Rogers Launches Advocacy Campaign on Spectrum Auction
Friday September 23, 2011
Rogers has launched a new public advocacy campaign on the forthcoming spectrum auction. Linking the roll-out of its LTE to the auction, Rogers warns that set-asides for new entrants “would be a recipe for leaving Canada behind the rest of the world, stalling Canadian innovation and limiting who can access LTE.” The website includes a form letter to be emailed to Industry Minister Christian Paradis and the individual’s local MP, asking them to “support a fair and open auction for the 700 spectrum. It’s best for our economy. It’s best for Canada.”
What Rogers doesn’t say is that the last spectrum auction, which featured a set-aside for new entrants, had the effect of bringing new entrants such as Wind Mobile and Mobilicity into the marketplace and reducing the costs of wireless services for all Canadians. It also doesn’t mention that foreign investment restrictions mean the auction is not truly open or that Rogers is sitting on a huge amount of unused spectrum. What Canada really needs is another set-aside combined with the removal of foreign investment restrictions, thereby paving the way for an open market and the entry of deep-pocketed competitors to provide more effective competition for wireless broadband services.