As a Canadian Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC), Fibernetics is dedicated to fostering innovation, competition, and affordability in the telecommunications industry. We recognize the challenges faced by Canadians due to the lack of competition and choice in the market, and we work tirelessly to provide alternative solutions that empower consumers. With the recent news from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regarding its consultation on the Internet services market, we feel it’s the right time to shed some light on the hidden costs of the current state of the industry.

The CRTC’s Involvement in Promoting Competition 

The CRTC has long been committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to a world-class communication system. In recent years, the commission has made several decisions to promote competition in the market and address the pain points of Canadians, including high prices, limited competition, poor customer service, and slow internet speeds. The recent announcement of a consultation on the Internet services market, including a re-examination of wholesale rates and access to fiber-to-the-home networks, demonstrates the CRTC’s ongoing dedication to these goals. 

The Hidden Cost of Limited Competition 

While the CRTC’s actions are commendable, it’s essential to consider the hidden costs associated with the current state of the Canadian telecommunications industry. These hidden costs often impact the quality, affordability, and accessibility of services for consumers. 

  1. High Prices: The market dominance of the “Big Three” telecom companies (Bell, Rogers, and TELUS) has long been a significant pain point for Canadians, who often pay higher prices for services compared to consumers in other countries. This lack of competition means these large providers have little incentive to lower prices or offer better services. As a result, Canadians end up paying more for the services they need. 
  2. Limited Innovation: A lack of competition stifles innovation in the industry. When a few companies control the market, there’s less motivation to invest in new technologies, services, or infrastructure. This can result in slower adoption of emerging technologies, putting Canada at a disadvantage on the global stage.
  3. The Rural-Urban Digital Divide: The Big Three telecom companies have primarily focused their investments in urban areas, leaving rural communities underserved. This lack of investment in rural infrastructure has widened the digital divide, preventing many Canadians from accessing high-speed internet services. Although the CRTC has declared broadband internet access a basic telecommunications service, there is still work to be done to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas.
  4. Inefficient Market Dynamics: The current market dynamics limit the potential of smaller ISPs and alternative service providers like Fibernetics. Restricted access to fiber-to-the-home networks and high wholesale rates makes it difficult for smaller players to compete effectively, often forcing them to pass on higher costs to consumers. 

The CRTC’s Latest Consultation: A Step in the Right Direction 

The CRTC’s recent announcement of a consultation on the Internet services market is a step in the right direction to address these hidden costs. By re-examining wholesale rates and considering mandating access to fiber-to-the-home networks for competitors, the CRTC is working to promote competition, lower prices, and increase choice for consumers. 

  1. Wholesale Rate Reductions: The CRTC has imposed an immediate 10% reduction on some wholesale rates, a move that could benefit smaller ISPs and alternative service providers. This decision will help level the playing field for these providers, allowing them to offer more competitive pricing and ultimately benefit Canadian consumers.
  2. Access to Fiber-to-the-Home Networks: The CRTC’s consideration of whether large telephone and cable companies should provide competitors with access to their fiber-to-the-home networks is another positive development. By enabling faster Internet speeds for customers and further promoting competition in the market, the CRTC is addressing one of the primary pain points of Canadians. Mandated access to these networks could lead to a more innovative and competitive industry, ultimately benefiting consumers with better services and pricing.
  3. Public Consultation and Engagement: The CRTC’s decision to engage Canadians in the consultation process is an essential aspect of driving change in the industry. By providing an opportunity for the public to voice their concerns and opinions, the CRTC ensures that it remains in touch with the needs of Canadians. This open dialogue will help inform the CRTC’s decision-making process, ensuring that the final outcomes align with consumer expectations and needs.
  4. Reassessment of Disaggregated Model: Although the CRTC has decided not to pursue a broader implementation of the disaggregated model for wholesale access to large companies’ networks, they will maintain the model in areas where it has already been approved. This decision shows that the CRTC is carefully considering the implications of various wholesale access models on competition and consumer choice. 

Fibernetics’ Role in Shaping the Future of Canadian Telecommunications 

As a CLEC, Fibernetics is committed to playing an active role in shaping the future of the Canadian telecommunications industry. We strive to be a driving force for positive change by offering innovative and affordable services to Canadian consumers. Here’s how we’re working to address the hidden costs of the current market dynamics: 

  1. Fostering Innovation: At Fibernetics, we believe that innovation is the key to a thriving and competitive telecommunications industry. We continuously invest in new technologies and services to bring the best possible experience to our customers, challenging the status quo and inspiring other providers to do the same.
  2. Bridging the Digital Divide: We want all Canadians to have access to the fast, reliable internet they deserve. To that end, Fibernetics is committed to bringing innovations to support rural communities. For example, our business internet division, NEWT, offers bandwidth-saving features, and we have a new product launching soon which will provide high-quality services to both urban and rural communities.
  3. Advocating for Fair Market Conditions: Fibernetics actively engages with the CRTC and other stakeholders to advocate for fair market conditions that promote competition, choice, and affordability for Canadian consumers. By voicing our support for policies that benefit consumers, we contribute to a more dynamic and competitive industry.
  4. Delivering Superior Customer Service: We understand that exceptional customer service is a critical differentiator in the telecommunications market. Fibernetics is committed to providing outstanding support, ensuring that our customers have a positive experience when interacting with our company. 

How You Can Take Action 

The CRTC’s latest consultation on the Internet services market is a promising development in the ongoing effort to address the hidden costs associated with the current state of the Canadian telecommunications industry. By re-examining wholesale rates and considering mandated access to fiber-to-the-home networks, the CRTC is taking crucial steps toward promoting competition, lowering prices, and increasing choice for consumers. 

Fibernetics is proud to be an active participant in this process, advocating for policies that benefit Canadian consumers and working to provide innovative, affordable, and high-quality telecommunications services. As the industry evolves, we remain committed to our mission of delivering exceptional customer experiences and driving positive change in the Canadian telecommunications landscape.

From now until June 22, 2023, the CRTC wants to hear from Canadians and we encourage all Canadians to participate in the CRTC’s consultation. Voice your opinion on the future of this industry. Together, we can work toward a more competitive and consumer-friendly telecommunications market that benefits everyone.