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Canada Courts Quash Gov't Decision On Globalive

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the or-whatever-the-polite-version-of-quash-is dept.

Canada 104

sitkill writes "A Canadian Federal Court ruling has rejected the Tory Cabinet's decision to overturn a CRTC mandate not allowing Globalive (which is more commonly known in Canada as the mobile carrier Wind) to operate in Canada. This is a small vindication to the embattled CRTC, which has been recently in the spotlight for its decision on usage based billing, drawing criticism from the Tory Cabinet. The CEO, Mr. Lacavera, stressed that this would not result in Globalive's Wind Mobile being shut down, simply that it would require another round of wrangling with the regulator over how much foreign influence is acceptable in a Canadian telecommunications company."

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104 comments

Yes! (3, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116000)

One should *always* stick with a company based in one's own nation. I'll have to get on my T-Mobile phone and send the news to my buddies on Facebook right aw...

...oh, what? [telekom.com]

(I kid, I kid...)

Re:Yes! (4, Insightful)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116332)

O hell no. I think it's high time the carriers in Canada need to be taught a lesson.

I have a Wind Mobile phone at the moment. I LOVE the service. I've shopped around, and no other company can even come remotely close to touching my plan. Last time I shopped around, other carriers either wouldn't even carry that kind of quality service, or the price was 2 to 3 times as much. If letting foreign companies own telecoms in Canada means Canadians stop getting charged absurdly high prices for phone service that would cost half as much anywhere else in the world, then I'm all for it.

I've been with the other major carriers here. They keep saying there's competition for cell service in Canada, but all the companies keep treating their customers as if there's a monopoly, so up till now even if we switch carriers things never get better. Wind is a great start, but when it comes to phone and internet service in Canada, the market is sick with protectionist corruption.

Re:Yes! (3, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116476)

More importantly: the CRTC needs to be destroyed with extreme prejudice. They are so utterly transparent in their role as federal shills for the incumbent mega-telcos, largely staffed by ex-board members. Those assclowns should be lined up in front of Ted Rogers' grave and executed by firing squad.

The CRTC is single-handedly responsible for setting Canada back 15 years on the network front. I'm not shitting you, my internet was faster and more reliable, back in 1995 when the first wave of cable modems hit my area. No caps, 10/1.5 mbits, no throttling, no peak-time decimation, no DNS hijacking, and no blocked ports whatsoever. Today you're lucky if you can even websurf without some goddamned P-Cube box giving your packets a colonoscopy. The entire industry has devolved into a nihilistic "fuck the customer" game, thanks to this protectionism under guise of consumer advocacy, and all the propaganda that "average users only need 2gb, everyone above that must be an evil pirate", which of course a lot of (sheepish) people blindly accept as the gospel truth.

Ditch the CRTC, socialize the damn telcos since just about every citizen is paying into the same 3 corporations anyway, and let's get back to being offensively polite before I liquefy Fincklestein's fat head.

Re:Yes! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116710)

The CRTC has been responsible for many things:

  - Delaying satellite TV in Canada for several years
  - The extreme uptake in satellite piracy in Canada (Badly crafted laws combined with the CRTC's penchant for restricting quality foreign content created a perfect storm for otherwise honest people to pirate American satellite. You can't feel sorry for taking the forbidden fruit, when that forbidden fruit is simply forbidden television)
  - Delaying satellite radio in Canada for so long I imagine there are still more grey market accounts than there are legitimate ones, and castrating Canadian satellite radio
  - Permitting lock-in from Cable TV companies by not supporting cable card
  - Placing honest immigrants in prison for paying for foreign TV (a crime in Canada due to the CRTC)
  - Destroying Canada's status as a North American radio powerhouse. Did you know at one point a Canadian radio station controlled the radio market so seriously that Bob Seger wrote a song deriding Canada's stranglehold on the industry (Rosalie)?
  - Ruining the quality of Canadian output by not requiring it compete on its own merits. Instead, most all media in Canada is required, by law, to play Canadian content, even if it sucks or is virtually non-existent (eg: Jazz music).
  - Adjusting the very laws that destroyed CKLW to suit Bryan Adams, because they felt he deserved more airtime (really!)
  - Creating and monitoring the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council who have gone so overbaord, they've required stations here to censor Dire Straits "Money for Nothing", despite that the song is written as a monologue describing the actual views of a real person of rock stars from the 80s.

Those are just some of the things. The CRTC is an anachronism and must be stopped. I'm just so glad Canadians are starting to wake up to this. Give me my DirectTV and Clear Channel, PLEASE!

Re:Yes! (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118636)

We can certainly live without the crtc. If suddenly all hell breaks lose, we can always bring it back.

Re:Yes! (2)

Obyron (615547) | more than 3 years ago | (#35121474)

they've required stations here to censor Dire Straits "Money for Nothing", despite that the song is written as a monologue describing the actual views of a real person of rock stars from the 80s.

You don't think the lyric "that little faggot's got his own jet airplane. that little faggot he's a millionaire" might be worthy of censoring? I'm a big Dire Straits fan, but I can see why they don't want that playing at drive time. At least that makes sense. I want to know who turned the radio version of Eminem's "Love the Way You Lie" from-- "I'm gonna tie her to the bed and set this house on fire" to "I'm gonna ___ her to the ___ and ___ this ___ on _____".

Re:Yes! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127540)

Yeah, I remember a few years back my internet connection was severed purposely by the cable company Cogeco. Their rational was that I went over my CAP. My response was WTF is a CAP? They were like, well you can only Upload/Download 60GB a month. I was like, WTF I have never had that before, when was this done? They responded that it was done a few months ago. I demanded to know why the heck I wasn't notified and how can they just change a contract? They said if I check my EULA that change is in there. I ask them if they can just change the EULA whenever they wish? To which the response was that yes they can, there is a line that says basically, you are obligated to pay by contract X dollars a month, yet at any time they can change the terms of the agreement to whatever the hell they like. They said they updated the EULA on their website, and gave me the obscure URL buried in their web pages, and said that counted as notification.

So yeah, my connection in 1995 was actually better, it might has been slightly slower at 10 VS 12 MB/s but those numbers are largely theoretical anyway. However I didn't have CAPS. My connection wasn't being actively throttled. I likely paid less as well. That's telecommunication progress in Canada.

Abolish CRTC. Nationalize Telecommunications. Open up the market. One or more of these things have to be done in order to move forward from the status quo of getting left behind.

you mean a verizon thorttle or comcast cap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116922)

donot think that petition would mean squat to a majorly owned company outside canada
anyone who does is a shill for foreigners

Re:Yes! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35118734)

Last time I shopped around, other carriers either wouldn't even carry that kind of quality service, or the price was 2 to 3 times as much.

To put this into perspective, I was paying Bell on average $72 a month after taxes for:

250 daytime minutes, 50 Canada-wide long distance minutes, unlimited after 5PM / weekends
free incoming texts only
500 MB BIS internet per month (no tethering)
Voicemail, call waiting etc. etc.

and this was after threatening to cancel and getting onto a discounted 'business plan'.

With Wind mobile, I pay $45 a month after taxes and get:

unlimited anytime minutes to anywhere in Canada and the US
unlimited picture messaging to Canada and the US
unlimited text messaging to anywhere in the world
unlimited internet access with tethering included (I use bluetooth to tether my phone to my laptop when I want internet in the city)
Voicemail, call waiting etc. etc.

Not to mention the fact that the range before you're considered away from your 'local' calling zone is an hours drive in any direction from me with Wind, and they will give you the unlock code for your phone once you've been with them for 3 months.

