Archive for Teksavvy

TekSavvy Asks Voters To Demand More Affordable Internet Access

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2021 by itnerd

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. today invited Canadian voters to visit paylesstoconnect.ca, where they can quickly use an online tool to demand concrete federal action that will lower monthly internet bills. In this election, affordability remains top-of-mind for most voters. Recent polling by Abacus Data shows that 64% of Canadians believe the cost of things you use day-to-day have gotten worse over the past 2 years. In another poll conducted by Leger on behalf of TekSavvy, nearly 80% of Canadians say the cost of their internet service is too high.

According to an election backgrounder released by TekSavvy today, the CRTC’s 2019 rate decision confirmed that Canada’s largest carriers, such as Bell and Rogers, broke federal rate-setting rules to inflate costs for competitors, which in turn drove up Canadian retail prices. The CRTC set new rates to bring “more affordable prices for consumers” that were expected to take effect this year. However, on May 27th, the CRTC stunned observers when it caved to Big Telecom and arbitrarily reversed its own 2019 rate decision. The reversal is bad news for consumers, as it ensures Canadian internet prices –already among the highest in the world—will continue to rise through the pandemic. 

TekSavvy has formally petitioned the Federal Cabinet to overrule the CRTC and lower Canadians’ cost of living by enforcing the CRTC’s evidence-based 2019 rate decision. “With the stroke of a pen, Cabinet can deliver lower internet prices for Canadians, simply by reinstating the CRTC’s pro-consumer 2019 rate decision, which was based on years of process and mountains of evidence” said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, TekSavvy’s vice president of Regulatory and Carrier Affairs. 

TekSavvy noted there is widespread public support for this clear-cut federal measure that will lower the cost of living for millions of voters. Using paylesstoconnect.ca, over 250,000 Canadians have urged the federal government to support the CRTC’s 2019 decision.  TekSavvy further highlighted the recent unanimous resolution passed by Ontario’s Big City Mayors —comprised of mayors of Ontario’s largest cities and collectively representing nearly 70% of Ontario’s population—calling “on the Federal Cabinet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and ISED Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne to overrule the CRTC’s reversal and immediately implement the evidence-based 2019 Rates Order”  to deliver lower prices. 

TekSavvy Praises OBCM Resolution Asking Cabinet To Overturn Anti-Consumer CRTC Decision

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 14, 2021 by itnerd

TekSavvy has applauded the unanimous resolution passed by the Ontario Big City Mayors (OBCM), which calls upon the federal Cabinet to reinstate a key 2019 CRTC decision that would lower Canadian internet prices (the 2019 Rates Order).   

Issued by the CRTC in August of 2019, the 2019 Rates Order confirmed that Canada’s largest carriers, such as Bell Canada and Rogers, systematically broke rate-setting rules to inflate their costs of providing network access to competitors, resulting in higher retail prices for consumers. The CRTC set new rates and ordered the large carriers to repay amounts they overcharged competitors during its proceeding. The CRTC was widely expected to implement the 2019 Rates Order this year, given that it was based on a rigorous, evidence-based, 4-year long regulatory process. It had already been upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada and Cabinet declined to review it. 

However, on May 27, 2021, the CRTC stunned observers when it arbitrarily reversed its own 2019 Final Rates Order. The CRTC’s reversal is bad news for consumers, as it effectively guarantees Canadian internet prices – which are already among the highest in the world—will continue to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Today’s unanimous resolution, passed by the OBCM —comprised of mayors of Ontario’s largest cities and collectively representing nearly 70% of Ontario’s population—calls on the Federal Cabinet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and ISED Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne to overrule the CRTC’s reversal and immediately implement the evidence-based 2019 Rates Order to deliver lower prices. The OBCM joins over 250,000 Canadians across the country in demanding immediate federal action to lower internet and cell phone bills.

