After yesterday’s announcement by Industry Canada that foreign ownership rules for the telecom sector would be loosened up ahead of the 2013 700MHz spectrum auction, Canada’s carriers expressed their opinions. As expected, responses vary quite a bit.
“This is a positive development for MTS Allstream and for Canadians and Canadian businesses,” said Pierre Blouin, Chief Executive Officer, MTS Allstream. “This announcement means more investment, better prices and more choice for Canadians. The Federal Government should be congratulated for its focus on strengthening the Canadian economy and its support for more investment in Canada’s telecommunications sector.”
“The announcement creates the illusion that the government has gone all-in to create a competitive wireless landscape, when they’ve only done half the job,” said Anthony Lacavera, CEO of WIND Mobile. “Delivering on foreign ownership is only half of the equation. We’ve spent countless months telling the government that caps will destroy our ability to compete with the incumbents in the next auction, thereby crippling wireless competition in Canada.”
“Radio spectrum is the building block of wireless broadband – essential to expanding access to education programmes, economic development opportunities, healthcare information and bridging the digital divide for rural communities,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS president and CEO. “The rules established by Minister Paradis will allow all competitors to have fair and reasonable access to the critical 700 MHz spectrum in the upcoming auction. Ultimately, the wireless services built upon this spectrum will provide businesses, educators, students, health professionals and families with the tools they need to build strong, healthy and sustainable communities.”
On the topic of foreign ownership, Entwistle added: “TELUS is hopeful the changes to foreign ownership limits provided yesterday by the Government are a first step towards full liberalization of restrictions across the industry. We would encourage the Government to go beyond this initial step and work towards putting Canada’s telecom industry on an equal footing with our global trading partners.”
“The government has declared the Canadian consumer as the clear winner of this ongoing battle between new entrant and incumbent carriers,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Stewart Lyons. “Our position has always called for full set-asides of the 700 MHz spectrum for the new entrants; and while we recognize a compromise has been made, we are confident that competition will continue for the betterment of Canadian consumers.”
We’ll add responses from other carriers if they also issue press releases on this matter.
Source: Canada Newswire