Over the past few weeks, we’ve all been hearing about the potential arrival of Verizon into the Canadian telecommunications market. At TELUS, we’ve been sharing our concern, not over the potential entry of a foreign competitor, but rather over the current unfair benefits that they would receive as a new telecommunications company to Canada. We welcome competition – we’ve been operating in a highly competitive market for decades – however we want our Canadian government to ensure any foreign competitor is treated the same as us, a home-grown Canadian company, in the upcoming spectrum auction.
We’re troubled by the fact that our government is ready to offer benefits intended to lend smaller startup companies a helping hand as they establish themselves in Canada to a giant foreign entrant. It’s concerning that Canadian wireless companies would not be able to compete with this giant foreign entrant for the same blocks of spectrum – the airwaves that we need to continue to serve our customers and put them first, both in metropolitan cities and also throughout rural Canada.
Based on this latest Nanos Report, it appears as if you’re concerned, too.
Earlier this afternoon Nanos issued a report stating only 10% of Canadians support the current policy proposed by our current government. This means the vast majority of you agree with us, that your home-grown Canadian companies should not be placed at a disadvantage, as Verizon is able to purchase 50% of the available Canadian spectrum with no competition. Like us, you’d prefer to see both Canadian and foreign companies bid on all of the available spectrum, fostering true competition.
Our TELUS President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, had this to say about the recent survey:
“Today’s opinion poll from Nanos finds that fully four in five Canadians, or 81 per cent, believe the same rules should apply to foreign and domestic companies in the upcoming auction of Canadian wireless spectrum. Giving Verizon or another foreign company a two-for-one advantage in the auction of these airwaves is unjust and harmful to Canadians, especially pensioners and people in rural communities. Moreover, it is also not consistent with the intrinsic belief Canadians have in fairness. Like TELUS, Canadians overwhelmingly believe we should all play by the same rules, competing for their business based on the quality of our service and networks, and not on special terms. The Canadian government would do well to listen to what Canadians are telling them and close the two-for-one loophole in the upcoming auction. It is ironic that Verizon itself has been calling for a level playing field in a U.S. spectrum auction, while appearing fully prepared to take advantage of special rules in Canada created for them by the Canadian government” – Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO
The upcoming spectrum auction is very important to us. As you’ve heard, TELUS needs this high-quality spectrum to further enhance and expand our wireless networks, increasing the quality of service we provide to our valued customers across Canada. We want to thank you for sharing your opinions and exercising your right as citizens and voters to let the government know you support a level playing field. Visit canadaplayfair.com to learn more and sign our petition.