Big Three say negative impact of mandated MVNO access would be greater amid pandemic

The carriers argue that now is not the right time to take risks


Rogers, Bell and Telus are arguing that mandated MVNO access would harm them at a time when they are facing struggles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Globe and Mail reports that the three national carriers have sent in new submissions to the CRTC reiterating their stance against mandated MVNO access.

The Big Three (Rogers, Bell and Telus) have previously stated that mandated MVNO access would undermine investment. In the new submissions to the CRTC, the carriers say that the negative impacts of mandated MVNO access would be even more significant now during the pandemic, as they have been facing issues such as a decrease in roaming revenue.

“The financial and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic threaten investment in every industry, and telecom is not immune,” wrote Bell in its submission, adding it would delay rural broadband expansion and the deployment of 5G. It stated that it is not the right time to take these risks.

Similarly, Telus wrote in its submission that “now is not the time to inflict further damage on the industry by imposing mandated MVNO access.”

Rogers noted that its total revenue declined five percent during Q1 2020, and is expecting to see further declines in Q2 as the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on economic matters continues.

Following public hearings earlier this year on the matter, the CRTC is currently considering whether the large carriers should have to open up their networks to resellers. Those in favour of mandated MVNO access argue that doing so would allow for greater competition and cheaper prices.

Source: The Globe and Mail