I will NEVER switch back to Bell, Rogers or Telus again as long as Wind is around and providing me with the service they are now. I (and many Canadians) have been screwed far too long and far too hard on telecommunications, and I am very glad that the new upstart cell companies (Wind, Mobilicity, Public Mobile) are creating REAL competition for a change.

Re:Yes! (1)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 3 years ago | (#35124036)

Are you sure about your Wind plan? I have the $45 plan as well, and picture messaging is NOT unlimited... Which plan do you have and where can I get yours?

Re:Yes! (1)

Doggabone (1025394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35126998)

Are you sure about your Wind plan? I have the $45 plan as well, and picture messaging is NOT unlimited... Which plan do you have and where can I get yours?

There's one on their website right now called the "Winter Wonder Plan", which looks like a match.

confusing multiple negatives (4, Informative)

Speare (84249) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116016)

A Canadian Federal Court ruling has rejected the Tory Cabinet's decision to overturn a CRTC mandate not allowing Globalive (which is more commonly known in Canada as the mobile carrier Wind) to operate in Canada.

Can we please unscramble this? I lost count of the negatives. Can Globalive operate in Canada, or not?

Re:confusing multiple negatives (4, Informative)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116038)

Globalive cannot operate (the last sentence kind of implied that anyway). Sequence of events.

1. Golbalive wants to operate in Canada.
2. CRTC says "no, you can't".
3. Tory Cabinet says "forget the CRTC, you can operate".
4. Canadian Federal Court says "forget the Tory Cabinet, you can't operate".

Re:confusing multiple negatives (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116282)

1. Golbalive wants to operate in Canada.
2. CRTC says "no, you can't".
3. Tory Cabinet says "forget the CRTC, you can operate".
4. Canadian Federal Court says "forget the Tory Cabinet, you can't operate".

Fuck this planet. Hey Zeus, Kristos! Who's buying who, and who's getting bought?

Battlefield Earth is a better movie than this life. Ick.

Re:confusing multiple negatives (4, Informative)

flyonthewall (584734) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116294)

Actually,

4. Canadian Federal Court says "The Tory were wrong to say Globalive has domestic ownership". Nothing (yet) on the right to operate.

Decision will probably force the government to finally change the law to open telecommunication ownership to the rest of the world.

Re:confusing multiple negatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120836)

Thank you for deciphering this. I was feeling kinda slow.

Re:confusing multiple negatives (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125968)

Don't forget the most step in this sequence:

5. Bell/Rogers profits!!

Re:confusing multiple negatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126940)

Don't forget 1.1 - the Canadian gov takes millions from Globalive for spectrum licences

Re:confusing multiple negatives (1)

Looce (1062620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116080)

Mandate from CRTC disallows operation.
Decision from cabinet to overturn the mandate allows operation.
Ruling from court to reject the decision disallows operation.

Unscrambled as requested.

Re:confusing multiple negatives (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116156)

Importantly, cabinet cannot overrule the CRTC merely because it's cabinet. The CRTC is charged with ruling based on laws as written, but the government can always pass new laws.

Wind mobile is probably in serious trouble right now, because for the government (which is a minority party) to wrangle any of the other parties on board for this might be tough. Opposition to UBB has support from the liberals, the NDP and the conservatives (and I have no idea about the Bloc, and the greens have no seats so their opinion on the matter is irrelevant), so it might get turned into a law fairly quickly.

Re:confusing multiple negatives (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118290)

The NDP will have to support Wind, and I think the Libs would be committing political suicide if they don't too. I think we could see a quick-pass bill on this issue.

The question is whether or not they will add language about UBB as well. All three parties have clearly stated their position on this, that UBB is bad.

We might be seeing a very interesting bill in the next week or so.

Re:confusing multiple negatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116236)

Which, if Slashdot had editors worthy of the name, would've been written as "Canadian Federal Court reaffirms CRTC mandate not allowing Globalive...", rather than an unnecessarily confusing triple negative.

Of course, nobody ever didn't not accuse Slashdot of having decent editors. :-p

I read the decision last night (5, Informative)

telso (924323) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116272)

(Note: this is based on my memory of reading the decision last night at 4 a.m., and I don't feel like rereading it for a /. comment; some things may be slightly off, and IANAL, but the gist is correct.)

Telecommunications companies in Canada cannot be "influenced" by non-Canadians, which means while non-Canadians can have a stake in a company, it can't be significant (there's no set standard, but think under 10% or 20% and not on the board). (Whether this policy is a good idea is fully debatable, but it's the law.)

Globalive (operating as Wind Mobile) is an upstart Canadian cell phone company run by Canadians (technically, they're old, but new to the cell market); there's no dispute here. However, to bid in the recent spectrum auction, it needed cash. So they called up Orascom, an Egyptian company, to get some financing. But they needed so much money that if they issued equity (shares) Orascom would own more than half of Globalive, breaking the Telecommunications Act. So they decided to borrow the money (debt) from them instead, thereby getting around the rules.

Public Mobile, another upstart Canadian company that also won spectrum in the auction, said this was unfair: they played by the rules and got financing from Canadians, and so took Globalive to the CRTC. The regulator ruled that while "in law" Globalive was certainly Canadian, "in fact" they owed so much money as a part of their overall net worth (~2/3) to Orascom there was no way the latter couldn't have influence on the former, which meant Globalive broke the rules and couldn't even bid in the spectrum auction, let alone operate in Canada.

The Conservative Government, which is generally pro-free market (in favour of foreign investment and competition and against regulators and government, though many have argued their actions haven't matched their ideals (see, e.g. Potash Corp., supply management, etc.)), issued a cabinet decision that overruled their regulator, thereby allowing Globalive to operate (which it did within days). They are allowed to overrule the CRTC, but they can't just say "because I said so": they need to justify their reasons, and the Federal Court can review their decision to see if their reasons are reasonable. (Obviously any decision will be debatable, so there is some standard for reasonableness.) So Public Mobile took the government to court. (For those interested in where our scummy telcos (Bell, Rogers, Telus) lined up, they all, of course, favoured less competition, so wanted to get Globalive out of business regardless of the merits of the case, though only Telus spoke at trial. We know they're hypocrites because their execs have all publicly lobbied for opening up telcos to foreign ownership and financing, while arguing against it here.)

The court ruled that the CRTC was correct in determining that Globalive was influenced by a non-Canadian, and that the government's "reasons" for their decision did not change this.

Basically, there are four basic tenets of telecommunications policy set out in the act, and one of them is the no non-Canadian influence part. The government tried to say that this part was less important than the other three parts, and that this part should only be applied "when possible" (i.e. when it won't conflict with the other parts). The government also seemingly added another tenet, which was that companies should search for technological advancement from outside Canada. And lastly, it said its cabinet decision applied only to Globalive, so wasn't precedent.

The court said while there would be nothing wrong with a policy that had some tenets be more important than others, or one that added other tenets, that's not what the law says, and unless Parliament (legislative branch) changes this, the Cabinet (executive branch) can't issue a decision that isn't grounded in law. The court also said the arbitrariness of the decision (applying only to Globalive) further proved their decision couldn't stand.

So that's where we are. The judge stayed his decision for 45 days to give time for the government and/or Globalive to appeal (after which it will probably be stayed further), so Wind will continue operating, probably until appeals are exhausted (there's the Federal Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, so we're probably looking at a year or two).

