Mark Goldberg

Fox Group Dispatch

More fibre in Vancouver’s diet

After a lengthy examination, the CRTC has come out with a decision dealing with a dispute between MTS Allstream and the City of Vancouver over a number of disputed clauses in an agreement to permit construction of fibre on municipal property.

The resolution even covers issues such as lost parking meter revenues and whether to compensate the city for lost opportunities to issue tickets for expired meter violations during the time that construction blocks parking access.

On that point, the Commission ruled against the City:

The Commission considers that there is also the potential that a reduction in parking meters available during construction activities could lead to increases in illegal parking at other locations.

The review of this file must have been a change of pace for the CRTC staff and commissioners, dealing with division of powers between levels of government, a lot of legalistic contract drafting and mundane construction issues.

The adversarial relationship between cities and carriers seems to be rooted in the boom times of a decade ago, when cities looked at freshly IPO’d dot-com generation carriers as a potential windfall of non-tax revenue. In today’s environment, cities should be trying to encourage construction and renewal of telecom infrastructure.

Which cities will be first to welcome, encourage and even promote the placement of competitive information infrastructure on its rights-of-way?

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