It’s been a minute since our last update, so let’s jump right into what we’ve been up to this past year.
The past 12 months at DOT
CRTC announces its facilities-based “MVNO” policy, requiring existing spectrum licenses to qualify for wholesale access to dominant national wireless networks, and a seven-year limit on that access during which you must build your own facilities (ie. towers).
Data On Tap (aka dotmobile) files a petition with the government, asking them to change specific requirements in the CRTC’s decision that blocks all but two companies from participating. One of those companies is Shaw/Freedom Mobile, which had already agreed to sell to Rogers.
Determined to live to see another day, team DOT navigates travel restrictions and daily PCR tests to showcase in Cloud City at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, showcasing the technology framework behind dotmobile.
Final comments on the Rogers/Shaw merger are due to the Competition Bureau, and Data On Tap agrees with everyone that this transaction will reduce wireless competition. The standard remedy of selling off the wireless business would be a short-term solution, so Data On Tap recommends independent MVNOs on the Rogers network as a remedy to this transaction and a path to greater competition outside of urban centres.
Data On Tap begins a technology partnership with an upstart MVNO in the US, developing real-time, digital experiences for wireless service on a national scale.
The government responds to Data On Tap’s petition to vary the CRTC ruling, deciding to do nothing and stand by the CRTC’s decision to support facilities-based competition.
Government inaction (again)
So, let’s talk about the decision François-Philippe Champagne announced yesterday.
The Canadian government reviewed our petition, saw the support it had from numerous independent telecoms, knew that competition was being reduced or impacted by the Rogers/Shaw deal… and still chose to support the CRTC and their baffling definition of Mobile Virtual Network Operator.
This is a win for the BIG3 telecom lobbyists.
For Canadians, this means continuing inequity and discrimination in the form of punitively designed wireless service and significantly higher effective prices for seniors, newcomers, students and families.
For an economy ranked dead last by the OECD for growth prospects, stifling innovation and access to connectivity (that we are all vested in) is a major disadvantage.
What does this mean for DOT?
We still have a long road ahead in Canada, and though we haven’t given up we also can’t sit around waiting for the chairman of the CRTC to retire (though that is happening soon).
For now, our focus is on our international opportunities, bringing real-time, personalized wireless service to life outside of Canada. One day, we hope to bring what we’re building back home.
Founding Member perks
We have all members who qualify for perks in our database, so you will not lose your status. We’ll reach out occasionally to make sure you’re still interested, though, and give you a chance to opt out or have your data deleted.
SIM card orders
SIM card pre-orders were always intended to be free until we launched our wireless service, but some members paid for their SIM. Whether it was on purpose, accidentally, or because of a bug
with the promo code, we have been refunding those payments.