Lack of TTC coverage agreement prompts Minister to issue second warning

François-Philippe Champagne said he'll 'take action' if telecom giants fail to provide a coverage plan benefiting all Canadians

Canada’s Innovation Minister says he will take action if telecom giants fail to agree on wireless coverage for TTC riders.

“If they don’t come to an arrangement together that would serve Canadians, that would increase the coverage, that would increase the 911 services in the subway system in Toronto, we’ll take action, and we’ll make sure that we do what’s right for Canadians,” François-Philippe Champagne said at a press conference Friday.

Rogers announced its plans to take over cellular coverage on the TTC from BAI in early April. At the time, the company said it was open to working with Bell and Telus to ensure all riders have coverage.

On April 19th, the Minister sent the CEOs of Bell, Rogers, Telus, and Québecor a letter asking the companies to work together to provide coverage.

Bell CEO Mirko Bibic responded soon after, calling the transaction “a closed door, backroom deal.” Bibic said the company put a second option on the TTC’s table that would see it buy the contract with Telus with a promise to provide an open network. The TTC rejected the offer soon after.

The constant back and forth, and apparent avoidance of some sort of network agreement, have led to more questions than answers.

Both Bell and Telus told The Canadian Press a “joint build approach” is the best way to go.

“It would result in access for all riders regardless of their cellphone provider, less congestion on the network, ability for the network to continue to operate in the event that one carrier suffers a network outage, and a better overall customer experience,” a Telus spokesperson said.

A Rogers spokesperson told the publication the company is still “committed to working with all carriers.”

Image credit: Shutterstock 

Via: The Canadian Press