Utilities, cities clash with telecoms over infrastructure jurisdiction

Originally published by The Wire Report
Author: Kyle Duggan

Electrical utilities and municipalities have arched their backs over various proposals to streamline or adjust regulatory jurisdiction when it comes to resolving disputes over use of “passive infrastructure” in Canada.

Those requests come as carriers look to not just deploy broadband network infrastructure but also thousands of 5G small cell sites and other new technology across the country.

Some telecom companies said in their submissions to a major review of Canada’s communications laws they want to expand the CRTC’s jurisdiction so it becomes the final arbitrator on certain infrastructure disputes — echoing similar proposals pitched during the fall pre-budget consultations that came amid frustrations over disparate pole attachment rates set by provincial energy regulators.

Francis Bradley, chief operating officer at the Canadian Electricity Association, says his organization is “unequivocally opposed to the CRTC getting authority over utility infrastructure.”

“We don’t think as a regulator they have either the legal authority, constitutional authority or the expertise,” he told The Wire Report in a phone interview. “We have provincial regulators that have developed and have the expertise to be able to provide opinions with respect to the safety and security of these infrastructures.”

Read the full article at thewirereport.ca (subscription required – ask for the special rate for STAC Members.)