What should come out of this case is a public debate about the completely antiquated, anti-competitive telecommunications market in this country, and how we're falling behind other countries. (I won't speculate on how to fix this, but letting one more cell phone company into the market is a drop in the bucket.) What will actually happen is the politicians will be too scared to do anything, leaving the consumer to be continued to be screwed over by the status quo.

Re:I read the decision last night (4, Insightful)

green1 (322787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116348)

(For those interested in where our scummy telcos (Bell, Rogers, Telus) lined up, they all, of course, favoured less competition, so wanted to get Globalive out of business regardless of the merits of the case, though only Telus spoke at trial. We know they're hypocrites because their execs have all publicly lobbied for opening up telcos to foreign ownership and financing, while arguing against it here.)

It's actually not hypocritical at all. What the major telecoms are saying is that they are in favour of relaxed foreign ownership rules, but they are NOT in favour of selective enforcement of the rules. Currently Globalive is allowed to operate as essentially a foreign company on Canadian soil, meanwhile nobody else is allowed to raise money overseas. How is this fair? If Globalive can do it, so should everyone else.

The problem here isn't the decision to allow Globalive to operate, it's the inequality of allowing them to do this while preventing anyone else from doing the same.

The court ruled (sensibly) that the government can't have it both ways, they need to either make Globalive play by the rules, OR change the rules (they're the government, they can do that.) The major telecom companies, while not overly wanting the competition, DO want a level playing field, and would prefer the government fix the rules.

Honestly, I don't see Wind Mobile shutting down. What I see as most likely in this case is for the government to relax foreign ownership rules, theoretically enabling more competition. But doing so in a fair way such that everybody works from the same rule book, which is the only fair way to do this. One time exceptions just aren't the way things should be done.

BELL Canada (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119534)

Yet one of the other major carriers is "Bell Canada", which I'm fairly sure still has some fairly strong attachment to their US megacorp counterpart. So what gives there?

Re:BELL Canada (2)

green1 (322787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35121272)

Bell hasn't had any large tie with US companies since the 60s... I'm not sure what percentage is now owned by foreign interests, but I'm certain it's below the regulatory threshold (on a side note, "Bell Canada" didn't really start off as a subsidiary of Bell in the US, but rather as a separate Canadian entity owned by the father of Alexander Graham Bell who did a lot of his original work in Canada.)

I know that Verizon used to own the maximum legally allowed amount of TELUS stock (I seem to think it was about 30%) however they recently got rid of that because Canadian laws wouldn't allow them to go any higher, and they really wanted more than just a small share.

All the major Canadian telecom companies are in favour of allowing foreign ownership. They just want the rules to be the same for everyone, that's what pisses them off so much about Globalive, the fact that an exemption was given to one company but the law was left unchanged causing other companies to be at a disadvantage.

Now as to whether or not the rule itself is a good idea, that's a different argument entirely. Originally the worry was that foreign ownership of telecommunications companies would allow foreign interests to control who we communicate with and how, this is not generally a good thing, national security, national sovereignty, and all that jazz. However I believe that as long as telecommunication companies are limited to simply providing communications, and stay out of the business of controlling what you use them for, then it shouldn't matter who owns the companies, and competition is generally a good thing. With that in mind, I personally believe that the right answer is to remove the foreign ownership requirements, but only in conjunction with strong net-neutrality/common carrier legislation. (Allow anyone to compete, and nobody to control)
Now I think the rules may need to be different when you look at companies that produce media as well (such as Bell who own CTV) because providing communications infrastructure is one thing, providing the content to fill it is something different, and maybe the rule would have to state that companies producing media follow different rules than those simply carrying whatever signals people choose to send.

Re:BELL Canada (1)

elvis15 (1375583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35122936)

This side conversation (starting with telso) is an excellent description with a mostly-neutral yet extremely informative and correct description of the issue. Often enough people just spout knee-jerk reactions without looking at the reasons, and that doesn't make for a very good discussion. Thanks to both telso and green1 for providing a reasonable amount of sanity while actually discussing the issues.

To continue with that, I don't mind expanding foreign investments in Canada, and with Canadian companies, but it does have to be fair to all. That means giving startup companies the same chances as the big ones, and vice versa. It doesn't directly imply that all companies will then increase their foreign ownership, although most will likely increase it some. It does mean more room for competition and that's been part of the problem for all these years.

With the big three, they are essentially all very similar in coverage and plans and phones. This is a direct result of the competition between them, which not only causes the perception that their all in cahoots (whether real or perceived) to drive up prices, but also that if one of them offers something, the other two pretty much have to match it. It's created an expectation among the consumers, like with hardware subsidies, that cause the companies to earn their money in different ways.

People have mentioned (and will continue to mention) prices in the rest of the world as being much more affordable for service but it's important to note North America is a unique subset of the cellular world. I mentioned hardware subsidies, most other cellular companies don't offer them and consumers have to buy their phones at without discounts. That means all 17 year olds can't afford to get an iPhone/Blackberry/Android device but instead buy an affordable phone that allows them to text and call. Then they buy an iPod or MP3 player for extra media and use that separately. Only people who have a genuine need and ability to use/buy more expensive phones, like smartphones, do so. Those differences in cost structure certainly do affect the way the rest of your service is priced so the carriers can recoup those costs.

Also consider the size of our country. Somewhere like England or Japan would have much lower costs (with a much higher consumer base, using England as an example has $15M more people than Canada but would easily fit in one of our provinces by actual landmass, never mind Japan) to provide infrastructure. European countries like England also have their infrastructure spread across other countries which share the costs for roaming from, say, England to France between other companies, or divisions of the same carrier. For Canada, it costs money to build towers that reach all the way out to the corner or RR2 and Township Rd 4 and yet carriers still expected to have amazing speeds and clear quality for calls.

Now obviously there are still concerns over cost of services and quality, and all my rambling has gotten way off topic, so I'll end with this: for a startup to be competitive, they are limited provide coverage only to several major cities (as the cost to start a whole new network - even if it was shared across several companies - would be considerable) and keep rate plans low to attract consumers despite their other limitations, but it's important for that to still be done within the confines of the current laws to make it fair for everyone. For the major carriers to lend a considerably large hand to supporting someone like Public Mobile is actually a refreshing sign and this decision overall is a positive so that no one, including the government, plays too large a hand themselves in controlling businesses.

Re:I read the decision last night (0)

bunhed (208100) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116360)

best summary of this i've read anywhere. ++

Re:I read the decision last night (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116400)

Lending money does not give the lender legal influence in the company unless and until the company breaks the terms of the loan and cedes ownership to the lender. That's the difference between credit and equity.

And while the Egyptians may have been willing to invest in the company, they ceded any control of the company by merely lending.

If that's not allowed by the law that spells out prohibited ownership levels, then it would have to be spelled out as a prohibited situation as well, and if it isn't spelled out then it's not part of the law (vague law is no law at all).

And if it's not part of the law, then the attempt to keep this company from operating is based on no law, which makes it simply illegal behavior by the government.

Unless there's something we're not being told (which is likely, given that the court itself is talking about government making rulings without basis in law, but then it could just be missing the irony of that argument in a galactically stupid way).

Summary: If it's not in the law, then the government can't enforce it, and if the court is saying it can, then the court is turning the concept of the law on its head, and Canada is going to get very, very (much more) weird in the future.

Re:I read the decision last night (2)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116538)

Not the government, the CRTC, which is a federally-subsidized shill operating on behalf of the big 3 telcos. Officially, the CRTC is supposed to keep them in check, fighting for the consumers, but in reality they just cash their "thank you" cheques and read whatever propaganda Bell/Rogers/Telus puts on the lectern.

