Bell Canada To CRTC: FOAD!

Bell Canada has now officially upped the ante in their battle between itself and smaller players such as Teksavvy and Acanac. Bell is officially appealing a March 3rd ruling from the CRTC (the Canadian version of the FCC) that enforces a previous ruling that forced Bell Canada to open up it’s network to third party competition until such time that those third parties build their own networks. Why are they doing this? Simple:

“[Mirko] Bibic [Bell’s chief of regulatory affairs] said the decision to open Bell’s infrastructure 10 years ago was made in hopes that it would give smaller companies a base from which to build their own networks, but that has not happened. Many of the firms that use Bell’s network have instead become dependent on it and have not invested in their own equipment. “They haven’t built much,” he said. “The problem is, there’s no weaning off. There’s an underlying and ongoing and indefinite reliance on access to incumbent networks.” “

The article notes that this comes about a week after Bell Canada starts throttling DSL resellers. Co-incidence? I think not. It looks like Bell is trying to kill off competition of any sort. The fact is that DSL resellers rely on telcos (namely Bell) for what are called “Last Mile” connections between their customers and the network. Basically, building the infrastructure to deliver their services directly to the customer takes BILLIONS of dollars and no third party ISP has that kind of cash. Therefore, they are forced into dealing with an incumbent telco to sell their services to you the end user, which puts them (and you) at the mercy of the teclo. By the way, for those of you with cable based Internet if you get your Internet access from a company that is not your incumbent cable company, it’s the same deal.

Without the CRTC forcing Bell Canada to open up last mile connections to resellers (and not throttling them to death), any sort of meaningful competition in the Canadian market will disappear. That is bad for consumers. The only way to stop this is to do the things that I mentioned in this article. Otherwise Canadian consumers will be screwed. Royally.

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