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Posts Tagged ‘wind mobile’

We Interrupt this Prorogue….

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on January 21, 2010

No Usage Based BillingBoy, was I surprised to be flashed with n email notification from Industry Canada.

(Particularly as I have not always been… er… most charitable to The Honourable Tony Clement.)

However, the email bearing his name bears repeating, so I’ll just pop it in entire:

Subject: Regulated access to wholesale telecommunications services
From:Minister.Industry@ic.gc.ca

Thank you for your e-mail expressing your concerns regarding regulated access to wholesale telecommunications services.
The MTS Allstream LogoAs you may be aware, three petitions to the Governor in Council have been filed, appealing several decisions of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Each decision concerns the extent that the large former monopoly telephone companies (e.g., Bell Canada) are required to provide competitors with wholesale services at regulated rates and terms. MTS Allstream has appealed Telecom Decision CRTC 2008-117 and Telecom Regulatory Policy 2009-34, and is seeking more stringent wholesale rules. Bell and TELUS have each appealed Telecom Decision CRTC 2008-117 and Telecom Order CRTC 2009-111, and have requested that certain wholesale obligations be removed.
Bell Canada Logo
The public record of these appeals is available under “Gazette Notices and Petitions” on Industry Canada’s Spectrum Management and elecommunications website at ic.gc.ca/spectrum. You will find electronic copies of the petitions, public comments made by interested parties, and links to the CRTC decisions under appeal.

CRTCUnder the Telecommunications Act, Cabinet can decide to take action in response to a petition by varying (changing) the decision, referring it back to the CRTC for reconsideration or rescinding the decision. Cabinet can also decide not to intervene and let the CRTC decision remain in place. The government’s powers to intervene expire one year from the date of the decision in question. Given that the matter is still under consideration by Cabinet, it would not be appropriate for me to comment at this time.

Once again, thank you for writing. I trust that this information is helpful.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Clement

Interesting.


When Cabinet overturned the ill advised CRTC WIND Mobile decision, much ado was made of the idea that Cabinet interference in CRTC doings was in fact a one time thing.   The second last paragraph of Tony Clement’s letter today rather strongly indicates otherwise.

Very interesting.

Prorogue or no, seems that Mr. Clement is out there working.


Sign the Petition:
http://dissolvethecrtc.ca/

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Wind Mobile: The Canadian Government Listened

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on December 15, 2009

WINDmobile

New Kids

No Usage Based BillingYou could have knocked me over with a feather.

The Canadian Government actually listened to Canadians

On Friday Industry Minister Tony Clement overturned the CRTC decision to deny Wind Mobile the use of the spectrum they purchased. Instead, Globalive’s WindMobile now has the opportunity to roll out their new cel phone service.

Canadian Cel Phone Service

Canadian cel phone costs… ooof.   And have you noticed how every Canadian seems to have at least one cel phone horror story.   I haven’t heard anything good about the state of Canadian cel phone service– except from those who are profiting from the cel phone incumbents.

The Canadian government looked at Canadian Cel Phone service and realized that Canadians were paying through the nose. Our government decided to attempt to remedy the situation by auctioning some cel spectrum on which the incumbents would not be allowed to bid. The point was to introduce new players. The hope was to trigger competition.
Canada Flag
Which could only be good for Canadian consumers.

Vetted by Industry Canada, Globalive’s Wind Mobile was allowed to bid in the spectrum auction— because they had been approved.   They paid their money then went on to lay out piles of cash to set up operations and hire staff and create advertising; they were gearing up to go.

Even before Wind Mobile opened for business strange things began happening in the world of Canadian cel phone service.   Some of the incumbents began changing some of their worst policies.   After all, they were about to be faced with actual competition in the cel phone market.   What a concept!

Canadian consumers were happy…

Of course, the incumbent Cel providers were not.   They complained to their friends at the CRTC.   They said that Wind Mobile is not Canadian enough.

CRTC listened to the complaint, and decided that Wind Mobile was not Canadian enough.   Even though as near as I can tell, Wind Mobile is a Canadian company run by Canadians. They have foreign investment capital. Most businesses require investment capital. Just as most people need financing to buy a home. Just becasue a bank starts out holding the mortgage doesn’t make it the banks’s house.

Even though Wind Mobile had paid the Canadian government millions for the cel spectrum they had won in the auction, as well as spending plenty more for the business start up, suddenly Wind Mobile was in limbo.   Talk began to float around about how the incumbents would now be able to buy the Wind Mobile spectrum   —   at bankruptcy prices.

…thoughts of competition had danced in our heads

Canadian consumers were not happy to have the competition we wanted snatched away.   There was grumbling.   And muttering. Many voices were raised in opposition to this CRTC decision.   Many voices.   For instance, I muttered and grumbled in this very blog.   And I was not the only one.   One of the things I read and heard over and over again were complaints about the lack of “Canadianess” of our Canadian Cel phone providers. (Although some of them operate under more than one name, which may be confusing the CRTC into thinking that there is lots of competition, there are really only 3 Canadian cel providers, the “incumbents”… Bell, Rogers and Telus.
Bell Canada Logo
Although these companies are “Canadian”, Bell Canada, for instance, has shut down much of their operations on Canadian soil in order to set up operations overseas so they don’t need to spend as much money.   (Not that they passed any of this savings along to consumers, you understand.)