Re:I read the decision last night (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35121988)

Unless, as it seems to be the case, the formal side of the cash injection in question was specifically done in a way allowing circumvention of the rules...

Dissolve the CRTC and warn the Federal Court (1)

keneng (1211114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35123364)

If the court follows the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law, there's something wrong. The spirit of the law has to do with protecting the Canadian Consumer. The spirit of the law has less to do with protecting the existing old boys' market share.

Taken from the article: "Globalive, which is backed financially by Egyptian communications giant Orascom Telecom, was denied a licence in 2009 to operate by
the federal telecommunications regulator(CRTC) on the grounds that it did not meet Canadian ownership requirements for phone companies. "
I believe the Canadian citizens don't benefit from the increased competition when CRTC puts sticks in Globalive/Wind Mobile's wheels.

Again taken from the article: "Weeks later, the Harper government vetoed that decision, permitting Globalive to launch under the Wind Mobile brand. In about 14 months of operation, it has acquired more than 200,000 customers. "
I believe the Harper government did the right thing when they gave Globalive/Wind Mobile the green light to go ahead. Hats off.

I believe the Federal Court’s move to overturn this decision recently seems to confirm the fact that CRTC and the Federal Court don't represent the Canadian Citizens interest at heart. I also believe the CRTC and the Federal Court are being overtly protective and keeping the lion's share of the telco/isp/mobile market for the existing old boys' club.

I also feel the CRTC should be ashamed with the recent performance record in failing to protect Canadian consumers against rising INTERNET/TELCO costs. I'm disappointed with the Federal Court siding with the CRTC decisions. Perhaps others might agree with me that it would be in Canada's best interests to dissolve the CRTC considering all the recent data with respect to usage-based billing and thwarting off foreign competitors. Both of these actions certainly don't prevent telco/isp/mobile fees from rising through the roof.
China's consumers pay 80RMB(13$CAN)/month for GB 3G mobile 2GB(Usage-Based Billing) usage. 13$CAN may seem inexpensive it but is because you reach that cap easily before the end of one week if you use google maps with satellite view turned on. It's still very expensive. This proves UBB doesn't work elsewhere.
China's consumers pay 166.67RMB(27.78$CA)/month for domestic internet ADSL unlimited usage 6Mbps download/1Mbps upload. It's excellent service and the price is much more competitive than in Canada. The average Chinese netizen is increasingly interested in QQ, baidu, sina, youku, blogs, p2p, and net games. All of which would be grounded to a halt if it weren't for China's wise flatrate/uncapped usage internet billing policy. It works well for everyone in general.

In Canada, we need more competition. In Canada, we need lower uncapped flatrate telco/internet/mobile rates not only to keep the Canadian tech community strong, but also to encourage more worldwide collaborative synergy, world interdependence, and ultimately world peace. Recent throttling/cutting of internet across borders certainly doesn't help us to get there either.

Re:Dissolve the CRTC and warn the Federal Court (2)

boxwood (1742976) | more than 3 years ago | (#35124854)

Uh, no the courts shouldn't just decide that they don't like the law and won't enforce it. They should be enforcing the letter of the law, because if the letter of the law isn't in line with the spirit of the law, then the law should be changed.

If the courts have the power to decide what's legal based on their own gut feeling, then they are effectively making the laws, which is something that parliament should be doing.

And neither should parliament (especially not a minority government) should be able to dictate what should happen without following the law.

So the Tories want to let this company operate in Canada. The courts say "Hey, that's actually against the law". The next step is for the Tories to change the law. At which point the courts say "yup its all good legally now". A change to a law should be debated in parliament, not changed by a some appointed judges that disagree with it.

Re:confusing multiple negatives (2)

gordguide (307383) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116606)

They can operate ... the courts gave them 60 days (I think ... something like that) and there is no interest to shut them down (by anyone, regulators, competitors, consumers, you name it) ... more competition in wireless is desired, not less. So an extension will almost certainly be offered to allow them time to sort the issue out.

The court case centred around how GlobalLive was financed. Through a bit of creative reading of the law, GlobalLive is structured so that almost 100% of the financing is foreign (Egyptian billionaire) while the control and operating firm has sufficient Canadian resident board members and shareholders and as long as the company is fine financially, just pays off the loan.

The law basically states that majority control of telecom must always reside with Canadian entities or individuals. Foreign ownership is fine as long as it stays below controlling interest with that particular industry.

So, as it sits now, GlobalLive is fine, but if there's a default in the loan, the foreign entity could end up with basically 100% ownership. The court basically said this was effectively a scheme to circumvent the legislation.

The lawsuit was brought by a rival carrier ... a small, new entrant who also got spectrum in the same auction ... who felt that this gave GlobalLive access to capital that it could not, since (as I said earlier) the law pretty much says you can't do it that way. The carrier who brought the suit doesn't want to shut down GlobalLive, but if GlobalLive is allowed to do it, then they feel they should also be able to finance in the same manner, since this opens up access to capital that they felt they could not use under the existing law, consistent with their legal advice when forming their own firm.

In essence, GlobalLive through Order-In-Council obtained the right to obtain financing the other entrants are still prohibited from obtaining ... the law itself hasn't changed, but one carrier was given a special right not enjoyed by the others.

So, the short answer is GlobalLive will probably have to either obtain new financing that offsets the amount of equity that the Egyptian firm could acquire via loan default so that such a default won't give the foreign firm a majority stake, or the other carriers will have to be given access to the same capital terms. Either way will work.

Chances are GlobalLive will find enough new capital to pay off the Egyptian firm to the extent that default won't allow a majority stake, or they could modify the terms with the existing financier so that even without new financing there will be a limit on how much equity the Egyptian firm could acquire in default.

Ha! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116034)

Xenophobic Canadians! Who woulda thunk it?

Re:Ha! (1)

tqk (413719) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116376)

Xenophobic Canadians! Who woulda thunk it?

We're multi-cult, but this about money. Same as everywhere.

So many people to hate (3, Insightful)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116046)

It's patently obvious to most Canadians that many of our government agencies collude with industry to screw citizens out of their hard earned dollars. From protectionism to anti-competitive regulation, it seems like virtually everyone we employ from city to federal government is cashing two paycheques.

Didn't really see this one coming though. Usually the courts exercise some amount of restraint enforcing bad law after bad law.

Re:So many people to hate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116074)

"industry to screw citizens out of their hard earned dildoes"

dildoes...

Re:So many people to hate (4, Insightful)

LibRT (1966204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116148)

It is high time the CRTC was disbanded entirely - they serve no discernible purpose other than the purposes you, nightfire-unique, describe above.

Once that's done, abolish the CBC (Canada's socialized TV station, which is funded to the tune of $1B+ in tax dollars and largely airs Simpson's re-runs while unable to even keep the content flowing 24 hours a day). It is shocking that anyone should argue in favor of every worker spending a part of his or her day working such that TV shows which cannot survive on their own merit can be produced with the resultant tax revenue. It is bad enough that Canada should subsidize and encourage crimes against nature like Celine Dion, but did the world really need Tommy Hunter?!?

Re:So many people to hate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116224)

I'm Canadian and I moved to the US about 10 years ago. The things that I miss the most is a relatively balanced news program (i.e. CBC-TV) and hockey. It's refreshing when I go back to visit to actually get news instead of nothing but a series of talking pundits and commentarys (i.e. CNN and Fox, though I very rarely watch Fox). In addition, CBC also includes radio programming. In fact, if you want to hear good cutting edge Canadian bands (i.e. not Celine, etc.) then listen to CBC Radio 3 sometime. It's available online for streaming and in podcast for for download. My point is, don't throw out the baby with the bathwater...

