Bell Canada is calling for the federal government to close loopholes in its wireless policy framework that “favor major US wireless carriers at the expense of Canadians.” The company’s President and CEO George Cope says that federal wireless policies intended to help small startup competitors “unintentionally give the same advantages to major US wireless companies that want to enter Canada.” According to Cope, these 3 loopholes needs to be closed:
- Buy twice as much new wireless spectrum in the upcoming auction of Canada’s 700 MHz airwaves as Canadian carriers at a lower overall price.
- Get a free ride on the world-leading networks funded and built by Canadians.
- Acquire smaller Canadian wireless companies at fire-sale prices – as bigger Canadian carriers can’t buy them (so the price goes down).
The letter goes on reminding everyone that Verizon Wireless is part of the $120-billion Verizon Communications conglomerate, which shouldn’t get the benefits smaller players are intended to get.
Bell is reportedly ready to compete with Verizon on a level playing field, but with these loopholes in place, Verizon will get an unfair advantage. At the same time, Canadian carriers don’t get to benefit from reciprocity – they are denied similar access in the US.
You can read the full letter from here and decide for yourself whether you favor Bell or Verizon.