Archived — Notice No. DGTP-006-95

Industry Canada

Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-006-95

Proposal to Rescind the Existing Policy Respecting the Start-up Provision of Cellular Services

1. Introduction

The purpose of this notice is to invite public comment on a proposal to rescind the policy respecting the introduction of cellular services in areas where Rogers Cantel Inc. ("Cantel") has not yet obtained interconnection rights providing access to the public switched telephone network of the local wireline telephone company.

2. Background

The Department of Communications had adopted certain conditions respecting the start-up of cellular services, with a view to ensuring fair competition between the two cellular service providers.

When the Minister of Communications announced, in March 1984, that July 1, 1985 would be the official start-up date of cellular services in Canada, he added the proviso that, while in general any cellular service provider could begin offering services on that date, telephone companies would be permitted to commence service only after six months had elapsed following the signing and regulatory approval of an agreement which gave interconnection rights to Cantel. The purpose of this condition was to ensure that Cantel and the wireline telephone company affiliates had an equal opportunity to capture a share of the cellular market.

3. Proposed Revision

The proposal is to rescind the start-up provision of the cellular policy.

4. Rationale

The original policy was developed at a time when the Canadian cellular industry had not yet come into existence. Today, the industry is a relatively mature one, cellular services being available to over 85 percent of Canadians and there being more than 2.0 million subscribers. Cellular infrastructure equipment is readily available from a number of competing vendors. The rate of deployment of services to the remaining smaller markets of Canada is therefore governed by the business expansion plans of the service providers.

As well, the regulatory procedures which enable entities to obtain interconnection rights, and thereby access to the public switched telephone network of a wireline telephone company, have become much more commonplace and standardized in the years since the cellular services start-up policy was promulgated. Given that the regulatory approval process can now be expected to take about one month, an entity should be in a position to be able to compete in any new market within a reasonable period of time after becoming aware of the intended introduction of cellular services in that market, and should therefore not be significantly disadvantaged by any pre-service commencement activities on the part of another entity.

5. Public Submissions

Industry Canada invites written submissions from all interested parties on the proposal to rescind the start-up provision of the cellular policy. Submissions should be addressed to the:

Director General
Telecommunications Policy Branch
Industry Canada
300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8.

To ensure consideration, submissions must be received on or before July 28, 1995. All submissions must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, the publication date, the title and the notice reference number.

All submissions received in response to this notice will be made available, about two weeks after the closing date of this notice, for viewing by the public during normal business hours at the Industry Canada Library, 365 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario, and at the regional offices of the Spectrum, Telecommunications and Information Technologies Sector at Moncton, Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, for a period of one year from the close of comments.

Michael Helm
Director General
Telecommunications Policy

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