TekSavvy Provides Liberal Government With Clear Evidence Of CRTC Chair’s bias

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 24, 2021 by itnerd

TekSavvy today filed additional evidence with the Liberal Government in support of its May 28 Petition to the Governor in Council regarding the CRTC’s recent wholesale rates decision (Decision 2021-181). That decision stunned observers by completely reversing the CRTC’s own 2019 Final Rates Order, which had already been upheld on appeal by the Federal Court of Appeal, and which the Federal Cabinet and the Supreme Court of Canada declined to review. TekSavvy’s Petition asks Cabinet to overrule the CRTC’s arbitrary Decision 2021-181, to reinstate its evidence-based 2019 Final Rates Order and to remove Chair Ian Scott for bias. 

Today, TekSavvy submitted further evidence to Cabinet regarding Mr. Scott’s bias.  TekSavvy noted that Mr. Scott held numerous ex parte meetings with litigants with open CRTC files, apparently unaccompanied, according to lobbying records. In particular, Mr. Scott held at least 11 reported solo meetings with Bell, Rogers or Shaw during the course of the CRTC’s open and active file, which resulted in Decision 2021-181  and that completely reversed its own evidence-based, years-in-the-making 2019 Final Rates Order. The decision also directly undermined Cabinet’s mandate and direction to the CRTC to promote affordable pricing and competition.

Remarkably, at least one of Mr. Scott’s ex parte meetings took place in a social setting, alone, with the CEO of one of the primary litigants in the open file. Mr. Scott met one-on-one with Mirko Bibic, then chief operating officer of Bell (and now CEO) at D’Arcy McGee’s, an Ottawa bar on December 19, 2019. The meeting occurred just one week after the CRTC opened an active file to hear Bell’s application to reverse the 2019 Final Rates Order, which the regulator arbitrarily approved in Decision 2021-181.

This meeting, in the middle of a contentious proceeding with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, is described in recent media reports by former Commissioners, as offside the CRTC’s internal norms, policies and practices. One former Chair noted that he “would include a third party, typically the CRTC’s general counsel, in lobbying meetings with industry.” Another former Commissioner and vice-chair of telecom said the CRTC’s recommended practice was to meet with lobbyists in the office and to have a third person present, such that an ex-parte meeting at a bar “would fall into the category of high-risk behaviour.” 

Other media reports describe the harmful impact of Mr. Scott’s private meetings on the CRTC’s integrity and reputation. One article underscores that it is impossible for anyone to know what was discussed, noting with respect to Mr. Scott and Mr. Bibic, “De quoi ont-ils discuté ? Impossible de le savoir.” Another article notes that this conduct has caused a crisis at the CRTC that will undermine public confidence, “[U]n manque de confiance qui pourrait faire mal.”

TekSavvy submitted that Mr. Scott’s ex parte meeting with Mr. Bibic is also clearly offside the standards of conduct required by the Governor in Council for its appointees to the CRTC, as confirmed by Cabinet’s termination of one Commissioner’s appointment for far less egregious conduct in 2017. In fact, both the Federal Court and Cabinet have explicitly recognized the concern of bias raised by ex parte meetings between Commissioners and stakeholders with open files before the CRTC, as the Federal Court described such conduct as “very troubling.”

TekSavvy respectfully reiterated its request that Cabinet quickly take the steps outlined in its Petition and in particular, to overturn the CRTC’s arbitrary Decision 2021-181 and reinstate its evidence-based, pro-consumer 2019 Rates Order and to remove Mr. Scott as chair. 

TekSavvy Picks Ciena For Deployment Of New Broadband Infrastructure Through Southwestern Ontario

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 14, 2021 by itnerd

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. today announced an agreement with Ciena to utilize its best-in-class optical solutions as the ISP completes its long-haul transport network between Toronto and Windsor.  TekSavvy’s 600km fibre ring includes 18 new and established points of presence in major markets throughout Southwestern Ontario. 

This agreement will support TekSavvy’s ongoing investments in its LTE and FTTH facilities, as well as its deployment of disaggregated wholesale services across the region. The announcement forms part of TekSavvy’s ambitious 5-year investment plan aimed at improving access to, and competitive choice for, high-speed broadband services. With earmarked capital investment totaling over $250 million, including over $100 million for network infrastructure, TekSavvy intends to connect over 60,000 residences and businesses and to bring competitive choice for fibre internet service to communities in the region. TekSavvy will deploy Ciena’s optical solutions during the first 6 months of 2021. 

