CRTC slashes ‘unreasonable’ ISP wholesale rates

CRTC slashes ‘unreasonable’ ISP wholesale rates

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has slashed the fees charged by large incumbent internet service providers (ISPs) for wholesale high-speed access services.

In a bid to boost competition and consumer choice, Canada’s telecom regulator has lowered interim rates, forcing ISPs to lower their respective charges to rivals wanting to access their networks.

The regulator found that “the rates proposed by certain of the large companies were not just and reasonable and had to be revised downwards” and declared that large companies “must grant competitors access to their networks at rates, terms and conditions that are set by the CRTC”.

The CRTC had launched proceedings to examine the rates charged by large operators for aggregated wholesale high-speed access services and directed Bell Canada, Cogeco, MTS, Rogers Communications, SaskTel, Shaw, TELUS and Vidéotron to submit new tariffs for the services used by competitors to provide internet, television and telephone services.

“Competitors that provide retail Internet services to Canadians using wholesale high-speed services must have access to these services at just and reasonable prices. The fact that these large companies did not respect accepted costing principles and methodologies is very disturbing,” Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement yesterday.

“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 has reduced the proposed transport component rate for a number of companies by up to 89%. Additionally, proposed access component rates of certain companies were reduced by up to 39%.

The news comes less than three months after the CRTC rejected an appeal by Bell Canada to overturn the move.

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