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Canada Government Wireless Networking

Canada Courts Quash Gov't Decision On Globalive 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the or-whatever-the-polite-version-of-quash-is dept.
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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Canada Courts Quash Gov't Decision On Globalive

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  • Yes! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @12:08AM (#35116000) Journal

    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! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Stoutlimb (143245) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @01:41AM (#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! (Score:4, Informative)

        by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Sunday February 06, 2011 @02:26AM (#35116476) Homepage

        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! (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 06, 2011 @03:39AM (#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!

          • by dimeglio (456244)

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

          • by Obyron (615547)
            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
            • by billcopc (196330)

              I know we're splitting nits, here, but there's a world of difference between "gay" and "faggot". If the lyrics had gone "that little homo, he's a millionaire"... well okay that's a lot closer to home, but faggot is on the same level as wuss and sissy, and is more commonly said of straight men who act effeminately (for the attention).

              Now, think back to 1985. What did we have on MTV ? Glam metal! A bunch of straight men, with poofy long hair, wearing pounds of makeup to make them look like 3rd-rate drag q

        • by DarthVain (724186)

          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

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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 Ca

        • by Stoutlimb (143245)

          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?

          • 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.

  • by Speare (84249) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @12:11AM (#35116016) Homepage Journal

    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?

    • by Your.Master (1088569) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @12:15AM (#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".

      • by tqk (413719)

        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.

      • by flyonthewall (584734) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @01:30AM (#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.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Don't forget the most step in this sequence:

        5. Bell/Rogers profits!!

    • by Looce (1062620) *

      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.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        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 o

        • 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.

    • by telso (924323) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @01:21AM (#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 sta

      • by green1 (322787) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @01:45AM (#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.

        • 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?

          • by green1 (322787)

            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 abo

            • by elvis15 (1375583)

              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, b

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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 spelle

        • by billcopc (196330)

          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.

        • by sznupi (719324)
          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...
      • 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 ow

        • by boxwood (1742976)

          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 di

    • by gordguide (307383)

      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 (

  • by nightfire-unique (253895) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @12:16AM (#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.

    • by LibRT (1966204) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @12:47AM (#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?!?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        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'

        • by DrEasy (559739) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @01:33AM (#35116302) Journal

          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...

        • by compro01 (777531)

          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.

          • by Mashiki (184564)

            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.

        • by LibRT (1966204)
          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 r
      • by Anonymous Coward

        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.

        • by LibRT (1966204)
          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), Willi
      • by Nemyst (1383049)

        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?

        • by billcopc (196330)

          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 ?

      • by DarthVain (724186)

        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

  • 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.
  • by bunhed (208100) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @12:30AM (#35116100)
    Quebec should stay, it's Ottawa that should separate.
  • 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.
    • Yes, they're operating in the GTA. Though its rare I heard Toronto called 'western canada'
      • by hidden (135234)

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

        • 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
        • 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.
    • by romanr (113283)

      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

  • 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 i
    • by elvis15 (1375583)

      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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 06, 2011 @12:33AM (#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.

    • by green1 (322787) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @01:51AM (#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.

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

  • Woo Hoo, another Legislative Branch vs Judicial Branch. This could take a while... As a Democracy you guys know what we mean, eh?
    • by green1 (322787)

      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.

  • 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

  • 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.

    • by green1 (322787)

      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

  • by jonwil (467024) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @02:55AM (#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.

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

  • by SoVi3t (633947) on Sunday February 06, 2011 @10:30AM (#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.
  • 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...

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

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