CRTC Hands Bell Canada $7.5 Million in Penalties for Telecommunications Act Violations

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has today announced that it has imposed a total of $7.5 million in penalties on Bell Canada for three violations of the Telecommunications Act at $2.5 million each.

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According to the CRTC, Bell Canada denied permit applications for access to its telephone poles from Videotron, its main competitor in Quebec. As a result, Videotron was not able to access Bell Canada’s poles, which delayed its network deployment and created a competitive advantage for Bell Canada.

The CRTC found that Bell Canada had breached its Tariff and its Support Structure Licence Agreement and was therefore in breach of section 24 and subsections 25(1) and 27(2) of the Telecommunications Act.

“It is vitally important that the market for telecommunications services be fair and competitive so that Canadians can enjoy a range of services from different providers. Today’s decision underscores this point and demonstrates that we will not hesitate to use the tools at our disposal to take action to promote compliance when a company’s actions violate these principles.” – Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO, CRTC

The regulator believes these penalties will promote compliance with the Telecommunications Act and deter future non-compliance.The