Industry minister stands by policy to allow competition in wireless industry

SASKATOON – Federal Industry Minister James Moore is standing by the government’s plan for more competition in the wireless industry, despite pushback from telecommunications companies.

Moore says the policy, which would also bring more choice for consumers, was not written on the back of a napkin.

He says it was supported by Canada’s three big telecommunications companies until U.S.-based Verizon expressed interest in coming to Canada.

The policy would allow a foreign company, such as Verizon, to buy two of the four prime blocks of radio waves that operate cellphone networks that are up for auction.

Bell (TSX:BCE), Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) and Telus can buy only one each.

Moore says the government has already delayed the auction twice and he suggested there is a media campaign to scare away foreign investment.

“This is all an effort to get the government to send signals that we are not sure about our government’s policy and to send signals of instability in the Canadian marketplace to anybody who’s thinking about coming into the Canadian marketplace,” Moore said in an interview with The Canadian Press in Saskatoon.

“We’re not going to play that game.”

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