CRTC asks Ottawa for single regulator on passive infrastructure

Originally published by The Wire Report
Author: Kyle Duggan

The CRTC is formally asking the federal government to make one regulatory body the ultimate decider on disputes over access to infrastructure like utility poles and water towers, expressing worries that overlapping jurisdictions and a “growing resistance” from communities who think certain installations are a blight could lead to delays in telecom build-outs.

That’s just one of a number of policy proposals the CRTC is endorsing in its submission to the Liberal government’s broadcasting and telecommunications legislative review panel studying Canada’s communications laws. The document was published online a day ahead of the submission deadline.

It’s an area that could be key for telecom companies deploying 5G infrastructure and other Internet of Things (IoT) tech that will require many small site installations. The regulator expressed worries it only has limited jurisdiction over telecom infrastructure deployments to support structures, public property and privately-owned buildings.

The regulator wants one regulatory body “such as the CRTC” to have authority in resolving disputes about passive infrastructure owned by Canadian utility companies, as well as “non-traditional” structures like light poles, bridges, water towers, and “street furniture” such as bus stops and traffic lights.

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Read the CRTC submission to the federal government here.