As for the CRTC, it, like the RIAA, will disappear as the method of content creation and distribution continues to shift to electronic formats. In fact, CD sales are at their all time low.

David

Re:So many people to hate (3, Interesting)

DrEasy (559739) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116302)

I agree, CBC radio is very good. Good programming, no commercials, I am happy to pay taxes for that. CBC-TV on the other hand...

Re:So many people to hate (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116876)

As for the CRTC, it, like the RIAA, will disappear as the method of content creation and distribution continues to shift to electronic formats. In fact, CD sales are at their all time low.

the CRTC has nothing to do with the RIAA. You're mixing it up with the CRIA.

The CRTC is the Canadian equivalent to the FCC.

Re:So many people to hate (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35117212)

No industry canada is equivalent to the FCC. The CRTC would be equivalent to...hell if I know but it no longer is an actual reflection of what it should and be doing.

Re:So many people to hate (1)

LibRT (1966204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116974)

If their content is really that good, it ought to be able to stand on its own - there's an awful lot of horrid content that somehow manages to. I'm glad you like what they're broadcasting; forcing me to work, on threat of imprisonment, to fund that content is an absurdity.

As for hockey, there's TSN, TSN2, RSP (Pacific, West, Central, East, HD, etc. etc. etc.). As it is, Canadian tax dollars compete against these private enterprises for the rights to broadcast hockey - it isn't as tho hockey wouldn't find room on the Canadian TV dial absent a billion dollar subsidy!

As for news, I more or less gave up on television news a long time ago (altho interestingly, there are some good US anchors who are Canadian (ie Peter Jennings, John Roberts (who used to have hair down to his waist and host Power Hour, a heavy metal show on MuchMusic), etc.).

Re:So many people to hate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116334)

It is high time the CRTC was disbanded entirely - they serve no discernible purpose other than the purposes you, nightfire-unique, describe above.

Once that's done, abolish the CBC (Canada's socialized TV station, which is funded to the tune of $1B+ in tax dollars and largely airs Simpson's re-runs while unable to even keep the content flowing 24 hours a day). It is shocking that anyone should argue in favor of every worker spending a part of his or her day working such that TV shows which cannot survive on their own merit can be produced with the resultant tax revenue. It is bad enough that Canada should subsidize and encourage crimes against nature like Celine Dion, but did the world really need Tommy Hunter?!?

Like one of the other AC respondents, I am also a Canadian living in the USA. And I think it would be disastrous if the CRTC and CBC were disbanded.

You would be shocked at how invisible Canada is in the media south of the border. Honestly, it's like we don't exist at all. Other parts of the world outside the USA get far more coverage. If you were to dismantle the CRTC and the CBC, you would say goodbye to any Canadian identity in the media. American culture would eclipse it, finally and forever.

Re:So many people to hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116412)

I agree that the CBC provides news for Canadians from a Canadian point of view. I think that's important.

But, in my view, the CRTC is just a sock-puppet to the big telcos. The CRTC doesn't make decisions to the benefit of the Canadian people, that's for sure.

Re:So many people to hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116478)

I agree that the CBC provides news for Canadians from a Canadian point of view. I think that's important.

But, in my view, the CRTC is just a sock-puppet to the big telcos. The CRTC doesn't make decisions to the benefit of the Canadian people, that's for sure.

I'm the same AC who made the GP post. I understand your point. I was coming from the "Canadian content" perspective. And, as I understand it, that is something that the CRTC is tasked to defend. If instead it defends corporate interests at the expense of Canadian identity, then I agree it deserves to get its wings clipped. But is that the situation? It seems to me that the CRTC is simply asking the company in question (Wind) to jump through some more hoops to ensure that Canadian culture is defended properly. I don't see how that makes the CRTC a "sock puppet to the big telcos." But please, enlighten me on what I'm missing. And I do mean that sincerely.

Re:So many people to hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116652)

Well, for starters check out the UBB (Usage-Based Billing) fiasco. I didn't see the CRTC do anything but give the ISPs carte blanche to heap horrendous per GB charges on consumers. I'm not against UBB, in fact I think it's a good idea. But as allowed by the CRTC (basically unchecked) it will affect Canada's ability to compete by ensuring that internet service in Canada remains one of the most expensive in the world.

You can check out Who's Who at the CRTC at http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/G2.HTM where it appears the board is heavy with industry insiders and exes. Not really balanced.

And if you try to complain about your cellphone or internet connection, the CRTC won't help you at all. Complaints are shuffled off to some Complaints Commission whose board is composed mostly of the very telcos that you may be complaining against. That's what I call a stacked deck.

Anyway, how the heck does the CRTC think competition in the supply of bandwidth, pipes, and cellphone towers threaten Canadian Culture? How can that be a bad thing? It's the *content* that might need to be regulated if you're worried about such things, not so much the deliverers of bits. I have to qualify that last statement by adding "where real competition exists".

I say let anyone in who wants to compete. The entrenched telcos and ISPs certainly have no reason to innovate or be competitive otherwise. They have carved up the market pretty much the way they want - two of them are screwing consumers in the West and two of them are screwing the consumers in the East.

Re:So many people to hate (1)

LibRT (1966204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35117048)

You are quite correct that part of the CRTC's mandate is force-feeding Canadians "Canadian content". There are complicated formulae for what exactly constitutes "Canadian content", depending on such things as who wrote a piece of music, who produced it, where it was recorded, etc etc etc ad nauseum. (As an aside, it was the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, not the CRTC, which recently banned the Dire Straits song "Money for Nothing" based on a single complaint about the line, "The little faggot got his own jet airplane/The little faggot he's a millionaire").

The CRTC also regulates the internet (hence the recent UBB controversy) and regulates foreign ownership of media.

Re:So many people to hate (1)

LibRT (1966204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35117014)

That's quite typical of the insecurity of Canadians when it comes to national identity. Really, why would you care what the Americans think of Canadians? Americans in general are rather convinced the US is all there is of note in the world - just ask them to find a random country on a globe. That's just the way they're built.

And "say goodbye to any Canadian identity in the media"? A good chunk of "American culture" is made by Canadians, ie Mike Myers, Michael J Fox, Jim Carrey, James Doohan (Scotty), William Shatner, Pamela Anderson, Dan Ackroyd, Raymond Burr, Neve Campbell, Kim Cattrall, Michael Cera, etc. The list goes on and on and on. A very significant portion of all US movies and TV series are shot in Vancouver or Toronto or Montreal.

I can further assure you that, as the number one supplier of oil to the US, Canada is not insignificant in the eyes of all Americans. And one third of all the lumber used in new home construction (about twenty sheets of wood at the moment...) is Canadian.

If you think Canada's net contribution is found on CBC, the foil hat is inside out...

Re:So many people to hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35119592)

That's quite typical of the insecurity of Canadians when it comes to national identity. Really, why would you care what the Americans think of Canadians? Americans in general are rather convinced the US is all there is of note in the world - just ask them to find a random country on a globe. That's just the way they're built.

I'm afraid you missed my point. It's not about what Americans think of Canadians (in fact, they like us a lot) it's that a Canadian presence is eerily absent in the US media, whereas other countries in the world receive attention. It's about what Canadians would think of themselves if all they had was US media.