Wind Mobile’s head honcho Tony Lacavera fought the CRTC decision.   He gave interviews in the mainstream media so Canadians knew what was happening.   He appealed to Industry Canada. They had after all given him the go ahead, and all the costs Globalive had incurred to start up Wind Mobile were done in good faith.   He took it to the Canadian Cabinet.

[We’re in a recession!   Here are Canadian entrepreneurs bringing a huge investment into Canada.   And the CRTC is telling them to go away?   Do they not live in the same world you and I do?]

Most amazingly of all, our government listened.   Industry Minister Tony Clement overturned the CRTC ruling Friday December 11th, 2009.

Globalive Welcomes Gov’t of Canada Decision and Prepares to Bring WIND Mobile to Market in time for Christmas.

BRAVO!

Imagine my surprise to read this diatribe Telco decision violates Telecommunications Act: Union from Canada’s “largest telecom and media union” criticizing the Canadian Government’s decision.   I would have thought that a union of telecom and media workers would support new investment in Canada’s telecom industry.   Instead they are parroting the Incumbent Cel phone companies.

Am I naive in thinking that a union representing telecom workers would welcome a company that could offer jobs to the many telecom workers who lost their jobs due to downsizing or when Bell moved so much of their operations overseas?   If I was a member of this union I would be wondering whose side CEP is on.

Critics of Mr. Clement’s decision are citing foreign ownership as the problem.

Is foreign ownership bad for Canadian culture?

I have a hard time believing foreign ownership of a phone company could have much impact on Canadian culture.   The only change in our culture I can envision is that griping about our cel phone providers may no longer be a national pastime.

If you want to know about culture, let’s just take a quick peek at the “Canadian Music Industry”. The four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association are: Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada. Please note that all four have “Canada” appended to their names to differentiate them from the non-Canadian mother companies, Warner Music Group, Sony Music, EMI Music, and Universal Music. For decades the Canadian music industry has been dominated by “branch plants” of foreign companies.

Foreign domination of our music industry has been the reality accepted by Canadians since the mid twentieth century.

And let’s not forget that once upon a time the Canadian Parliament passed a special law incorporating a largely foreign owned company– Bell Canada — as a Canadian Corporation.   Isn’t it about time our telecommunication industry got some new blood?

Wind Mobile could hardly do worse than the incumbents.


I don’t know about you, but I still believe one of the best things for Canada would be the dissolution of the CRTC, so
If you haven’t yet: Sign the Petition, check it out at:

http://dissolvethecrtc.ca/
10316 signatures

and if you have, tell everyone who will be affected by increased internet costs

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Posted in Changing the World | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Globalive WindMobile Turndown by CRTC

Posted by Laurel L. Russwurm on October 30, 2009

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Industry Canada approved Globalive and took their rather large stack of money– $442 million to be exact– in an auction of government airwaves. Globalive was only allowed to compete for these airwaves after first passing Industry Canada’s vetting process.

Globalive has been busy, putting out commercials, setting up shop, running at least one job fair in Toronto where they were overwhelmed by the massive turnout of job applicants for the start-up. Sure some of it is because we’re in a recession, and people need jobs (which our government only talks about providing) but an awful lot of Canadians strongly believe in what WindMobile is saying. It’s an indescribable luxury to have the privilege to work for a company you believe in.

“Having already received approval from Industry Canada, we are extremely disappointed that the CRTC has come to a different conclusion,” said Anthony Lacavera, Chairman, Globalive Wireless Management Corp. “This is a bad day for Canadian consumers. Canadians deserve competition in wireless and this decision represents a major step backwards.”

— windmobile.ca: A Bad Day for Canadians and Wireless Competition in Canada

Michael Geist has problems with this ruling.

Even the Liberal Party is calling for action here.

cbcAt last count, 309 Canadians commented overwhelmingly against the decision on CBC online: CRTC says no to Globalive

The Globe and Mail’s hundreds of comments on their stories:

are also overwhelmingly opposed to the decision.

And a lot of those folks have taken the time to head over to http://dissolvethecrtc.ca/ where the count is up by more than another 500 signatures on the petition.

TVO Search Engine host Jesse Brown

Jesse Brown, TVO's Search Engine

The inimitable Jesse Brown’s amazing interview with CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein left me even more in the dark about the CRTC’s motives. Clearly Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein has no idea what he is supposed to be doing. Clearly he has no grasp of what the CRTC is supposed to be doing for Canada. Since the man is a former judge you would think that he’d understand the difference between factual evidence and “Bell Canada says…” but apparently that would have been asking too much. From listening to his tone of voice he seems perfectly confident in what he’s doing and saying. Perhaps he really is not aware of the growing anger of Canadians. He’s certainly drawing a lot of fire that would otherwise be aimed at the appropriate government ministries.

So the CRTC doesn’t live in the same world that we do, and obviously things must change. Canadians are starting to get mad.

I for one hope that WindMobile fights this one.

WINDmobileWe can help by following the same methods of making complaints citizen complaints as discussed in my initial Stop Usage Based Billing column.

If it turns out that Globalive loses, Canada owes them an apology for starters. But more importantly, Canada must ALSO refund all of the money that this company has laid out in good faith to start up the business for which they had been given government approval. Assuming they don’t want to sue for damages, at the very least they need to be repaid the initial $442 million, along with interest and a reimbursement of all start-up costs.

I for one hope that it doesn’t come to that. Because Canada surely needs WIND.



http://dissolvethecrtc.ca/
9606 signatures

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