Start.ca Calls on Canadian Government to Overturn CRTC’s Surprise Flip-Flop on Wholesale Internet Rates
LONDON, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–London-based internet services provider Start.ca will be calling on the Government of Canada to overturn the outcome of a recent ruling by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (or CRTC), in which the commission opted to reverse its 2019 decision to implement lower wholesale internet rates in Canada.
The original 2019 decision, which was backed by substantial data and years of objective investigative work, established rates that were designed to benefit Canadian consumers by encouraging competition and promoting innovation within the telecommunications industry. The decision was widely celebrated by consumer advocacy groups as a significant step in the right direction towards affordable internet in Canada.
On Thursday, May 27, 2021, after a lengthy appeals process led by Canada’s largest telecommunication companies, the CRTC reversed its 2019 decision, meaning that the 2016 wholesale rates would remain in effect. Independent internet providers like Start.ca, who pay to access wholesale internet infrastructure, are left with little choice but to increase customer pricing in order to keep up with the inflated rates.
“In Canada, we already pay some of the highest internet rates in the world. If the Government does not overturn this remarkably disappointing reversal on fairer access rates, Canadian consumers should ultimately expect to see their internet bills go up and will have less choice when it comes to their internet services,” explains Start.ca CEO, Peter Rocca. “By reversing their own decision, the CRTC has demonstrated more concern with protecting the large providers and their billions in profits than fulfilling its mandate of protecting Canadian consumers.”
Start.ca has already begun to notify customers of upcoming pricing increases on some of their internet plans due to the ruling.
Additionally, the impact of this decision has resulted in Start.ca suspending its plans to provide an affordable mobile phone service, an initiative that the company had already invested significant resources into, including participating in the current 5G spectrum auction.
Start.ca is working with other independent providers to connect with regulators and continue fighting for lower internet prices in Canada. Members of the public who want to help protect internet affordability are encouraged to reach out to their MPs through CNOC’s Affordable Internet Site: https://www.cnoc.tech/iwantaffordableinternet
Based in London, Ontario, Start.ca has been providing internet service throughout Ontario for more than 25 years. Start.ca offers fibre, cable, and DSL internet, as well as TV and home phone services. Additionally, Start.ca offers a full suite of business internet and data centre services.
Peter Rocca, CEO
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