Telecom providers play blame game as they agree to join fed’s TTC consultation

Minister Champagne announced the consultation process after 'limited' negotiations between carriers

Vancouver-based telecom giant Telus is “encouraged” by the Innovation Minister’s recent announcement to tackle wireless connectivity on the TTC.

Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s department is launching an expedited consultation process to examine the licenses of Bell, Rogers, Telus, and Vidéotron following a months-long spat between the Big Three.

“While all carriers expressed an interest in a coordinated solution, progress in negotiations has been limited,” Champagne said in a statement.

“Despite my request to do so, the carriers have not reached an agreement. That is why I am taking action to address this situation.”

Telus said the company is happy to see the timeline of the consultation. Parties have until August 8th to submit comments on the matter. “We remain ready and eager to find a path to delivering the best service for all TTC riders as quickly as possible,” a Telus spokesperson told MobileSyrup.

Rogers bought the right to provide wireless services on the TTC when it announced plans to acquire BAI in April. “We committed from the outset to work with all carriers to join the network in a timely way while prioritizing safety,” a spokesperson told MobileSyrup.

The company proposed a framework and set an August 15th deadline to reach an agreement with at least one carrier. Rogers said it would take part in a government arbitration process if no agreements were made.

“We offered to give Bell and Telus access to the network by early fall if we couldn’t reach commercial terms, which Bell and Telus did not accept,” a Rogers spokesperson said.

However, Telus says Rogers has yet to take part in “serious negotiations,” including setting a date to discuss the matter or the proposed framework.

A Bell spokesperson also confirmed the company’s participation in the consultation process as it continues to ask for a joint-build model.

“Rogers’ proposed framework fails to take into account that the TTC is a public good asset, and wireless connectivity should be available to all riders, at the same time, regardless of their carrier.”

Bell previously called on the government and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to intervene in the matter.

Prior to the buyout, Freedom Mobile was the only company to sign on to BAI’s plan to bring wireless access to its customers in tunnels and on station platforms. Freedom customers continue to be the only people who can access these services.

Rogers says it will continue to work on the TTC’s aging cellular network while it takes part in the consultation.

Image credit: Shutterstock 

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