The Federal Court has ruled that Rogers Communications Inc.'s petition to cabinet over a CRTC decision related to the use of deferral account funds can go ahead. Last March, the federal cabinet published a petition from Rogers that requested the government amend or rescind a CRTC decision about the use of deferral account funds for wireless broadband. Rogers took issue with CRTC telecom ruling 2010-805, in which the commission said BCE Inc.'s Bell Canada and Bell Aliant can use $306.3 million from their deferral account funds to roll out HSPA+ mobile broadband services to 112 rural communities in Ontario and Quebec. The deferral account funds, which total $770 million among various telcos, are regulated telecom funds supporting rural and remote broadband expansion. They originate from a surcharge paid by phone customers in urban areas between 2002 and 2006. In its petition to cabinet, Rogers is asking the government to direct the CRTC to establish a competitive bidding process so that carriers would bid for the minimum levels of deferral account funds necessary to serve 97 of the 112 communities with equivalent or better broadband services at the same or lower price points as Bell. In at attempt to quash the petition, Bell applied to the Federal Court for a judicial review of the petition, arguing that cabinet does not have the jurisdiction to officially publish and hear it. In a Federal Court decision Thursday, Judge James Russell wrote that “there are no jurisdictional issues that would justify quashing and setting aside the Notice and/or prohibiting the Cabinet from considering the Petition in accordance with the Act.” The court also ruled that Rogers and the government will have their costs covered.