Originally published by The Wire Report
Author: Ahmad Hathout
The CRTC misunderstood the scope of the issues when it denied an application by Calgary to formally require telecoms to go through its new bylaw — and get the city’s consent — to access municipal infrastructure, the city said in new court documents.
Earlier this year, the CRTC denied an application by the city asking the CRTC to approve its municipal rights-of-way bylaw, which would govern the telecoms’ access to parts of the city for builds. The regulator instead told the parties to hash it out in negotiations, including with BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Shaw Communications Inc., and Telus Corp.
Now the city is asking the Federal Court of Appeal to look at the case. In its grounds for appeal, dated Feb. 25, the city said the CRTC erred when it failed to give adequate weight to whether the Telecommunications Act gave the city the legal authority to authorize telecoms to gain its consent, through the bylaw, for infrastructure access. Instead, the CRTC precluded that point by making paramount the issue of the telecoms’ refusal to agree to the terms, Calgary argued, therefore failing to appropriately balance the rights of both sides of the issue.
“The question to be determined was not whether the Carriers would consent to the By-law, but rather what were the respective rights of each party” under section 43(3) of the Telecommunications Act, which says the telecom must obtain the consent of the municipality to access a public place.