The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has announced measures to foster competition between companies that offer broadband Internet services. These measures will provide Canadians with more choice and innovative services at reasonable prices.
To provide services to their customers, companies enter into a wide variety of wholesale arrangements. In particular, wholesale high-speed access services are used by competitors to provide Internet services, as well as television and telephone services, in the retail market.
Following an extensive review, the CRTC found that the large incumbent companies continue to possess market power in the provision of wholesale high-speed access services and is requiring that they make these services available to competitors.
In addition, the demand by Canadians for higher speed services will only increase in the coming years to support their growing Internet needs and usage. Large incumbent companies will now have to make their fibre facilities available to their competitors. This measure will ensure that Canadians have more choice for high-speed Internet services and are able to fully leverage the benefits of the broadband home or business.
The large incumbent companies will continue to be required to provide access to wholesale high-speed access services throughout their region and transition this access to a disaggregated architecture. The provision of wholesale high-speed access services on a disaggregated basis will be implemented in phases across Canada, starting with Ontario and Quebec.
The CRTC’s wholesale services framework sets out the rates, terms and conditions under which telecommunications service providers are required to make parts of their respective networks available to competitors.
“As Canadians participate more actively in the digital economy, they will need access to higher Internet speeds to power their broadband homes and businesses. By continuing to mandate certain wholesale services, and including access to fibre facilities, we are continuing our work to drive competition so Canadians have access to more choice, innovative services and reasonable prices. At the same time, we fully expect that companies will continue to invest in their networks, including in fibre technology, to meet the growing needs of consumers.” stated Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman