Cybera asks Cabinet to dismiss Bell Canada petition to overturn CRTC wholesale high speed access decision

resizedimage366205-image-1Cybera has submitted detailed comments to the federal Cabinet on a petition that Bell Canada filed under section 12 of the Telecommunications Act with respect to a decision issued by the CRTC concerning wholesale regulation of high-speed Internet access services.

In its petition, Bell Canada asks the Governor in Council to revise a July 2015 CRTC decision which allows third party Internet Service Providers to offer services to customers over fibre-to-the-home/premises (FTTH/FTTP) infrastructure. Specifically, Bell Canada’s petition asks Cabinet to vary the CRTC’s decision so that wholesale regulation does not extend to fibre-to-the-home or to next-generation DOCSIS 3.1 cable networks. If Cabinet were to indulge Bell Canada’s request, this would effectively void the CRTC’s decision, arrived at after more than a year of consultation with industry, academics, advocates, and public interest groups.

During this consultation process, Cybera submitted that current FTTP competition in Canada is severely restricted, and consumers have limited or no choice of Internet Service Providers. Cybera believes that regulating the FTTP wholesale services provided by incumbent carriers is essential for creating a competitive digital environment. This will provide maximum benefit for Canadians, while still ensuring a fair rate of return to the builders of the fibre networks (and recognizing the capital investment they have made).

In our comments, we advise Cabinet to dismiss Bell’s petition to vary the CRTC’s decision. Such a move would demonstrate the government’s commitment to fostering competition in the telecommunications market and improving Canadians’ choice of ultra-high-speed Internet Service Providers.

Download a PDF of Cybera’s detailed comments here.