The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has put in place revised interim rates for wholesale fixed broadband access services offered by the country’s large cablecos and telcos, in response to a failure by some of the operators to submit ‘reasonable’ tariffs. The watchdog previously directed large operators to file new wholesale tariffs, and says it was not expecting deviation from the costing principles and methodologies laid out in the current regulatory proceedings on the wholesale broadband segment, but after analysing the tariff applications, the CRTC is of the view that the rates proposed by certain companies had to be revised downwards.
Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman and CEO, declared in a press release: ‘Competitors that provide retail internet services to Canadians using wholesale high speed services must have access to these services at just and reasonable prices. The fact that these large companies did not respect accepted costing principles and methodologies is very disturbing. What’s even more concerning is the fact that Canadians’ access to a choice of broadband internet services would have been at stake had we not revised these rates.’
• The CRTC has now reduced the proposed wholesale ‘transport’ component rate for a number of companies by up to 89%. Additionally, proposed wholesale ‘access’ component rates of certain companies were reduced by up to 39%
• The large companies who had submitted rates are Bell Canada, Cogeco, MTS, Rogers Communications, SaskTel, Shaw, Telus and Videotron
• The CRTC will continue its in-depth analysis of the various Tariff Notices in order to set final rates
• The CRTC intends to issue requests for information as a next step in the process. All parties will have the opportunity to comment on the Tariff Notices in order to assist in ensuring that the final rates are just and reasonable.