Ongoing Feud Between Telus, Ice Wireless Causes Cancer Patient to Miss Hospital Calls: REPORT

A Northwest Territories cancer patient claims an ongoing dispute between two Canadian telecom companies caused her to miss two days’ worth of phone calls from her hospital.

According to a new report from CBC, Michelle Hagen, an Ice Wireless customer, claims that two days worth of phone calls from her hospital were blocked by their provider, Telus.

“They tried for two days and all they got was a busy signal,” Hagen said. “Finally, they called my brother in Ontario, they got through to him and [he] was able to message me to call the hospital.”

According to a complaint filed with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (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 CEO of Iristel, Samer Bishay, supports his company’s submission to the CRTC, accusing Telus of “heavy-handed tactics” and accusing them of showing a “blatant disregard for the telecommunications laws of this country.”

“The CRTC is taking a little too long to act on this. There are innocent Canadians caught in the crossfire and there’s no need for this,” he said.

Bishay also claims that Iristel is not stimulating traffic to the North, explaining that any such increase in activity in the North is just a natural result of his company’s growth.

Telus released a statement in response, restating its position sent to the CRTC. “While we can’t confirm that this call failure was caused by congestion on the interconnection with Iristel, out of an abundance of caution and despite the illegal actions by Iristel we have taken steps to reduce the congestion being caused by Iristel.”

“We will continue to monitor the call traffic going forward, and we again request that Iristel cease its traffic stimulation activities.”