A look at regulation of the telecom sector in Canada

By Sheridan Scott, Bennett Jones LLP

Foreign investment in Canada’s wireless sector has been the subject of much discussion since the federal government’s recent partial liberalization of the telecommunications sector. The following is intended as a guide to help foreign law firms and their telecom and foreign investor clients understand this regulatory environment.

Sheridan Scott
Sheridan Scott

The Canadian regime for the regulation of telecom companies is set out principally in the Telecommunications Act. Under this regime, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has been given wide jurisdiction to regulate facilities-based carriers (FBCs), while its jurisdiction with respect to all other telecommunications service providers (TSPs) has been significantly constrained, resulting in the deregulation of non-facilities-based companies and resellers.

As a starting point, a TSP is defined as “a person who provides basic telecommunications services, including by exempt transmission apparatus”. An exempt transmission apparatus is defined as follows: “any apparatus whose functions are limited to one or more of the following: (a) the switching of telecommunications; (b) the input, capture, storage, organization, modification, retrieval, output or other processing of intelligence; or (c) control of the speed, code, protocol, content, format, routing or similar aspect of the transmission of intelligence”.

You must be a subscribersubscribersubscribersubscriber to read this content, please subscribesubscribesubscribesubscribe today.

For group subscribers, please click here to access.
Interested in group subscription? Please contact us.



Sheridan Scott is a partner and co-chair of competition, antitrust and foreign investment at Bennett Jones LLP, a law firm with offices in Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha, and representative offices in Washington DC and Beijing.


Suite 3400, 1 First Canadian Place

P.O. Box 130

Toronto, Ontario M5X 1A4, Canada

Fax: +1 416 863 1716

Tel: +1 416 777 4804

Raj Sahni, Chair – India Business Group

Website: www.bennettjones.com