The sale of Ontera will help provide further private sector investment to Northern Ontario where Ontera offers local and long-distance telephone service and cellular and internet service to homes and businesses.
The successful buyer must comply with the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulations with respect to mandatory service obligations.
Buyers who pre-qualified in the first step of the sales process – the request for qualifications stage – were approved by the ONTC board for participation in the request for proposals. In their proposals, pre-qualified buyers will be required to commit to key conditions of the request for proposals, including regulatory service requirements.
Once proposals are received, Infrastructure Ontario, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, and the ONTC will evaluate the bids, choose one or more preferred proposals, and then negotiate a final contract. The process will be overseen by a fairness monitor and the successful buyer will be announced in spring 2013.
The sales process implemented by Infrastructure Ontario is competitive and fair and ensures the buyer selected for Ontera is best able to meet provincial priorities.
“Today marks another step forward in the divestment of the ONTC, and towards our goal of ensuring sustainable transportation and telecommunications services in the North, now and in the future,” said Rick Bartolucci, minister of Northern Development and Mines. “This thorough and competitive sales process will ensure the buyer selected for Ontera is best able to meet our priorities to deliver telecommunications services, stimulate the economy, sustain jobs, and provide value for taxpayers.”
ONTC's divestment was announced in March, 2012.