Bell, Rogers, Shaw and other carriers may appeal CRTC wholesale rate decision

CRTC logo on wall

Canada’s largest telecom carriers could appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal regarding CRTC’s September 14th wholesale internet rate decision.

The Globe and Mail reported that if the carriers aim to launch an appeal, telecom giants including Bell, Rogers, Shaw Communications, Cogeco, Quebecor and Eastlink, must appeal the decision within 30 days.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced on August 15th the new final wholesale internet rates and said that they are lower than the interim wholesale rates implemented in 2016, which were also set to foster competition at the time.

The telecom companies cried foul when the rates were set and revealed one-time monetary charges they will incur as the result of of the retroactive payments.

Shaw said it would be impacted by $10 million CAD, and Quebecor’s Vidéotron said it would incur $50 million in retroactive payments. Rogers said it would be impacted by $140 million, Cogeco said it would be impacted by $25 million and Bell said it would incur $100 million in retroactive payments.

Bell furthered its statement by indicating it would be scaling back the rollout of wireless services to 200,000 rural homes.

It is worth adding that Videotron’s CEO Jean-François Pruneau told The Wire Report that the carrier is speaking with other telecom companies about appealing the decision.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said he was disappointed with Bell’s actions and stated that “this will not distract from our government’s commitment to connect every Canadian to affordable high-speed internet by 2030.”

“I am confident new competitors will step up to make these investments,” he added.

The CRTC has not commented on what the carriers have said.

Source: The Globe and Mail