TekSavvy is deploying Ciena’s coherent optical flexible grid solution. The solution uses the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform powered by WaveLogic coherent optics that can scale to 400G and beyond.  This will enable TekSavvy’s network to scale for high bandwidth applications using minimal hardware, driving improved network economics.

Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan domain controller will provide end-to-end lifecycle operations that will unify network and service management and online network planning through software-defined control.  

TekSavvy Announces MPLS Enterprise Network Service

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2021 by itnerd

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. today announces the broad availability of their MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) network service. By deploying enterprise-grade appliances at the edges of an enterprise network MPLS directs data packets along a pre-determined predictable path increasing network efficiency, reliability and reducing latency.

Routing branch office or retail location traffic along a predictable path can be vitally important for time-sensitive applications like VOIP, video conferencing and e-commerce. Unlike the sometimes-circuitous journey that a package of goods may take, MPLS packets flow to their destination with certainty. TekSavvy MPLS provides a more secure transport medium than the Internet, with privacy as a hallmark quality of its design.

Customer MPLS networks and hardware are continuously managed and maintained by TekSavvy’s 24/7 Technical Assistance Centre. Networks can easily be configured and scaled by the TekSavvy team, regardless of the type of traffic that they carry. TekSavvy experts assist partners to prioritize network traffic to ensure the best performance of business-critical applications and time-sensitive data.

TekSavvy’s MPLS service effectively separates corporate data traffic from the public internet and from many of the threats that live there. With a private network built specifically for them, each partner’s enterprise data is more secure and better insulated from incursions. 

TekSavvy continues to produce efficient and configurable solutions for businesses so that customers can focus on what makes their business unique. 

Teksavvy Wants To Make Sure That Your Voice Is Heard Before It Is Too Late

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 21, 2020 by itnerd

Nearly 18 months ago the CRTC decided that Internet prices for millions of Canadian’s should be more affordable. Canada’s Big Telcos have used every tactic at their disposal to block that decision and keep prices high. Over 150,000 Canadians spoke up via a campaign started by Teksavvy to tell the government that Canadians deserve better. The fight for competitive choice is not over and the CRTC is reviewing their decision and deciding the future of internet prices NOW.

Teksavvy is asking Canadians to go to this page to be sure their voice is heard. That way it sends a message to the government and CRTC to uphold their decision.

TekSavvy Announces Managed Wi-Fi & Managed Security Offerings

Posted in Commentary with tags on December 1, 2020 by itnerd

TekSavvy has announced the broad availability of their Managed Wi-Fi and Managed Security services. Combining robust security appliances and the 24/7 monitoring capabilities of their Technical Assistance Centre (TAC), TekSavvy takes the headache out of deploying crucial Internet connectivity and security solutions.

Managed Wi-Fi provides safe, secure Wi-Fi access that can be deployed across a campus, an office, a café, or a Bed and Breakfast. TekSavvy technicians install business grade hardware to suit the client and the environment. Wi-Fi networks are continuously monitored, while security updates are safely managed by TekSavvy’s 24/7 Technical Assistance Centre. Internet access can be controlled based on site, protocol, or content category. Stakeholders can rest easy knowing the TAC team will be alerted to online threats or system issues whenever they may occur.

TekSavvy Managed Security protects networks at their edge, continuously scanning for vulnerabilities and intrusion attempts. Real-time traffic analysis detects malware and other threats notifying TekSavvy’s TAC technicians to triage and remediate vulnerabilities. Virtual Private Networking (VPN) connecting employees to the office, or branches to each other, secures and protects data from attacks outside your business. Integrated identity-based filtering provides the flexibility to manage access for those that need it and limit access where required. 

TekSavvy provides the technology behind Managed Security and Managed Wi-Fi to enable our partners to focus on their company and their customers.