And "say goodbye to any Canadian identity in the media"? A good chunk of "American culture" is made by Canadians, ie Mike Myers, Michael J Fox, Jim Carrey, James Doohan (Scotty), William Shatner, Pamela Anderson, Dan Ackroyd, Raymond Burr, Neve Campbell, Kim Cattrall, Michael Cera, etc. The list goes on and on and on. A very significant portion of all US movies and TV series are shot in Vancouver or Toronto or Montreal.

So what? These artists may be significant contributors to US media, but rarely do they present a uniquely Canadian image. They are Canadians playing American characters. Ditto for the movies and TV series. Canada is a cheap production house, and a convincing stand-in for US locations. Just because you're producing films and shows in Canada doesn't mean they're Canadian.

I can further assure you that, as the number one supplier of oil to the US, Canada is not insignificant in the eyes of all Americans. And one third of all the lumber used in new home construction (about twenty sheets of wood at the moment...) is Canadian.

This only strengthens my point. Canadians get American shows and movies. Americans get Canadian rocks and logs. The cultural trade is out-of-balance.

Re:So many people to hate (1)

LibRT (1966204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120384)

I'm sorry, but I honestly think you are missing my point (and confirming it in the process): you are lamenting the lack of attention Canada gets in relation to other countries on US media and by implication arguing national identity is created by media. It's not. If anything, media reflects national identity. And really, why worry that other people should be unable to isolate their national identity? What is it that you think constitutes "Canadian culture" in the first place? The usual answers tend to be hockey, maple syrup, the Mounties and socialized health care. I'm pretty sure all those would continue to exist without the CRTC or the CBC.

I just don't understand the anxiety some people experience about "cultural trade", as you refer to it. I'm willing to bet a sizable majority of Canadians never go see a "Canadian" movie (as you define it) or watch anything on CBC other than HNIC or the Simpson's, or particularly care about foisting "Canadian culture" on other nations. People tend to like a good movie, a catchy tune, or a good book, all without ever giving thought to where it was produced or which "culture" it is peddling.

Re:So many people to hate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35123160)

I'm sorry, but I honestly think you are missing my point (and confirming it in the process): you are lamenting the lack of attention Canada gets in relation to other countries on US media and by implication arguing national identity is created by media. It's not. If anything, media reflects national identity. And really, why worry that other people should be unable to isolate their national identity? What is it that you think constitutes "Canadian culture" in the first place? The usual answers tend to be hockey, maple syrup, the Mounties and socialized health care. I'm pretty sure all those would continue to exist without the CRTC or the CBC.

Back at you: I reaffirm that you have missed my point. Without a robust Canadian media, the US media would dominate. The lack of attention Canada gets in US media would translate into a lack of Canadian identity in the media that Canadians watch. It doesn't matter whether the media "create" or "reflect" culture. Whatever makes up Canadian culture (and you seem to think it includes hockey, maple syrup, the Mounties and viable access to health care) is still at risk without a robust Canadian media.

I just don't understand the anxiety some people experience about "cultural trade", as you refer to it. I'm willing to bet a sizable majority of Canadians never go see a "Canadian" movie (as you define it) or watch anything on CBC other than HNIC or the Simpson's, or particularly care about foisting "Canadian culture" on other nations. People tend to like a good movie, a catchy tune, or a good book, all without ever giving thought to where it was produced or which "culture" it is peddling.

Like I said, you missed my point spectacularly. It's not about "foisting Canadian culture" on other nations. Other nations are free to enjoy, or ignore, whatever Canadians produce about themselves. It's about providing the opportunity for Canadians to see themselves. And by the way, I disagree with you that Canadians never go to see a "Canadian" movie. I won't pretend they get the same box-office receipts as Hollywood fare, but Canadians do go. But again, without a robust Canadian presence in the media, the catchy tunes, good books, etc., from Canadian artists, would not get the same attention, and would dry up.

Re:So many people to hate (1)

LibRT (1966204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130352)

By arguing that Canadian content would dry up absent forcible exposure and subsidies, you are arguing that there is no inherent demand for Canadian content, and there I will agree with you.

For a very small minority it is important that Canadians perceive themselves in a way that the same minority deems in their interests. But "culture" is never made by government edict. "Culture" arises organically, and either sticks around or changes or disappears. Now, I certainly don't begrudge you your views, and if you wish to support said views voluntarily out of your own pocket, then please, by all means, go ahead! But when you insist that your neighbours be forced to contribute to your pet projects, that's where you lose me. I certainly don't think you should be forced to go to work for a part of your day for my pet projects. Please do me the courtesy of reciprocating.

Re:So many people to hate (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130788)

Not necessarily. Casual exposure would increase demand as most people would not actively seek Canadian content on that criteria alone. However, given the exposure, many people enjoy / feel a sense of pride at being part of a Canadian music.

Re:So many people to hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116344)

Agreed.

Re:So many people to hate (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116372)

I don't listen to CBC, but the French-speaking pendant, Radio-Canada, actually airs a lot of very interesting shows. I'm more than happy to pay for them. The news is also fairly balanced and well-made.

Maybe what's needed is some investigation in the CBC's funding and choices for shows instead of just destroying it entirely?

Re:So many people to hate (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116570)

CBC needs to stop trying to be like its U.S. uncles. And for the love of Jebus, stop producing those imbecilic comedy shows like "This hour has 22 minutes" and whatever absurdist filth Rick Mercer is peddling. We have a lot of great content and artistry, there is no point in stooping to Fox-like depths with this lowest-common-denominator programming. They already know what quality is, thanks to the magnificent CBC Radio, so what's with the mediocre TV ?

Re:So many people to hate (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#35127678)

While I agree that the CRTC should go, or at least have their role limited and a new regulator take over parts.

I disagree about the CBC. I enjoy much of the programing both TV and radio and I think a billion bucks in the grand scheme of things is a small price to pay for having a Canadian national network. The only thing I would like to see is perhaps an analysis of how much it costs CBC to run VS say a commercial network, and if it is absurdly higher, then to look at trimming the fat a bit.

As to Canadian content rules, I would rather media be judged on content and demand, rather than just source. Use the money saved to promote/subsidize Canadian content generation in Canada rather than simply forcing content. I think you would get better competition and more jobs in that sector in Canada.

Par for the course (1)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116092)

Typical in this goddamned backward country. We should be thanking our lucky stars we have cell phone companies like Bell and Rogers to protect us from those evil American companies and their low prices.

Re:Par for the course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116138)

Wind is Egyptian, not American.

We're the richest 3rd-world nation (3, Interesting)

bunhed (208100) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116100)

Quebec should stay, it's Ottawa that should separate.

Is Wind up and running? (1)

hileyj (1990704) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116102)

Ok, so step by step... CRTC says 'Hey Wind Mobile, we don't want you operating in Canada'. Tories say 'That ain't right they should be able to operate in Canada'. Federal Court says 'Hey Tories, STFU Wind Mobile isn't doing business in Canada.' This is all quite confusing to me since I was under the impression that Wind was already operating in western Canada.

Re:Is Wind up and running? (1)

Random Destruction (866027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116258)

Yes, they're operating in the GTA. Though its rare I heard Toronto called 'western canada'

Re:Is Wind up and running? (1)

hidden (135234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116502)

Luckily, they are actually operating in WESTERN Canada as well:
At least Edmonton, and I'm pretty sure Calgary and Vancouver/Victoria.

