Wednesday, September 27, 2023

CRTC imposes $7.5M in penalties on Bell in telephone pole dispute

The CRTC has imposed a total of $7.5 million in penalties on Bell Canada for three violations of the Telecommunications Act, related to an ongoing dispute in regards to granting access to its telephone poles.

The CRTC found that Bell denied permit applications for access to its telephone poles from Videotron, its main competitor in Quebec. As a result of subsequent delays, Videotron network deployment was held up, creating a competitive advantage for Bell.

The decision sets the penalty for each of three violations of the act at $2.5 million each.

“It is vitally important that the market for telecommunications services be fair and competitive so that Canadians can enjoy a range of services from different providers,” said CRTC Chair Ian Scott, in a release. “Today’s decision underscores this point and demonstrates that we will not hesitate to use the tools at our disposal to take action to promote compliance when a company’s actions violate these principles.”

The dispute dates back to 2020 when Videotron filed an application requesting the CRTC issue orders relating to Bell Canada’s processing of access permit applications and granting of access permits to its support structures. The issue also elicited complaints from Cogeco Connexion and Maskicom who said regulatory easements announced by Bell to resolve the access issues had only allowed 13% of projects awaiting permissions to proceed.

The CRTC launched a consultation in April 2021 to determine whether the issue warranted a monetary penalty to deter future non-compliance.

Subscribe Now – Free!

Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 30 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.

The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Let’s get started right now.

* indicates required


Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

Upcoming Events