Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Unbundling in Canada

It appears that the incumbent wireline carriers in Canda use the same strategy as incumbent carriers in the U.S., i.e., play the investment disincentive card by threatening to delay or abandon infrastructure investment, coupled with a Constitutional claim of property confiscation. The current economic crisis supports an additional adverse impact to employment gambit. See Telecom TV, Can't share. Won't share. Bell Canada has hissy fit (March 18, 2009); available at: http://web20.telecomtv.com/pages/?newsid=44661&id=e9381817-0593-417a-8639-c4c53e2a2a10.

I marvel at how quickly incumbent carriers play the property confiscation argument even as they got billions of dollars in free rights of way. Do these former public utilities have any public interest obligations--no matter how market countervailing--in light of their free access to public and often private property?

2 comments:

Bram Abramson said...

Rob, you may be interested to know that there is a further, countervailing challenge by MTS Allstream (here).

Note that these are not, in fact, constitutional or property rights challenges. (Property rights are in any case not constitutionalized in Canada in the manner they are in the U.S.). Rather, it is the exercise of an ability to petition Cabinet to review the decision, as set out in the Telecommunications Act. It has been recommended that that ability be reexamined.

Timothy said...

The MTS-Allstream petition to cabinet seeks the overturn of that portion of the "essential facilities" ruling which denied them access to ethernet facilities at regulated wholesale rates.