CRTC Warns Telus to Stop Blocking Calls to Ice Wireless Customers in the North

Canada’s telecom regulator will intervene in a battle between rival wireless carriers that is causing failed connections for hundreds of cellphone users, particularly in the North.

That’s according to a new report from CBC, which explains that the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued a warning to Telus stating that it needs to ensure calls from its customers get through to Ice Wireless customers in northern Canada.

“The [CRTC] granted two interim relief requests Friday in an ongoing dispute involving Telus and Iris Technologies Inc.,” states the report. “Each company made those requests as part of their submissions in the case earlier this year.”

According to a complaint filed with the CRTC in August, Iristel — Ice Wireless‘ parent company — claims that Telus has been actively blocking calls from Telus customers to Ice Wireless customers since May 29.

Telus, on the other hand, denies any such thing. According to a September 10 submission to the CRTC, however, Telus does claim that it is taking steps to “control the flow of traffic to Iristel.” According to Telus, Iristel is engaging in “traffic stimulation,” a practice in which “Iristel numbers in Northern Canada are assigned to services not located in the North, illegally boosting its profits from a previous agreement with Telus.”

The CRTC hasn’t yet ruled the validity of either claim, but in the meantime is stating that the reduced capacity on the network “is not reasonable nor in the public interest.” The regulator also says that the issue of blocked or incomplete calls needs to be addressed in an “expeditious manner.”

Telus has until December 3 to ensure all its customers’ calls to Iristel customers in northern Canada connect normally. The carrier must also file a report with the CRTC to confirm they’ve done so.

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