Mark Goldberg


What’s next?

In the wake of Bloomberg reporting Verizon’s CEO Lowell McAdam’s statement that “Verizon is not going to Canada,” it is perhaps time for the government to pause and reflect on its telecommunications policy.

Over the past year and a half, between Industry Canada and the CRTC, Ottawa has liberalized foreign ownership regulations, implemented a stringent code of conduct for wireless providers, added new mandatory roaming and tower sharing rules and changed the conditions for transfer of spectrum licenses. None of these changes have been in place long enough to have yet had a significant effect.

The government may wish to consider whether the spectrum auction rules and the other policy and regulatory changes are appropriate for encouraging capital investment and sufficient to ensure consumer protection in a competitive market.

It is perhaps time for the government to take a deep breath, as I wrote earlier this summer.

With a number of market participants seeking and needing investment to stay afloat, let alone grow, that breath may need to be taken quickly.

5 comments to What’s next?

  • Mydaisydew

    I think it’s time for the govt to dig in their heels even further. The Big Three claim they are protecting a Canadian resource namely spectrum. Actually it’s the govt of Canada and Canadians who are aware of what’s been happening in the industry that are the REAL PROTECTORS of our Canadian resource. What they neglect to mention in their ads is that they already own 85% of the spectrum.

  • Hi Mark..

    Hope I’m not the only one that sees this flip-flop game, they apparently tabled offer for Wind right, as not over yet..?!?

    Cheers.. 😎

  • Brian

    Hi Mark. I don’t disagree with you on the need for a really big deep breath but I don’t think the Verizon decision on its coming to Canada is as final or definitive as you make it sound and as Mr. McAdams’ statement, as reported in Blomberg News, reads. The Globe and Mail reports (see link below) that a Verizon spokesperson, in verifying Mr. McAdam’s announcement, said in an email to the paper “I can confirm that (the CEO) said AT THIS POINT IN TIME (caps mine), Verizon does not have an interest in entering the Canadian wireless market”. That coupled with the fact that when Verizon’s CEO made his statement he also said the company’s interest in Canada was “way overblown”, not wrongly or incorrectly reported just overblown says to me (quoting Yogi Berra) “it ain’t over till it’s over or until the day lady sings” and I don’t think she’s even in the venue yet.

  • Brian

    Mark. Forgot to include the link to the Globe and Mail story I referenced in my earlier comments. Here it is:

    It appears the story has been updated from the version that appeared in the hard copy that referenced. So all the quotes I used aren’t there. As a result of the update, I’m prepared to admit that the fat lady is in the building and may be offstage in the wings but she hasn’t sung yet.

  • George Hariton

    As you have pointed out, the TPRP Report came out some seven and a half years ago. At that time the most pressing problems were on the wireline side, and we didn’t devote as much attention to mobile as, in retrospect, we should have. I think it would be useful to have a “son of TPRP” to review all telecom policy at this time, including wireless. Given the growing importance of convergence, broadcasting licenses should be included — as should foreign ownership of both telecommunications service providers and broadcasters. As we have seen, the line between BDUs and TSPs has become increasingly blurry.

    As to timing, “son-of-TPRP” should take place before auctioning the 700 MHz blocks, if at all possible. I note that TPRP took ten months from start to finish, and it included such collateral areas as ICT and access to broadband. We could get “son-of-TPRP” done in the same time span, so delays shouldn’t be enormous.