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Canada: Big Three Continue to Lobby Ottawa on Wireless
Source: itworldcanada.com
Source Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Country: Canada
Created: Aug 13, 2013

In interviews, blogs and press releases Bell, Rogers and Telus continue to object to federal policy that was firmly upheld the day before.
 
Hoping that it ain't over 'til it's over, the country's biggest cellular carriers are continuing to plead with the Harper government to close what they say are loopholes in its wireless policy with the possiblity of giant U.S. carrier Verizon Communications entering the market.

In news releases and interviews Thursday the day after Industry Minister James Moore flatly rejected weeks of lobbying, executives of BCE Inc. (which owns Bell Mobility), Rogers Communications and Telus Corp. insisted Canadians are concerned that carriers here aren't able to fairly fight Verizon or any foreign carrier of that size unless Ottawa changes the rules for the upcoming spectrum auction.

They also revealed they've asked to meet the prime minister over the issue. No meeting was set up before Moore's statement was released.

The trio also continue to urge Canadians to go to a Web site they've set up, FairForCanada.ca.

The site lets people read the letter carriers sent early last month to the prime minister and includes a collection of supportive articles from various publications.

But it doesn't ask readers to do anything, like email their members of parliament.

Thursday's statements to the media could be seen as a way to show the government that the trio aren't willing to roll over just because of Moore's statement. The Conservatives are sensitive to social media campaigns, as exhibited by their willingness to direct the CRTC to reconsider its Internet service provider wholesale pricing policy.

However, even Ken Engelhart, Rogers' senior vice-president of regulatory affairs, admitted in an interview that Moore didn't leave the government any wiggle room in his statement.

When asked why continue lobbying, he said "when you are in a position with a public policy that seems to be lacking in common sense and is costing your company billions of dollars I think you're going to bring that to the public's attention. And the government may change their minds, they may not. But we're going to express our views."

(By Howard Solomon)

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