The CRTC has approved an interim order that prohibits Bell from suspending wholesale roaming services to Vidéotron.
The August 30th decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) orders Bell to not suspend services until the commission “has made a decision regarding Vidéotron’s request for final relief.”
“The Commission considers that suspension or termination of the service while the Commission is examining the application for final relief would cause direct harm to Vidéotron because its subscribers could lose service in Quebec and certain regions of Ontario,” the CRTC said. It added that if services were suspended, even on a temporary basis, Vidéotron’s subscribers would not have access to service when they’re outside of the carrier’s territory. This would harm the carrier considerably.
“Many of its customers could decide to change providers, given that they would no longer have access to national coverage,” the CRTC said.
Vidéotron said in a Part 1 Application that Bell sent a letter indicating that a significant number of Videotron’s users were using Bell’s roaming service “on an illegitimate, non-occasional and permanent basis.” Bell states this is a contravention of Bell’s tariff.
Bell told Vidéotron that if the infraction was not remedied within 30 days it will have to suspend the wholesale roaming service. Vidéotron requested the CRTC to “abstain from suspending wholesale roaming services” and asked the CRTC to process the application on an expedited basis.
The August 30th decision indicates that Bell, Iristel and TNW Wireless submitted interventions. The latter two supported Vidéotron.