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PIAC says government issues contradictory broadband and wireless (Globalive) decisions

While consumers welcome the Cabinet decision to allow Globalive to enter the wireless market, overturning an earlier CRTC decision, the two other decisions on Cabinet Appeals, effectively ensure the broadband market in Canada will remain a duopoly for some time to come.

The two broadband decisions involve issues associated with the obligation of incumbent providers such as Bell Canada, Telus, Shaw and Rogers to provide facilities essential to the operations of competition as well as matching speeds.

“These decisions will severely limit the ability of new entrants and smaller internet service providers to compete with the established players,” Michael Janigan, executive director and general counsel of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre said.

“I don’t understand how the government can say we need more than three competitors in the wireless market and then turn around and effectively limit broadband internet providers to the incumbent telephone and cable companies,” Janigan said.

He predicted that while the Globalive decision will bring needed competition into the market, the government’s internet broadband decisions will ensure Canada’s dismal performance by world standards for years to come.

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