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CWTA: Ottawa’s Throne Speech on Lowering Wireless Bills Caused Confusion

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Bernard Lord from the CWTA; image via The Canadian Press

Bernard Lord, president and CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), spoke at the Toronto Board of Trade yesterday and in his speech, explained the Federal Government’s recent Throne Speech “led to more confusion and less answers,” for Canadians.

Speaking to The Canadian Press:

The throne speech on Oct. 16 included a plan by the government to “reduce roaming costs and networks within Canada,” an objective that didn’t outline a proposed solution, he said.

“When the government talks about domestic roaming in the speech from the throne, I’m not sure what exactly that is,” Lord said. “I’m not sure they know what that is.”

Lord, a former premier of New Brunswick, also emphasized Ottawa shouldn’t overstep their boundaries as he sees “a very limited role for government” when it comes to regulation of the wireless industry, in particular by reducing fees the government charges wireless carriers for spectrum and also make more the latter available.

He also stated how it was unfair foreign companies in Canada had special advantages, referring to Ottawa’s wireless rules which allow foreign telecoms to bid on more than one spectrum block versus incumbents: “We must close the loopholes before we open the borders.”

The CWTA is the lobby group that represents Rogers, TELUS, Bell and more. Back in April, WIND Mobile, Mobilicity and Publc Mobile pulled out of the organization claiming it favoured interests of the Big 3 over newer wireless entrants.

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  • kkritsilas

    Why is anybody paying attention to the CWTA? It is a mouthpiece for the Big 3, and we already know what their stance is on anything having to to with wireless/cellular. They want more spectrum, less competition, and unfettered ability to charge more for less.

    This part is classic:

    “He also stated how it was unfair foreign companies in Canada had special
    advantages, referring to Ottawa’s wireless rules which allow foreign
    telecoms to bid on more than one spectrum block versus incumbents: “We
    must close the loopholes before we open the borders.”

    Exactly which foreign telecoms are we talking about here? The list of bidders for the 700 MHz spectrum is already out. There are no new foreign telecoms on it. Wind, which is foreign owned, will be luck to be able to buy a single 700MHz spectrum block the areas that it does bid in.

    As for there being “led to more confusion and less answers,” from the throne speech, it isn’t the throne speech that is creating the confusion. It is the recent PR campaign by the Big 3/CWTA, and their fear mongering over foreign telecoms, “unfair rules”, etc., not the throne speech.

    As for seeing ““a very limited role for government” when it comes to regulation of the
    wireless industry, in particular by reducing fees the government charges
    wireless carriers for spectrum and also make more the latter available.”, it would be best to not pile the bear in the butt with a sharp stick. How would the Big 3 like to have the Feds take back all unused spectrum in the 850 MHz and 1800/1900 bands, and offer it for auction? How about having the CRTC regulate cell phone plan prices? CRTC used to regulate cable prices, does the CWTA/Big 3 think that continually running a PR campaign slagging the Feds is going to not eventually piss of the Feds where they do something to seriously put a hurt on the Big 3? Who runs these companies and what are they thinking?

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Bernard Lord is nothing more than a marionette whose strings are pulled by the big 3! As stated below he just spouts the pablum that the big 3 feed him.

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