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General

Iristel calls on CRTC to reject Northwestel funding

Tuesday 31 July 2012 | 09:20 CET | News
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) must turn down Bell Canada's attempt to funnel CAD 40 million to its subsidiary Northwestel, according to rival Iristel. As part of Bell Canada's proposed takeover of Astral Media, the CRTC requires new broadcast owners to spend money on 'public benefits' to the broadcasting system. Public benefits money is intended for third parties, like independent producers, not corporate subsidiaries like NorthwesTel, Iristel noted. Earlier this month, NorthwesTel announced a five-year mobile network upgrade with a portion tied to the CRTC allowing Bell to funnel CAD 40 million of the 'public benefits' from the Astral Media deal to NorthwesTel. Without this CAD 40 million, NorthwesTel threatens to pull back network modernisation in smaller Northern communities. Iristel said NorthwesTel is proposing to use public money to keep out competition. Samer Bishay, president of Ice Wireless and Iristel, urged the CRTC to reject the funding and make sure competitors have full and fair access to NorthwesTel's network.

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Categories: General
Companies: Astral Media / Bell Canada / CRTC / Iristel
Countries: Canada
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