Bolder action needed on telecom competition, say industry watchers


As the Competition Bureau seeks to block Rogers Communications Inc.’s takeover of Shaw Communications Inc.

As the Competition Bureau seeks to block Rogers Communications Inc.’s takeover of Shaw Communications Inc., fearing the $26 billion deal will reduce wireless competition, some industry watchers say bolder action is needed to provide more options to Canadian consumers.

Thomas Ross, a professor at the UBC Sauder School of Business, says Canada being a large and expensive country to operate networks in, combined with a low population density, means there will always be limits to telecommunications options.

He says the federal government can, however, take certain steps to stimulate competition in the Canadian telecommunications industry, such as letting foreign wireless companies operate in Canada, whether it’s an international company taking control of a regional actor and develops it or builds its own network. from zero.

Ross also says the federal government could force Canada’s telecom giants to wholesale access to their networks at much more favorable prices to facilitate the growth of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), who buy network service. major operators at a wholesale rate.

However, he notes that these strategies could be difficult for the government to fully integrate.

Independent phone and internet provider in Chatham, Ontario, TekSavvy Solutions Inc., says the federal government needs to go further and “clean up” the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, revamp competition laws and enable better enforcement of these laws.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 13, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX: RCI.B, TSX: SJR.B)

The Canadian Press

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