CRTC: independent telecoms want president’s head

CRTC: independent telecoms want president’s head
CRTC: independent telecoms want president’s head

Independent telecommunications companies are demanding the resignation of the president of the CRTC after the “inconsistent” decision taken last week to reverse the fee cut granted in 2019.

• Read also: Network access: the CRTC backs off slightly on its 2019 rate cut

In a statement released the same day, the president and CEO of VMedia, an independent Canadian company with customers in several provinces, called the announcement the “biggest court reversal in Canada” and called for the announcement. head of its president Ian Scott.

Today, it is the turn of the companies TekSavvy and EBOX to request the departure of Mr. Scott.

Last Friday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) upheld 2016 wholesale tariffs that industry giants could charge smaller players to access their networks.

In 2019, the CRTC decided to lower these rates again, which it deemed “unreasonable”. The giants protested against the decision and increased the number of legal remedies. However, the Federal Court of Appeal and then the Supreme Court dismissed the case, ruling that the giants were pushing the plug a little too far.

But the lowered tariffs ultimately never came into effect and, on Friday, the CRTC reversed its previous decision, which was eagerly awaited by the industry.

The announcement was received like a slap in the face from independent companies.

“The decision raises serious doubts about the leadership and competence of the CRTC, as well as the integrity of its process, and sells off Canadians in favor of dominant players.” CRTC Chairman Ian Scott is expected to resign and Parliament should launch an immediate investigation into this inconsistent result and whether political and corporate influence had an impact on this decision, ”said Alexei Tchernobrivets, CEO of VMedia.

He did not fail to point out that Ian Scott, current director of the CRTC, is a former senior executive at Telus. The CEO of Quebec EBOX, Jean-Philippe Béïque, raised the same point.

“The appearance of a conflict of interest due to pressure from large providers, incompetence as well as inefficiency in the treatment of this file are simply too important to be ignored”, he accused.

For its part, TekSavvy, one of the largest independent telecom companies in the country, is calling on the Liberal government to reverse last Friday’s decision and wants “President Scott to be immediately removed from office or, at the very least, that ‘he is required to recuse himself from decisions involving competing wholesalers and suppliers of installations’.

A sign that the decision has been welcomed by the largest, Bell announced that the decision could allow it to accelerate investments in its network by adding $ 500 million to its expansion budget for the next two years.

“Now, with greater regulatory stability fostering a better investment climate, Bell is proud to move forward on its plan by further scaling up its investments to improve the way Canadians in communities large and small connect with each other and with each other. the world, ”said Bell CEO Mirko Bibic.

 
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