CRTC and Telco Pigs at the Trough

CRTC Carrier Protection Agency

by Jeff Brodie,
CEO Codefusion Communications Inc. Toronto

Wow! Bell is up to its old games again, looking to lock hold on the dominant means of communications. What is clever this time is that the battle was fought by a bunch of ISP and Independent service provider resellers. Which means the public never really got wind or proper education of what proposal Bell Canada had submitted to our Canadian Regulator CRTC. So now the CRTC has passed this ruling following massive public blowback.

Usage Base Billing, smelled of the same play that Bell Canada attempted with Local Measured Service int he 1990’s. Where Bell was facing newly formed competition in the Land Line and Long distance area. This battle was much shorter lived, and never made it to approval due to the widespread advocacy by the consumer groups, as this was directed as the consumers and not just the resellers. This was a clever tactic by Bell to slide this one so far under the radar. As consumers we need to ask what is next?

CRTC Wrong-Headed

The CRTC ruling only affects the resellers of Internet services, which means the mass of savvy Internet users and businesses that have opted for third party resale of DSL are being penalized by this new law. This is in my opinion is justCanother example of the inability of the current structure of the CRT Commission to truly grasp the implication of laws and rulings they are faced with. Although the incumbent government has struck down this rule, and over ruled that this is anti-competitive practice, the comment from the CRTC was that they believed that Usage Based Billing was equitable.

CRTC : Canada Needs More Competition Not Less

The only aspect of this law that would be equitable would be if you happened to hold stock in the incumbent DSL provider Bell. Otherwise, there logically appears to be no equity to this decision. Canada has is fraught with some of the highest communications cost on the globe, and yet, the regulators seems fit to pass laws to suppress competition in our communications industry, and to further set the profit margin was simply appalling. It is in the opinion of this writer a blind eye cast towards the future of business in this country.

Albeit that Canada has one of the smallest populations in the globe, and yet we tend to be technology leaders and thought leaders in the world, you think our regulators would be more attuned to global communications trends.

It is time to stir the pot and get more competition into the Canadian environment and stop trying to protect those who need no protection. I am grateful for the competition that has opened up in the Wireless space in Canada. Even with those most of the new services are Metro (limited scope and foot print) services, it is a start. We are now seeing communications packages for as little as $50 a month for an all in and all you can eat wireless plan. It is about time we got some protection from the CRTC .

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