Over the past several months, the CRTC has issued several decisions in favor of a more competitive Internet market. These decisions have generated many changes in the market.
If you’re interested in the battle for neutral, reliable and affordable Internet access in Canada, here is an overview of the most important decisions that has been made in this very active commercial and regulatory period.
Lower rates imposed by the giants to independent providers
This past October, the CRTC imposed a lower interim transit rate to independent ISPs after finding unreasonable the rates proposed by Bell, Vidéotron, Rogers and other major carriers to access their network infrastructure. A price reduction of up to 89% in some cases.
Independent ISPs share the benefits with their clients
For independent operator like B2B2C, who have to cross these networks to serve their customers, this decision has had several positive effects. In particular, as reported in this recent article published by La Presse: Internet: Les fournisseurs indépendants passent à l’acte, this decision has allowed some to lower their prices and other to increase download capacity for their entire customers.
The CRTC declares that minimum Internet access speed in Canada will be 50 Mb/s
At the end of December, as reported in this article published by The Global and Mail: CRTC rules high-speed Internet a basic service, sets targets, the CRTC also declared that 50 Mb/s broadband Internet access is now the standard in terms of basic service for all Canadian residents. The regulator recognizes that the adoption of this speed will naturally depends on affordable offers and therefore on the existence of a dynamic competitive market.
750 million invested to increase regional Internet access
Just before Christmas, the CRTC and the two levels of government have established measures to stimulate the creation of high-speed networks in remote areas. With the creation of a fund that will invest up to $750 million over the next few years, the CRTC aims to develop and update the infrastructure needed to access broadband Internet services, says the Financial Post in its article: CRTC declares high-speed Internet a basic service, creates $750-million fund.
Price increases for Bell Canada customers
As reported by CBCNews in its article: Bell Canada raising prices on home internet, TV in February, customers of the largest operator in Canada had a bad surprise at the return of the holidays. While independent providers reduced the cost of Internet access, Bell Canada's existing customers may have to pay up to $10 more per month. This increase, also reported in the article CRTC Needs To Ensure Fair Rates For Big And Small Internet Providers published by the Huffington Post, does not bode well for Internet affordability, especially if other giants follow suit.
At B2B2C, we are naturally pleased that the latest CRTC decisions tend to favor a more competitive market, but there is still much more to be done to ensure that Canadians benefit from the best technologies at affordable prices. Other decisions are expected in the coming months. We will report on these here on our blog.