Another Day, Another CRTC Decision Goes Against Bell, Telus And Others

Yesterday Bell along with their “friends” Rogers and Telus lost a decision to keep resellers from reselling Internet services at the same speeds that they do. Today according to the CBC the CRTC said that they along with Aliant and MTS Allstream must give refunds to customers who were overcharged between 2002 and 2006, but they also must now supply DSL to rural areas:

The phone companies, including Bell Aliant and MTS Allstream, must give refunds to customers who were overcharged between 2002 and 2006. The rebates will be between $25 and $90 per customer, the CRTC said Tuesday.

The regulator also approved a plan for the deployment of broadband internet to 287 rural and remote communities at a cost of $421 million, with roll-out taking place over the next four years.

“Today’s announcement is a positive solution for Canadian consumers,” CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein said in a statement. “Subscribers of the major telephone companies in urban areas will enjoy a rebate on their home telephone service. And residents in hundreds of rural communities will soon be able to take advantage of the many social and economic benefits broadband internet access provides.”

That’s the simple explanation. The decision is more complex than that and I encourage that you read the full article to see what’s behind this.

This might shock you, but Telus is cool with this:

Michael Hennessy, senior vice-president of regulatory and government affairs at Telus, said the company is looking forward to connecting the smaller communities.

“We share that priority with the federal government,” he said. “It is unfortunate the commission reduced the amount we can spend on connecting communities by $20 million. [That] may make it more challenging.”

The fact that Bell isn’t thrilled about this won’t come as a shock to Canadians:

Bell spokesperson Jacqueline Michelis said the company is considering its options.

“It’s unfortunate that the CRTC has denied customers in these rural and remote communities access to the latest broadband network technology and advanced services,” she said.

“The CRTC does not have the expertise to choose technologies. Providing we meet any service requirements set out by the CRTC, technology choices should be left to the service providers.”

Suck it up Bell. If your “buddies” see no issue with delivering this service (other than the cash that they have to spend), then you shouldn’t either.

I can’t wait to get my cheque. I’m sure other Canadians are as well.

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