The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. The CRTC is again under fire from the wireless industry over the contribution regime, but this time the various players are concentrating on exposing the commission’s inconsistent rulings. While the broadcast and telecom regulator has long been a punching bag for wireless players, the commission may not be able to talk itself out of this fight and walk away unscathed. On one front, the broadcasting community is going to bat for Telesat Canada, which wants its broadcasting-derived revenue exempt from contribution. On another, Telus Corp. wants the portion of handset sales deemed exempt from contribution-eligible revenue to be increased to include the full cost of the terminal, and not just the up-front cost to the consumer. In Telesat’s case, there’s a strong case to be made that broadcasters and satellite TV companies shouldn’t be taxed to subsidize local telephone service in rural and remote Canada – just as telcos shouldn’t be taxed to support broadcasting initiatives and Canadian content. On the handset side, Decision 2000-745 allows for the exemption of handset sales from contribution. But industry players are now incensed that actual practice seems to differ from the letter of the law. Just a few years ago, the commission reassured the sector that it had shored up its expertise in the wireless space to get a better handle on the industry’s concerns and priorities. Judging from the events that led to the current situations, it seems hard to believe that this knowledge is being put to good use. The CRTC has a vital and significant role to play in Canadian telecommunications, but its policies shouldn’t stifle the growth of a particular segment. It has stated that its policies are technology and market neutral. It shouldn’t favour one segment over another. But there are compelling arguments to be made that technology-favoritism is tinting CRTC decisions. The commission should be concentrating on sound policies promoting growth and development of the telecommunications services industry, not overtaxing an industry segment to shore up this year’s shortfall in contribution funds.