Rogers and Telus Keep Chirping Each Over TTC Wireless Access

Rogers has fired back at Telus in a recent regulatory filing, labelling the latter as “hypocritical” in their dispute over wireless network access in Toronto’s subway system. The feud between these telecom rivals has been brewing for months and shows no signs of resolution it seems.

It all started when Rogers acquired BAI Canada, the company with exclusive rights to develop wireless services in the subway tunnels of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). Although Rogers committed to allowing other carriers, like Telus and Bell, access to this network, negotiations have stalled. Each company is accusing the other of unwillingness to negotiate. Only Freedom Mobile had access at the time.

Last week, Rogers rolled out its 5G service in some of the busiest segments of the TTC, amidst a broader regulatory review by Canada’s telecom watchdog, the CRTC, and consultations led by Federal Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne.

“Telus’ arguments are hypocritical,” reads the Rogers submission to the CRTC, reports The Globe and Mail. “There is a long history of Rogers and other carriers facing significant stone-walling by Telus in obtaining access to its infrastructure.”

Rogers claims it has been trying for two years to get access to poles owned by Telus for its cellular equipment. The company further argues, “Telus cannot credibly claim in light of these facts that negotiations with Rogers to access the TTC [network] have not been timely and regulatory intervention is required to remediate an undue preference.”

In a counter-statement, Richard Gilhooley, a spokesman for Telus, criticized Rogers, stating, “The allegations are just another example of Rogers acting in bad faith and attempting to mislead the regulator and the government as they continue to flaunt the rules and deny service to significant portions of the TTC ridership.”

Public safety concerns in the TTC have amplified the urgency for wireless services in the subway system, especially after recent violent incidents. Minister Champagne has vowed “decisive action” to ensure all telecom providers can offer services underground.

The situation is still unfolding, with the deadline for carriers to submit their replies to the CRTC set for this Monday. As it stands, the industry and the public await a resolution that could change the dynamics of wireless access in one of Canada’s busiest public transit systems.

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