Guest Post: A healthy telecom market ensures redundancy, resiliency and price competitiveness Says Beanfield Metroconnect

With last Friday’s outage of internet and mobile services, Canadians — consumers, businesses, government and more — are all questioning the best next steps. It’s obvious that changes are required to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself, and the government’s mandate that providers back each other up in the case of another outage is a step forward.

However, there are many issues beyond redundancy when it comes to Canadians’ services — especially when a market is dominated by a handful of large incumbents. For example, many condo and apartment buildings are signed on for bulk services, where the entire building is limited to a single provider for telecom. In the case of last Friday’s outage, that meant building residents couldn’t even use a neighbour’s service in the case of an emergency as the entire building’s services were compromised. 

What are some of the main issues at hand, and what next steps should be taken? How can Canadians be best served? Todd Hofley, Vice President, Policy and Communications at Toronto-based Beanfield Metroconnect has these thoughts:

  • As a telecom service provider, Beanfield has been working for many years to advocate for choice when it comes to services for Canadians. We believe competition results in resiliency and highly connected communities. Without it, we’ve seen prices soar, systems set up to discourage fibre investment, and the rise of the ‘Big 3’ providers. On July 8, Canadians experienced first-hand the impact a single point of failure can have not only on our livelihoods, but also on our broader economy.
  • Bulk deals, where residential buildings allow for just a single telecom provider, are a particular concern. In Toronto, for example, we’re seeing a surge of high-rise residential buildings locking into these bulk agreements. Unfortunately, we have to participate in these in order to stay competitive. These deals open the door to many issues; not only do they result in less choice for customers, they lock these buildings into relying on a single provider – a single point of failure. If a provider has an outage, every single resident in the building is left without a connection to the outside world. They can’t turn to a neighbour or head to an amenities space to connect.
  • Beanfield was founded in a community where businesses had few — or no — options for telecom services. We’re fortunate to have thrived when so many small providers in the country haven’t, and we’ve always considered ourselves the alternative to big players. We believe strongly in choice for customers to encourage investment in high-quality services, to make pricing fair and equitable, to build resilient communities, and to make sure that our Canadian ecosystems will never be brought down by an outage from a single provider.
  • Individual Canadians deserve their choice of provider, not one decided for them. Bulk deals may go easy on consumers’ wallets in the short term. But as the Rogers outage highlights, a diversity of networks and true end-user choice in every community is vital— a single point of failure is a cost too high for all of us to pay.

Beanfield Metroconnect has created a Linktree page where Canadians can find sources to help change the Canadian telecom landscape:

For more information:

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