Public Values

Further competition in wireless markets — public interest advocates

Big telecom's ability to acquire new spectrum should be capped.

Janigan: This is a matter of fostering the most efficient market for wireless.May 17, 2011: The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) wants the auction of spectrum in 2500 MHz band to be conducted with the objective of furthering competition in the provision of wireless service. PIAC filed reply comments yesterday in the federal government's consultation responding to the calls by some incumbents for Industry Canada to abandon the practice of reserving spectrum for new entrants.

PIAC, noting that three companies currently have the rights to 85 percent of spectrum and that Bell, Rogers, and their joint affiliate Inukshuk own nearly two-thirds of the 2500 MHz spectrum, submitted that Industry Canada should continue to foster competition by capping the incumbents' ability to acquire new spectrum.

"This is not simply a matter of getting the most money, but also of fostering the most efficient market for wireless," said Michael Janigan, General Counsel for PIAC.

PIAC's submission responded to predictions of service loss by the incumbents by noting that the UK regulator Ofcom had shown that new technologies were enlarging spectrum capacity significantly beyond current estimates. Partly as a result, Ofcom has been intent on ensuring that at least four national networks exist in the UK.

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  Use spectrum auction to further competition

Posted: May 19, 2011

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