Timing for Cabinet appeals

The timing is running out for the Cabinet appeals of Telecom Decision CRTC 2021-130: Review of wireless services that was released April 15, 2021. Some people refer to this as the “MVNO decision”.

According to Section 12(1) of the Telecom Act:

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 ninety 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.

So, time is ticking. If Cabinet is going to vary or rescind the decision, or send it back to the CRTC for another look, it has to do so by April 15, 2022. For those keeping score of Cabinet appeals, the anniversary date for Telecom Decision CRTC 2021-181 is 6 weeks later, May 27, 2022.

On April 4, the mid-year report for CCTS (the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services) indicated that complaints are down 26% over the past year. Mobile price reductions beat the government’s objective. A recent CRTC press release indicated that 53.4% of rural Canadians had access to the 50/10/unlimited broadband objective in 2020, up 7.8 percentage points (or a substantial 17%) from 2019’s 45.6%. The current regulatory framework is succeeding in delivering better service, at lower prices, with enhanced technologies and services available to even more rural and remote areas.

Will the government maintain its policies to encourage investment in communications infrastructure through facilities-based competition?

For nearly two years, Canadian government policy has said “Canada’s Future Depends On Connectivity”. Will Cabinet choose to stay the course?

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