CRTC nixes wholesale internet rates proposed by big Canadian carriers

After nixing proposals from big Canadian telecoms, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is setting interim pricing for existing wholesale internet pricing.

The CRTC found that the proposals it received from Bell, Rogers, Telus, Cogeco, MTS, SaskTel and Videotron were not reasonable, as they did not follow established costing principles and methodologies.

Pushing for competition

“Competitors that provide retail internet services to Canadians using wholesale high-speed services must have access to these services at just and reasonable prices,” stated CRTC Chairman and CEO Jean-Pierre Blais in a release.

“The fact that these large companies did not respect accepted costing principles and methodologies is very disturbing. What’s even more concerning is the fact that Canadians’ access to a choice of broadband Internet services would have been at stake had we not revised these rates. As always, we strive to create a dynamic competitive telecommunications market for Canadians.”

The CRTC had directed the companies to send in proposals for pricing after it launching a proceeding to examine “issues associated with these rates,” and in 2016 held informational sessions for industry regarding the costing principles and methodologies it desired to see.

Reduced interim rates

Unhappy with the submissions it received, the CRTC has cut proposed rates for network access by up to 39 percent and reduced the rate for the transport of internet data by up to 89 percent.

The CRTC says it will continue its in-depth analysis of the notices it received in order to set final rates, and plans to give all parties involved the opportunity to comment on the proposals.

Wholesaling internet is a process in which larger telecom companies are required to grant smaller competitors access to their networks. The process is mandated by the CRTC, which sets all rates, terms and conditions. Budget ISP TekSavvy is one notable example of a company that benefits from this service.

Update 10/7/16: Rogers has reached out to MobileSyrup with the following comment: “We are disappointed and do not agree with setting arbitrary rates. We believe in an evidence-based, fair balance that both covers the cost of building and maintaining Canada’s world-class networks and incents further investments to keep powering our digital economy.”

Related: CRTC will implement wholesale access to fibre optic internet

[source] CRTC [/source]

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