Shaw Communications is requesting that the CRTC allow the company to not have to offer its recently launched ‘Fibre+ Gig’ internet service to resellers at regulated rates.
The Globe and Mail reports that once Shaw began offering the service to residential customers in Western Canada on May 20th, it filed a submission to the commission. The submission requests to be exempt from having to sell the new service to resellers at regulated rates until the CRTC completes its review of the rates.
Shaw argues in its submission that phone companies like the Big Three (Rogers, Bell and Telus) are not bound by the same requirements as cable companies and that this forms a “regulatory asymmetry.”
The company argues that its position in the residential broadband market will be harmed unless the CRTC takes action. It notes that if the CRTC does not take action, then there will be long-term effects regarding affordability for customers.
“Critically, this asymmetry is occurring in the context of Western Canada’s intensely competitive market for residential broadband services, in which Shaw and the [incumbent phone companies] are engaged in highly rivalrous competition to gain market share in the offering of next-generation speeds,” Shaw outlined in its submission.
Shaw says that if there is interest or demand for its new service, then it is willing to offer it to resellers for “mutually beneficial rates.” However, Shaw says that it would be inequitable to force it to offer its new service at regulated rates, considering that phone companies that use fibre-optic cables aren’t subject to the same requirements.
The CRTC did not provide Shaw interim relief while it continues to examine the company’s application. The commission has noted that the requirement to offer the new service to resellers at the mandated rates still applies.
The vice-president of external affairs at Shaw, Chethan Lakshman told The Globe and Mail that: “This is a very targeted application that will increase customer choice and provide Shaw with the ability to negotiate wholesale access to one gig – something our telco competitors can already do with their one-gig offers.”
He notes that Shaw relies on a regulatory framework that encourages competition in order to be able to serve its customers.
Source: The Globe and Mail