November 4, 2019 1 month 4 days ago

Petition aims to pressure Rogers, Bell and Telus to sign onto Toronto's underground network

Freedom customers still the only ones with subway connectivity

TORONTO – BAI Communications has launched an online petition at iwantaccess.ca to try and pressure Rogers, Bell and Telus to come to the negotiation table and use the underground network it built for the Toronto Transit Commission.

Coverage in TTC stations has been live since 2015 for Freedom Mobile customers, “however, the Big 3 Telcos have yet to join the network,” says the petition. “Now, BAI is committed to educating cellular customers of the Big 3 Telcos about why they can’t access this network, and what they can do about it.”

BAI also operates transit networks in New York, Hong Kong and Australia (it’s home country).

“Did you know that Toronto is the only major Canadian city without a connected underground for all? More than two-thirds of TTC riders surveyed are unaware that connectivity is available on the subway in Toronto, and 71% don’t realize that their mobile carrier isn’t allowing them to use it,” reads the petition.

BAI has long claimed none of Rogers, Bell or Telus will even sit down to talk with them, let alone try to come to a deal for access.

“This is not only a question of convenience for subway customers but also a question of safety,” said Konrad von Finckenstein in an email to Cartt.ca. The former CRTC chair is working as a consultant for the company.

“As we all know, terrorist attacks have taken place in subways around the world. Hopefully we will never see that in Toronto, but even sudden weather changes or major accidents can have a drastic effect on subway riders. They should be alerted as soon as possible,” he added.

“Whatever the cause for this failure to connect, the major carriers should forthwith connect to subway facilities installed by BAI Canada. The CRTC has the power under s.40 of the Telecommunications Act to order any carrier to connect its telecommunications facilities with any other telecommunication facility,” von Finckenstein continued.

“It is high time that it does so, or that the Minister of ISED directs it to do so.”