The CRTC ruled yesterday that Canada's largest telecommunication providers must open up their fibre-optic networks to wholesale retailers and provide them with the same service options that they offer their own retail customers.
Konrad von Finckenstein is the Chairman of the CRTC:
“Access to broadband Internet services is a key foundation for the digital economy. The large telephone and cable companies are bringing their fibre networks closer to Canadian homes and businesses, which allows for faster Internet connections. Requiring these companies to provide access to their networks will lead to more opportunities for competition in retail Internet services and better serve consumers.”
The CRTC made the ruling because it will provide consumers with increased choice, something that is sorely lacking in Canada's ISP market.
As the advanced fibre-optic networks currently deployed required significant investment to get up and running, the CRTC will allow Canada's Big Three telecommunication firms and other regional providers to charge competitors an additional 10 per cent mark-up over their costs for the use of their wholesale Internet services' higher-speed options.
This decision can be appealed, but as of now, the Big Three (Rogers, Bell and Telus) have not formally commented.