CRTC orders Rogers to continue TekSavvy's wholesale access to fibre network

11 November 2016 | Jason Mcgee-Abe

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has ruled that Rogers Communications must allow TekSavvy with wholesale access to its high-speed fibre network in Toronto.

CanadaThe Canadian regulator ordered Rogers to continue providing independent service provider (ISP) TekSavvy with wholesale access to its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network in its Bayview Mills complex, where competitors, including TekSavvy, provide internet access services to their end-users using the services of an incumbent carrier.

“The Commission directs Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (RCCI) to (i) continue to provide TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy) with access to TekSavvy’s existing, as well as new, retail end-users in the Bayview Mills Condominium Townhouse community (the Bayview Mills complex) by way of aggregated wholesale high-speed access (HSA) service provisioned over RCCI’s fibre-to-the-premises access facilities, subject to the conditions set out in this decision; and (ii) continue to provide any other competitors with access to their existing, as well as new, retail end-users in the Bayview Mills complex through the same service and subject to the same conditions set out for TekSavvy,” CRTC said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The Commission’s determinations in this decision will allow for more consumer choice and competition in the Bayview Mills complex, as well as enhance competitors’ ability to acquire sufficient end-user demand to migrate to a disaggregated wholesale HSA service in the future., giving insight into what the CRTC’s yet to be announced new wholesale access policy may contain.”

Rogers had upgraded its cable distribution network from data over cable service interface specification (DOCSIS) over hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) cable (DOCSIS-HFC) to DOCSIS provisioned over radio frequency over glass (RFoG). The upgrade was part of a joint project between Rogers and Toronto Hydro and at the request of the complex’s property manager, Rogers removed the coaxial cable.

Rogers only gave three weeks; notice to its end-users in November 2015 of its upgrade plans migrating FTTP access facility from the existing fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) access facility, with those customers continuing to receive the same service at current aggregated wholesale HAS service rates, effective December 16 2015. It also notified TekSavvy that no new customers could be added until the disaggregated wholesale HSA tariff associated with the wholesale wireline decision is approved and in effect.

TekSavvy’s subsequently submitted an application on December 4 to the CRTC requesting them to intervene and stop the removal of the HFC cable, also requesting that wholesale access and obligations are provided at existing tariffs and upheld during network upgrades, there should be advance notification of six months relating to network changes, a standard notification form should be adopted by incumbent carriers when informing wholesale customers of network changes.

Commission’s analysis and determinations

The CRTC determined that the DOCSIS-RFoG access facilities are FTTP, and not FTTN, facilities. The Commission found that the wholesale wireline decision did not address situations in which an incumbent carrier upgrades to FTTP access facilities and at the same time removes the existing copper or coaxial access facilities over which competitors access end-users using aggregated wholesale HSA service.

The CRTC has directed Rogers to provide Teksavvy with access to its existing, as well as new, retail end-users in the Bayview Mills complex by way of aggregated wholesale HSA service provisioned over its FTTP access facilities, at the same speeds and rates as those provided for in its aggregated wholesale HSA service tariff, and subject to the conditions imposed in the wholesale wireline decision; directs RCCI to provide any other competitors with access to their existing, as well as new, retail end-users in the Bayview Mills complex by way of aggregated wholesale HSA service provisioned over its FTTP access facilities, subject to the same conditions set out above in relation to TekSavvy.

The CRTC’s Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) is currently reviewing the notification guidelines regarding network changes applicable to cable companies and “the merit and feasibility in developing a standardised notification form association with network changes”.

The CRTC has been in the news recently as it recently assessed its policy on net neutrality and also slashed 'unreasonable' ISP wholesale rates.

Topics: Canada, Toronto, CRTC, regulator, Rogers Communications, TekSavvy