Re:Is Wind up and running? (1)

isopropanol (1936936) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120622)

Yeah, They and mobilicity are both in Vancouver, but not outside the lower mainland in BC. I was looking at getting a mobilicity plan until I found out I'd pay roaming charges at home

Re:Is Wind up and running? (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130470)

They operate in Calgary, but haven't yet expanded the coverage to actually include all the edges of this sprawled out city. Their map said "Coming in late 2010", but I haven't heard any updates yet. People at the Telephone Booth also suggested their downtown coverage isn't great (owing to buildings), but I haven't tested that.

Re:Is Wind up and running? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116266)

Yes they are operating and apparently have 250,000 subscribers. Article says they can operate for 45 days, during which time Wind can appeal etc

Re:Is Wind up and running? (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118338)

All this means is that they have a couple of weeks to arrange for someone to buy Oracom's debt.

Given they are operational, I suspect the banks will back it. With a little Tory strong-arming perhaps.

Re:Is Wind up and running? (1)

romanr (113283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116368)

Not quite.

1) The law as currently written says Wind Mobile can't operate in Canada due to foreign ownership restrictions.
2) CRTC follows the law and says Wind Mobile can't operate due to foreign ownership restrictions.
3) Tories say they should be able to operate in Canada.
4) Somebody, probably a competitor not happy with 3), takes it to court.
5) Federal Court says: Wind Mobile should not be doing business in Canada because the law says it can't.
6) Tories are going to have to get the law changed if they want Wind Mobile to operate in Canada, or Wind is going to have to change it's ownership structure such that it complies with Canadian law.

As much as I think the CRTC is realy screwed up and makes a lot of stupid decisions, in this case, they were actually doing what they were supposed to.

Competition (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116112)

This decision is especially bad as Wind is one of the few companies that's actually offering competition against the big telcos and cable companies. They have low-priced data plans without long term contracts, and actually seem to want your business. It's too bad they don't cover more area. With this and the usage based billing decision it's becoming more and more obvious that the CRTC is bought and paid for by the existing 'big guys' in the industry.

I've said it before: if I ran the country it would be illegal to have long term communication contracts as it hurts competitiveness. No bundling phones, etc ... allow payment plans for them but no tying to long term contracts.

Re:Competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116190)

My friend in Toronto is extremely pleased with their service, it's the first cell carrier he's actually not had a complaint about. Someone needs to replace von Finckenstein before he makes any more boneheaded moves.

Re:Competition (1)

elvis15 (1375583) | more than 3 years ago | (#35122998)

I would be ok with that, but you can bet all those kids with expensive smartphones wouldn't. How do you think they could pay for those phones if they weren't subsidized? And you can bet they'd rather have the subsidy up front - damn the consequences - so they can go on Facebook and Twitter without having to fork out $400-700.

Vindication of the CRTC? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116116)

That's ridiculous. It's a condemnation of the Harper government's attempt to circumvent the foreign ownership laws on behalf of one particular company, without actually bothering to amend the law first.

Re:Vindication of the CRTC? (4, Insightful)

green1 (322787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116364)

Congratulations, you're the first person to post that actually seems to understand the issue. This has nothing to do with whether the foreign ownership rules are "right" or "fair" this is entirely about making exceptions to laws for specific people/companies.

The only way a civilized society can function is if everyone is playing from the same set of rules. You can't allow one company to circumvent the rules while prohibiting anyone else from doing the same.

The judge in this case sensibly ruled that the government has 2 choices, make Globalive follow the rules, or change the rules to be the same for everyone.

Now the ball is back in the government's court, and they can decide what to do with our foreign ownership rules, and they can decide what to do for EVERYBODY this time.

Re:Vindication of the CRTC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126110)

It's a fact.

Telecoms in this country would be fantastic if every company and potential investor had the same rules to play by.

I can only imagine the absolute headache that foreign telecoms endure when attempting to invest in our country. I'm sure many companies would find that it's not worth the trouble to fund a legal team solely to navigate Canada's murky and seemingly arbitrary regulatory framework. The government's conflict with an arm's length regulator makes investment in the country a dangerous proposition as it stands.

But, it's such a mess now that I doubt it would get any worse if there was a complete and immediate dissolution of the CRTC. Like someone mentioned above, if things truly got hosed, a new CRTC could be rebuilt. There's just so many problems on the government and regulatory side that it's tough to know where to begin.

So basically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35116270)

The court has banned wind in Canada.
Sounds good to me living in the upper midwest. We could do with less wind coming from the north at this time of year.

and the judge will get a box with all channels for (2)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116328)

and the judge will get a box with all channels for free and uncapped max speed internet.

Re:and the judge will get a box with all channels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125064)

Don't forget the smartphone!

The Conservatives are likely to Ignore that. (1)

steeleyeball (1890884) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116366)

Woo Hoo, another Legislative Branch vs Judicial Branch. This could take a while... As a Democracy you guys know what we mean, eh?

Re:The Conservatives are likely to Ignore that. (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116384)

I don't think they're likely to ignore it, they've been pushed in to a corner, and they'll have to actually fix the mess they made in the first place.

Either make everyone follow the rules, or change the rules, none of these one off exceptions for specific companies.

Judgement found "Errors In Law" (2)

Maow (620678) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116422)

I'm a Wind customer: $40 / month, unlimited talk & text Canada & US wide, unlimited internet (possibly throttled after 5 gigs).

I looked at the decision and summarized it here: http://android.maow.net./ [android.maow.net] The errors in law were:

[107] The Governor in Council has in many respects adhered to and acknowledged the Canadian telecommunication policy objectives as set out in section 7 of the Act.

        However, the Governor in Council has stepped outside those provisions by inserting a previously unknown policy objective into section 7; namely, that of ensuring access to foreign capital, technology and experience. Secondly it erred by limiting its Decision to Globalive only.

And this:

        [113] A decision-maker such as the Governor in Council is not only required to take into consideration the relevant statutory criteria, but also to exclude irrelevant criteria

        [118] In the second of the above “Whereas” clauses, the Governor in Council acted outside the legal parameters of the
        Act in stating that its Decision impacts only on Globalive. The Governor in Council cannot restrict its interpretation to one individual and not to others who may find themselves in a similar circumstance.

        [119] These improper considerations were fundamental to the determination of the Governor in Council to reverse the Decision of the CRTC. Therefore, the Decision of the Governor in Council must be quashed.

Did this law exists in the 90's? (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116544)

Cantel (Rogers Wireless) was owned in part by AT&T and BT (British Telecom) in the 1990's. I would be interested to know when this law cited by the judge came into effect.

Re:Did this law exists in the 90's? (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35121366)

Many (most?) Canadian telcoms have some foreign ownership, the question is how much, there's a maximum percentage allowed by the law (my memory says 30%, but I don't remember for certain)
Over the years Rogers has had ownership from Sprint, TELUS has ownership by Verizon, Bell has had ownership by AT&T, I'm sure the list goes on and on. From a government stand point the critical part has been making sure that the foreign owners never have enough of a stake to control the company.

All of the major telecoms are in favour of reducing the restrictions on foreign ownership. They just don't want one-off exceptions like the one given to Globalive.

Personally I believe that allowing foreign ownership isn't a bad thing provided you also have strong net-neutrality/common-carrier laws to offset the risk. Who cares who owns the companies, as long as owning the company doesn't allow you to control what people do with their communications service? Additionally, allowing more foreign competition would be good for a market that has been allowed to stagnate with few participants running quasi-monopolies.

The obvious solution... (2)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116568)

The obvious solution is for the government (assuming they are still in fact pro-competition and still support the idea of Wind Mobile operating in Canada) to pass a law removing the requirement that telcos be operated by Canadians.

