Government announces roaming fee caps for smaller networks

by Andrew Roach on December 19, 2013

Roaming fees have been a contentious issue in the domestic wireless market all year with many smaller companies having to fork out large amounts just to access a different network in other parts of the country

Just days after the CRTC announced that they were investigating the matter, the federal government has looked to put a stop to the matter once and for all by introducing a limit that will prevent roaming fees from going too high

The new laws will mean that customer will no longer be slapped with huge premiums if they want to use their phones in areas not covered by their chosen wireless provider

it will be a big boost for smaller companies such as WIND Mobile who have been one of the networks to be charged higher rates by the Big Three networks over the past few years

When announcing the news, Industry Minister James Moore made it clear that changes would be brought in swiftly and could be ready in just a couple of months

Moore went on to elaborate that roaming costs could be as up to ten times for any customer who wanted to gain access to a network of another company>

Rather than setting out new laws, the government will introduce the new rules as part of an amendment to the Telecommunications Act in a move that will also allow the CRTC to issue fines to telecom companies that break any of the new conditions or laws introduced by the government

After the announcement, WIND Mobile reacted to the news stating that it was a huge victory for many of the smaller telecom companies who have struggled to compete against their larger rivals over the past few years. In a statement, CEO Antony Lacavera told the press:” This roaming development is huge for Wind because it allows us to go out there with a whole new proposition. We can now offer Canadians national plans”

Despite the news having caused shockwaves through the telecom industry< only Bell reacted to press enquiries about the changes stating that they were keen to see “the legislation in more detail”

With the new changes set to take place in a matter of weeks, it seems that the government are keen to increase the competition in the telecom market and the roaming fees caps will certainly give smaller wireless providers more room in the future to manoeuvre against their larger counterparts

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