CRTC finalizes wholesale high-speed Internet rates

This week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) released finalized rates for wholesale high-speed access services used by independent providers, a move that could ultimately offer some users a bit of relief on their bill.

“Large and small independent service providers now have the certainty they need to continue offering Canadians a choice of innovative and competitive services,” said Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC chairman. “We are pleased to finally close this chapter after a careful examination of the wholesale rates, which included a review of the costing information.”

The big companies that whole high-speed access to independent providers will begin utilizing a single billing model, offering identical rates for both residential and business end-users. In the past, the large companies charged different rates for different services.

Businesses are likely to benefit most from the changes, since their rates will now be the same as residential services. The CBC predicts Bell wholesale customers in Ontario and Quebec, Telus customers in Alberta and British Columbia, and Cogeco customers will all receive a lower rate. However, independent providers who utilize Rogers, Shaw and Videotron cable may see an increase.

Marc Gaudrault of Teksavvy Solutions, which offers Internet services, told the CBC that DSL customers would receive more benefit than those on cable.

“I don’t know if rates will go down, but perhaps value for your money will go up,” Gaudrault was quoted as saying. “… On the cable side, either rates will go up or value for your money will go down.”

The CRTC does not approve the rates and packages for Internet services offered at the retail level, though it expects its recent decision to have a favourable impact.