Feds gut CRTC decision to disallow Globalive
In a telecom decision handed down in late October, the CRTC ruled that Globalive Wireless Management (Globalive) could not operate a national wireless phone company in this country because the company was not Canadian controlled.
Today, Industry Canada Minister Tony Clement said the federal government has overturned the decision saying that 80% per cent of Globalive’s voting shares are controlled by Canadians therefore the company could offer its Wind Mobile service in this country.
“It is a Canadian company that meets Canadian ownership and control requirements,” Mr. Clement said in a press conference Friday morning.
The decision means Globalive can begin operations immediately. The decision is also the second flip flop by the federal government this year in the matter of Globalive.
In March of this year, Industry Canada announced it would issued spectrum licences to Globalive, after it had determined that Globalive was Canadian-owned and controlled within the meaning of the Radiocommunication Act.
In October, the CRTC embarassed the Minister of Industry by ruling that Industry Canada had erred in issuing spectrum licences. In its “Review of Globalive Wireless Management Corp. under the Canadian ownership and control regime” the agency determined that Globalive had “not met the requirements of the ownership and control regime” and was not eligible to operate a wireless phone company in Canada.
Although the latest decision by the feds is a boon for customers wanting more competition in the tightly controlled wireless market, the move also calls into question the independence of the CRTC.
The independence of the CRTC will be called into question again in coming months as the federal cabinet decides whether it will overrule the federal agencies decision to deny local broadcasters demand for fee-for-carriage (also known as “the TV Tax”)
Discuss the decision in Digital Home’s Canadian Wireless Phone Forum.