CRTC Given Clear Mandate to put Consumers and Competition First
Toronto, Ontario, February 27, 2019 – VMedia Inc., Canada’s leading independent telecom and TV service provider available coast to coast, applauds the announcement yesterday by Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains that the Federal Cabinet will issue a direction to the CRTC “that telecommunications policy will be made through a consumer-first lens to ensure Canadians have access to quality services at more affordable prices.”
“This is a breakthrough policy shift,” said VMedia CEO Alexei Tchernobrivets. “It replaces a previous direction that was an impediment to allowing the CRTC to shape policy that put competition, consumers and affordability ahead of the interests of the established major telecom and cable companies that dominate the market.”
The previous direction, issued in 2006 by then-Minister of Industry Maxime Bernier, required the CRTC to give consideration to whether new entrants made investments in facilities, and that its decisions rely on market forces as much as possible. The new direction removes these barriers.
“The new direction recognizes that giving market forces prominence in an industry dominated by two participants in each market is contrary to the interests of Canadian consumers,” said George Burger, a Co-Founder of VMedia. “With the level of concentration in telecom services, that consideration is a recipe for encouraging further market dominance and potentially abusive practices.”
VMedia particularly welcomes this new direction as VMedia made a request that the previous direction be amended exactly in this way in its recent submission to the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review (BTLR) Panel. The BTLR Panel has been charged with a full review of broadcasting and telecommunications regulations.
“Our recommendation, which is fully embodied in the new direction, lay at the core of our submission”, said Burger, “as no meaningful change to the regulatory framework which would assure fair pricing and excellent services in such an important industry could happen under the shadow of the previous direction. This is particularly timely as we face the introduction of the potentially transformative 5G platform”.
“It is gratifying to learn that Minister Bains was on the same wavelength.”
Though the BTLR Panel made the controversial decision not to publish the many contributions Canadians were invited to make to their process, VMedia’s submission can be found here.
“No doubt, this new direction will dramatically affect the Panel’s deliberations,” said Burger.
The process involves a 30-day period during which Canadians can submit their views on the new direction. VMedia will be making a submission, and encourages all Canadians interested in a competitive and affordable telecommunications market to express their support. More details can be found here.
VMedia Inc. provides high-speed Internet, TV, Home Phone and Home Security services coast to coast, with lower prices, more choice and flexibility and unique features. VMedia is the only full-service alternative to the major incumbents available across Canada. VMedia is a leader in IPTV technology and the company’s cool, affordable TV platform delivers a whole new home entertainment experience, enabling consumers to seamlessly enjoy conventional TV, over the top content, video on demand, social media and a world of apps. VMedia makes every TV smart!
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