Telus Files Lawsuit Against the Government Over Wireless Policy — Again

by Istvan Fekete on August 30, 2013

Turns out Telus simply enjoys its own presence in the courtroom and the attention it gets when calling the government a naughty boy: it turned to the legal system a month ago over its wireless policy, and now it has filed an application with the Federal Court challenging the Industry Minister’s power set criteria for who can bid on blocks of spectrum during the forthcoming wireless spectrum auction.

While the first filing was questionable, and obviously a marketing move and part of the Big Three’s marketing campaign over Ottawa’s wireless policy, this time the action is a direct challenge to the policy the incumbents say could give foreign players such as Verizon a huge advantage over them.

“We are asking the court to determine whether it is lawful for the Industry Minister to single-handedly establish a new eligibility criterion for the issuance of spectrum licences – something he did when he determined that a ‘large wireless service provider,’ such as Telus, will not be issued a licence for more than one prime block of 700 MHz spectrum in the upcoming auction while other competitors are eligible for two prime blocks,” Ted Woodhead, Telus senior vice-president of government and regulatory affairs, said in an emailed statement Thursday.

Under the new wireless policy published in March, large carriers with 10% or more of the national market, or 20% or more of provincial markets, are prohibited from bidding on more than one block of spectrum out of four, while other players can bid on up to two blocks.

Telus will receive a response within 10 days, but yet again, none of the allegations have been proven.

Considering that Verizon is just one step away from closing a $130 billion deal with Vodafone — it aims to purchase the 45% stake the British player owns in the company — the move could change the odds of Canadian entry.

While some analysts believe this will certainly affect the carrier’s expansion plans toward Canada, others believe it will happen. It remains to be seen what the US carrier’s executive board will decide.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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