CRTC’s decision to review internet competition met with positive reactions

ISP TekSavvy praised the decision, but said more work was needed

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Independent internet service provider TekSavvy is welcoming the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) decision to investigate internet competition and lower some wholesale rates

“The CRTC appears to understand that previous decisions have decimated the competitive market for internet services and led to higher prices for consumers,” Andy Kaplan-Myrth, TekSavvy’s vice president of regulatory and carrier affairs, said. 

“While additional interim rate reductions are required to have a meaningful impact, we are pleased to see a proper focus and fast-track toward more competition and better prices.”

The Commission is examining wholesale rates smaller companies pay to larger providers to access their networks. 

TekSavvy said a number of larger companies acquired independent players, pointing to policies under the CRTC’s “former leadership,” and emergency action is needed. 

Bell has acquired Distributel and EBOX. Telus took over Start.ca and Altima, while Cogeco purchased Oxio last month. 

Paul Andersen, Chair of the Canadian Network Operators of Canada (CNOC), tweeted the Commission has finally taken an approach to address a wholesale regime that “was not prompting competition for consumers.”

CRTC Chair Vicky Eatrides promised to revamp the internet pricing model when she took over as the head of the CRTC. “It’s a top priority for the organization because what we’ve done is not working,” Eatrides told MobileSyrup in January. 

The action also follows the policy direction Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada issued last month, directing the CRTC to operate a wholesale internet framework with reasonable rates. 

Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne believes the policy direction played a role in the CRTC’s review. 

“I think the new directive is paying off for Canadians,” Champagne said Wednesday

“We’ve been asking the CRTC to make sure that prices go down, that we have more competition, and that’s one of the tools in the toolbox to make sure that we have better prices for Canadians.”

 Source: TekSavvy, Paul Andersen, CBC