Order in Council concerning  Telecom Regulatory Policy Decision CRTC 2021-130

Backgrounder

The Governor in Council has responded to a petition, pursuant to subsection 12(1) of the Telecommunications Act, concerning the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)’s Telecom Regulatory Policy Decision CRTC 2021-130.

The official text is available via the Privy Council Office. Below is the unofficial text of the Order in Council for reference:

Whereas, on April 15, 2021, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the “Commission”) rendered Telecom Regulatory Policy Decision CRTC 2021-130, Review of mobile wireless services;

Whereas, in the decision, the Commission mandated the provision of a wholesale facilities-based mobile virtual network operator (“MVNO”) access service for regional wireless carriers which possess mobile spectrum licences that cover defined localized service areas;

Whereas, in that decision, the Commission determined that the obligation to provide the wholesale facilities-based MVNO access service applies to the national wireless carriers in Canada, except,

    (a) with respect to Saskatchewan, where the obligation applies exclusively to SaskTel, and

    (b) with respect to the territories, where the obligation applies exclusively to Bell Mobility;

Whereas subsection 12(1) of the Telecommunications Act (the “Act”) provides that, within one year after a decision by the Commission, the Governor in Council may, on petition in writing presented to the Governor in Council within 90 days after the decision, or on the Governor in Council’s own motion, by order, vary or rescind the decision or refer it back to the Commission for reconsideration of all or a portion of it;

Whereas, on May 14, 2021, Data On Tap Inc., doing business under the name of dotmobile, presented to the Governor in Council a petition in writing requesting that the Governor in Council vary the decision;

Whereas, in accordance with subsection 12(4) of the Act, a notice of receipt of the petition was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, by the Minister of Industry on July 24, 2021, indicating where the petition and any submission made in response to it may be inspected and copies of them obtained;

Whereas, pursuant to section 13 of the Act, the Minister of Industry has provided the provinces with an opportunity to consult with the Minister;

Whereas the Governor in Council has considered the petition together with all of the information and advice received with respect to it;

Whereas the Governor in Council considers that the Commission’s decision is expected to provide consumers with greater choice in service offerings and continued downward pressure on mobile wireless prices;

Whereas the Governor in Council considers that the Commission’s decision appropriately balances investment incentives to build and upgrade networks, and sustainable competition and the availability of affordable mobile wireless prices for consumers;

And whereas the Governor in Council is prepared to take further action in the future to promote a competitive market if the desired effects are not achieved, including by expanding the MVNO access service to encourage service-based competition;

Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry, pursuant to subsection 12(1) of the Telecommunications Act, declines to vary or rescind Telecom Regulatory Policy Decision CRTC 2021-130, or refer it back to the Commission.

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