Re:The obvious solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35125234)

We have Rogers/Bell/Telus mainly for cell phone and internet services, and a lot of other companies that just resell off of them.

A few companies hold the monopoly, and they sublet a portion their monopolies to smaller companies whilst still retaining the larger portion of revenues, in essence forcing any small business that wants to compete to strengthen their monopoly rather than actually truly compete.

Our goverment and the CRTC should be replaced with people that actually care about the future of our country (and not the future of their pockets). Keeping the Bell/Rogers monopolies alive and feeding them year after year is emptying the pockets of hard-working folk and ensuring the future grip these companies will hold. Almost everybody in Canada can tell you a story about when the bill was high for X reason, or how they can't get channel Y because it is part of a different package and they are already paying Z which is too much already.

If there really were a better choice, these companies would have been out of business long ago, but our government seems dead set on keeping us locked into using their services and stifling any new innovations that threatens the hold these companies have on our market.

The current 'big players' don't even do half of what they promise they would, or do so in a sub-par fashion. Go to any rural area of Canada, and investigate your options for internet. Compared to some other countries, we are over 5 years behind in terms of technological advancements - there are people still on dial-up here or using insanely-capped satellite internet (about 3-4 times faster than dialup after you've downloaded the first 3-400kb).

If you call Rogers to get their WiMAX service, you will have to call about 10 times or will have a 3G rocket stick delivered to your door if you didn't triple-check that the person taking your order was actually paying attention and knew of the offering. The pricing structure between the two is a 10x difference, and their sales people are likely told to push the 3G rather than the WiMAX because it lines their pockets better and has more severe lock-in contracts.

Example:
  - For $40 you can get 3mbit WiMAX which is good for 30GB usage and $1/GB on top of that.
  - For $80 you can get 3-5mbit 3G service which is good for 5GB usage and $10/GB on top of that.

I have personally fell victim to Rogers and their sales tactics, and refuse to go with Bell due to Rogers actually having a better service (in comparison).

I hope one day our government actually starts working for us, rather than against us under the guise it's for our own good. The meme here is getting old, and as the older generations pass the new ones will only have a sour taste in their mouth from their experiences with the companies that our government sanctions on us.

There is no real choice here (in Canada), you either pick government-approved company A or government-approved company B, and when you pick company C you are actually getting a resold service of company A or B.

More of us need to complain to the CRTC about *that* - as not enough do and they feel as though most of us are happy with the service which is why things like what happened with Wind are still happening.

Typical for Canada (1)

Identita (1256932) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116808)

Why did Globalive have to go half way around the world to get money in the first place? Because this country and its investment banking and VC community are a joke and nothing more than ex-bankers playing with a handful of land developer's money. The truth is that any decent company from any field (tech/biotech or other) will abandan/sell-out Canada eventually because our own country lacks the fundamental principles of investing in itself.

Re:Typical for Canada (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130536)

Actually the Canadian banking system is rated as the best in the world... maybe I'm missing what you were trying to express?

TOO MANY NEGATIONS (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116890)

rejected x to overturn y not allowing z. In the end this requires quite a bit of thought WHAT was the result. That's why I always teach "Use variables and functions with positive logic, so you always use "isCorrect", not " !isFaulty" because very soon it devolves into unmaintainable mess.

Call it the NRA! (1)

ramriot (1354111) | more than 3 years ago | (#35116900)

Thinking of starting a pressure group National Ringer Association with the aim of supporting sensible mobile pricing, no contract lock-ins, no data caps etc.

The rallying cry directed at the CRTC and voiced by a passionate Canadian celebrity would be:

'You can have our wind mobiles when you can prize them from our cold dead hands!'

In closing may I add that if it was not for the greedy governments running practically fixed auctions for spectrum that results in massive bids, then Wind would not have been forced to go outside Canada to find the extra funding. There was a time when all spectrum was licensed for an agreed fee that only depended upon factors affecting the support of that licensing.

Disclaimer: The above in no way should be confused with the National Rifle Association or its aims, it is recognised by the author that a strong society can only proceed upon the premiss that ownership and use of lethal weapons of all kinds must be closely controlled by sensible laws, and that includes your Hummer Mr. I'm going to occupy two lanes of the 401 at a time.

The Dreaded Canadian Oligopoly (2)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35117960)

For a long time, Canada has been ass backwards over how it allows cable and phone companies to operate. When cell phone companies wanted to charge BOTH ways for text messages, members of parliament debated allowing more companies into the country. That got stomped out RIGHT quick. Don't kid yourself, the government is NOT in charge of this country.

Bell Gets What It Wants (1)

X!0mbarg (470366) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118008)

Looks like Bell Wins another round, as their puppet (the CRTC) gets to block off another competitor from entering into Canada!
After all, we can't have anyone compete with Ma Bell, or Regulate them into fair market pricing, or anything...

Wrong Issue (1)

omega6 (1072658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35118220)

The issue is not competition or even wireless-related at all. There is a Federal Law specifying some minimum requirements. The cabinet decided that we will give a one-time exception to a particular private company, and allow them to break the law. A federal judge said: no, cabinet cannot do that, if they want to make exceptions in law, they have to do it the proper way: pass a bill, through parliament. I think this is a great decision since this gives more power to the democratically elected parliament, as opposed to a chosen Cabinet. (If the ruling party controls only 30% of the votes, they shouldn't have carte blanche to do anything they want, esp. breaking laws)

Torn about this issue ... (1)

zoltandulac (1990938) | more than 3 years ago | (#35119058)

I am torn about this issue. While the Canadian in me doesn't want to see foreign companies own a majority in a Canadian telecom, the consumer in me is really upset about how much cell service costs in this country (i.e. *way* more expensive than most other countries). Bell and Rogers charge for incoming SMS if you don't have SMS in your plan, and it seems that they work with each other to fix prices. Not only does Canadian consumers need competition for these folks, this competition needs deep pockets in order to successfully compete with these folks, which Wind has, thanks to its parent Orascom. So I am torn. It doesn't help, either, that Orascom also in a joint partner in Koryolink [wikipedia.org] , North Korea's only 3G Mobile operator.

Re:Torn about this issue ... (1)

isopropanol (1936936) | more than 3 years ago | (#35120904)

How are "canadian" publicly traded companies any better than "foreign" publicly traded companies?

Re:Torn about this issue ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35126764)

I know how you feel... but the Canadian in me is disgusted about how un-Canadian Rogers is in their dealings with customers.

They're neither overly polite and have never once apologized for their shittiness. In fact, they have taken on threatening tones with me in more than one occasion. Maybe I reached the call-center in Tehran those couple of times...

Globalive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35120110)

This glob... it's... it's alive!

Or is it meant to be Glob-a-live? Either way it's a puzzling moniker.

dorm mate from college (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35122870)

The CEO was a dorm mate of mine from college. Go to the new issue of the University of St. Michael's College alumni magazine for an article on him.

Poor support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35127416)

Once we sign up, we never get an email reply so we can join in. Are you folks a scam or what?

Usage Based Billing (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35130086)

The CRTC wanted to FORCE a 25 gig cap on broadband users. When the idea came under fire they "postponed" it for 2 months to avoid criticism. We should continue campaigning against it regardless because they intend to do it once we turn our backs and schedule it so it doesn't affect the next federal election.

There is no good reason for the decision to implement such a cap which makes the scary possibilities even more poignant.

Keep up to date on freedom of speech rallies in Canada and remember to vote for a party that supports net-neutrality!
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