyists.”

“For Canadians this means continuing inequity and discrimination in the form of punitively designed wireless service and significantly higher effective prices for seniors, newcomers, students and families,” he said

Related Articles