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TheStreet Open House

Rogers Asks Federal Government For A Fair And Level Playing Field In Canada's Wireless Sector

Stocks in this article: RCI

TORONTO, Aug. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - Rogers Communications is calling on the federal government to engage in an informed and constructive dialogue to ensure Canada's wireless sector remains competitive and world leading.

Today's current rules give an unfair advantage to huge American players over Canadian incumbents who have invested billions to build Canada's wireless industry. Current spectrum auction rules mean they can purchase twice as much 700 MHz spectrum as the Canadian incumbents with minimal network rollout requirements.

"We share the government's goal of a competitive, world leading wireless sector," said Nadir Mohamed, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers Communications. "Unfortunately the government's current policies have resulted in unintended consequences that allow massive foreign companies like Verizon to take advantage of loopholes and get special advantages over Canadian companies. We welcome competition, we're just asking for a fair and level playing field."

Specifically we're asking the federal government to:

  1. Offer equal bidding rights in the 700 MHz auction - give Canadian carriers the same rights as large foreign incumbents
  2. Create an open environment - if a Canadian wireless player seeks a buyer, everyone should be able to bid
  3. Strengthen auction rollout requirements - ensure foreign carriers invest and build a national network in rural areas

This is a critical issue for Canada and Canadians. Canada's three established wireless carriers employ more than 280,000 Canadians in high value jobs and contribute more than $50 billion a year to our nation's economy. Additionally each year the three companies collectively give more than $130 million, in cash and in-kind, to make our communities stronger and more vibrant.

Rogers and its Board of Directors have taken the unprecedented action of writing a joint letter to the Prime Minister of Canada expressing our concerns and requesting a meeting to further discuss this important issue. Rogers looks forward to meeting with the Prime Minister directly on this matter.

"We're at a critical time in our industry," said Mohamed. "We believe it's essential to take a step back and make sure we have the right regulatory policy that will meet the current and future needs of Canadians while ensuring our sector is strong and vibrant for years to come. We look forward to having a constructive and informed dialogue on this issue."

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