Increasingly stringent regulatory measures

How does the CRTC enforce an access order on a building owner? We’re about to find out.

On January 14, in Telecom Decision CRTC 2022-5, the CRTC told the owners of a multiple dwelling unit (MDU), Telegraph Square in Saint John, New Brunswick that enough was enough: provide Rogers with access to the apartment building “on reasonable terms and conditions” or “increasingly stringent regulatory measures will be applied to facilitate competition and maximize consumer choice.”

Those “increasingly stringent regulatory measures” were set out as:

  • Within 15 days following the date of this decision, Bell Canada and any other LEC or carrier ISP already in Telegraph Square will not be permitted to provide services to any new resident of Telegraph Square and will not be permitted to provide services to a current resident that is not an existing customer of the applicable service provider.
  • Within 30 days following the date of this decision, any LEC or carrier ISP present in Telegraph Square will not be permitted to modify or upgrade the services being provided to a current resident.
  • Within 45 days following the date of this decision, the Commission will explore all regulatory options available to it, including issuing an order under section 42 of the Act and issuing a decision which could result in all LECs and carrier ISPs present in Telegraph Square not being permitted to provide any services to the residents.

In a letter dated last week, we learned that the building owners have apparently not met the Commission’s first deadline. In response to a January 31 letter from Rogers, the CRTC has asked Bell to identify what services are being provided to which units in the building as of January 29.

“Due to Rogers continuing to be denied access to Telegraph Square, the Commission’s enforcement of the MDU Access Condition, as set out in Telecom Decision 2022-5, will impact Bell’s provision of service to the residents of Telegraph Square.”

Does the CRTC intend to include mobile wireless services in the application of its regulatory measures?

It is an interesting case to follow, testing the effectiveness of increasingly stringent regulatory measures to enforce orders indirectly.

Will consumers be caught in the middle?

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