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8.0 REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT - 8.1 Introduction

8 Regulatory environment

 

8.1 Introduction

This section describes certain legislation that governs our business and provides highlights of recent regulatory initiatives and proceedings, government consultations and government positions that affect us, influence our business and may continue to affect our flexibility to compete in the marketplace. Bell Canada and several of its direct and indirect subsidiaries, including Bell Mobility, Bell ExpressVu Limited Partnership (Bell ExpressVu), Bell Media, NorthernTel, Limited Partnership (NorthernTel), Télébec, Limited Partnership (Télébec) and Northwestel, are governed by the Telecommunications Act, the Broadcasting Act, the Radiocommunication Act and/or the Bell Canada Act. They are also subject to regulations and policies enforced by the CRTC. Our business is affected by decisions made by various regulatory agencies, including the CRTC, a quasi-judicial agency of the Government of Canada responsible for regulating Canada’s telecommunications and broadcasting industries. Other aspects of the business of these entities are regulated in various ways by federal government departments, in particular ISED.

The CRTC regulates the prices we can charge for telecommunications services in areas where it determines there is not enough competition to protect the interests of consumers. The CRTC has determined that competition was sufficient to grant forbearance from retail price regulation under the Telecommunications Act for the vast majority of our residential and business telephone services, as well as for our wireless (except our domestic wholesale wireless roaming service) and Internet services (except in certain parts of Northwestel’s territory, where the CRTC re-regulated Internet services in 2013). Our TV distribution and our TV and radio broadcasting businesses are subject to the Broadcasting Act and are, for the most part, not subject to retail price regulation.

Although most of our retail services are not price-regulated, government agencies and departments such as the CRTC, ISED, Canadian Heritage and the Competition Bureau continue to play a significant role in regulatory matters such as mandatory access to networks, net neutrality, spectrum auctions, approval of acquisitions, broadcast licensing and foreign ownership requirements. Adverse decisions by regulatory agencies or increasing regulation could have negative financial, operational, reputational or competitive consequences for our business.

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