CRTC Says Rogers Engaged in ‘Unjust Discrimination’ Against Startups in Wireless Market

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has singled out Rogers for “unjust discrimination” toward startups in Canada’s wireless market.

The report by the CRTC specifically addresses Rogers’ roaming agreements, where it has ripped off new entrants. Consequently the national regulator is banning Rogers—and all other carriers—from adding exclusivity clauses into domestic roaming agreements.

“The Commission finds that there were clear instances of unjust discrimination and undue preference by Rogers Communications Partnership with respect to (i) the imposition of exclusivity clauses in its wholesale mobile wireless roaming agreements with certain new entrants, and (ii) the wholesale mobile wireless roaming rates it charged certain new entrants,” the CRTC wrote in its decision.

“Consequently, the Commission prohibits exclusivity provisions in wholesale mobile wireless roaming agreements between Canadian carriers for service in Canada,” the decision continues.

Wholesale roaming agreements have been one of the most effective tools that the “Big Three,” including Bell and Telus, have used to stifle competition from the likes of Wind Mobile, who has spent the last six years trying to build a national network and become Canada’s fourth major wireless carrier. Others like Eastlink and Videotron have faced similar struggles.