Briefing

Ottawa plans CRTC policy switch to boost competition, cut prices

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Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains is proposing asking the federal telecom regulator to emphasize consumer rights, competition and lowering prices in its decision-making. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Policy directives are rare (the last one is from 2006) and often cited by the CRTC as guiding principles when it issues decisions. If this directive passes, it will be quickly tested as the CRTC considers requiring large telecoms to resell cellular service to smaller players. That would let smaller companies that don’t have their own networks drive down prices. This move is the latest escalation by Bains’s office toward a CRTC that often does not appear to see eye-to-eye with him. The commission initially declined to conduct a review into misleading sales practices, and only did so after the federal government ordered it to. That report came out last week, but did not outline specific timelines for enforcement.