ontario news watch

No evidence that Big 3 acting as fibre wholesalers would hurt smaller providers: CRTC

OTTAWA — The CRTC has denied a request by Bell Canada and some independent internet providers for an expedited decision that would prevent large carriers from using rivals’ fibre networks to offer their services to customers.

The regulator says the request, filed in March, “failed to provide sufficient evidence of irreparable harm.” 

The decision was delivered in a Friday letter to the coalition, which also includes TekSavvy, Bragg Communications Inc., Cogeco Communications Inc. and the Competitive Network Operators of Canada.

They argued that granting Canada’s Big 3 internet carriers, including Bell itself, access to each other’s fibre networks would threaten the viability of independent internet service providers — a position the CRTC says was not supported by sufficient evidence.

New temporary rules took effect Tuesday following a CRTC ruling last fall that require Bell and Telus Corp. to provide competitors with access to their fibre networks in Ontario and Quebec.

The CRTC is in the midst of a review, which included a five-day hearing in February, that could potentially make that direction permanent and apply it to other provinces under a national wholesale framework.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:BCE)

The Canadian Press

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