Government rejects Bell’s appeal regarding small ISPs access fibre optic access


Bell’s appeal to stop internet resellers from using its fibre optic network was rejected today by the federal government.

The appeal was launched against a decision made by the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications  Commission (CRTC) in October of this year. In the decision, the CRTC mandated that Bell had to not only grant third-party internet resellers access to regular broadband infrastructure but also its advanced fibre optic network.

Bell has argued that allowing resellers to use its network would deter investment in the technology. The government, however, has decided the argument lacked merit and that it will uphold the CRTC’s mandate.

“The CRTC’s decision to extend wholesale broadband regulation to fibre to the home means the CRTC has updated its regulatory approach to keep pace with changing technology and consumer demand,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development in a statement.

“The decision strikes the right balance between the private sector having incentive to invest and consumers having a competitive choice.”

Bains added that, “Enabling competition in telecommunications is a government commitment, and we will continue to foster a strong investment environment for telecommunications services to keep Canada at the leading edge of the digital economy.”

While smaller ISPs seem to have won the battle on this front, they remain locked out of the wireless industry.

Related reading: CRTC Chairman talks privacy, carrier competition and what’s next for Canada

[source]Government of Canada[/source]