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


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.