TekSavvy Announces Business Remote Worker Solutions

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 17, 2020 by itnerd

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. has announced the broad availability of their Business Remote Worker solutions. Combining robust security appliances, software clients and the 24/7 monitoring capabilities of their Technical Assistance Centre (TAC), TekSavvy takes the headache out of deploying more secure Internet connectivity with distributed and remote workforces.

Home offices, mobile offices and branch offices are all points where enhanced data security is a high priority. Utilizing a mix of Virtual Private Network (VPN) soft clients and on-premises gated-access end-point connections, our solutions are customizable and scalable to fit a wide variety of company needs and budgets. Drop-in, preconfigured, enterprise grade appliances can provide secure endpoint protection and access control. Connect to corporate WAN or Cloud applications with peace of mind wherever internet access is available.

Remote Worker Solutions from TekSavvy have been built to enable their partners to focus on their customers and protecting investments in their business. 

Cabinet Decision Means Higher Prices, Less Competition For Internet Services: TekSavvy

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 17, 2020 by itnerd

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. today voiced its dismay and disappointment in a recent decision by the federal Cabinet concerning the wholesale rates charged by large carriers (such as Bell Canada and Rogers) to smaller ISPs, such as TekSavvy. 

In a statement, the federal Cabinet effectively directed the CRTC to increase wholesale rates— above the rates independently set by the CRTC in 2019, after a lengthy proceeding. The CRTC’s 2019 rate decision confirmed that the large carriers overstated their costs of providing wholesale access to their networks, corrected their rates based on evidence of their costs and ordered the large carriers to repay amounts they overcharged ISPs over the 3 year process. The CRTC previously condemned the large carriers’ rate-fixing conduct as “very disturbing” because it would drive smaller ISPs out of business and deny Canadians choice for internet services.  

However, the large carriers petitioned Cabinet to overturn the CRTC’s decision and impose higher rates. Over 150,000 Canadians voiced their support for the CRTC’s decision and urged Cabinet to support lower Internet and cell phone bills. In addition, TekSavvy filed a formal Complaint with the Competition Bureau, detailing how large carriers deviated from CRTC-costing rules to grossly inflate wholesale rates for competitors, while at the same time offering retail prices below the wholesale costs they had inflated. TekSavvy submitted that Cabinet should order an investigation into this anti-competitive conduct because it inflates retail prices for Internet services, costing millions of Canadian consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Ultimately, in announcing Cabinet’s verdict on the petitions, Cabinet caved to pressure from the large carriers, who threatened to hold back investments in rural Canada unless they were protected from competition. The decision is a reversal from Cabinet’s previous direction that the CRTC place affordability, competition and consumer interests at the forefront of its regulatory proceedings. 

Having gone five years without cost certainty, paying inflated interim rates and facing brazen anticompetitive conduct in a climate of extreme regulatory uncertainty, TekSavvy is left with no choice but to interpret this announcement as an expectation from the government that retail prices should be raised.

TekSavvy Calls On The CRTC For Emergency Relief During The COVID-19 Crisis

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 13, 2020 by itnerd

TekSavvy Solutions Inc., is requesting the CRTC take immediate action to ensure the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who use independent Internet service providers (ISPs) continue to be able to access these services during the COVID-19 crisis.

Never have so many Canadians relied on their internet service as they find themselves working and studying from home during this unprecedented situation. Under the current wholesale rate structure, independent ISPs are forced to pay inflated fees to the big Canadian telecoms. On Thursday, April 9, Calgary-Nose Hill MP and shadow Minister for Industry and Economic Development, the Hon. Michelle Rempel Garner, called on the government to act (Rempel Garner Announcement) to safeguard competitive internet access for Canadians. Her statement calls for urgent action to address the precarious conditions that put the independent ISPs at risk at a time when Canadians most need these services.

Further, TekSavvy has asked the CRTC to investigate unilateral changes that the big Canadian carriers are making to regulated processes for ordering, service installations and repairs. Without oversight by the CRTC, the big incumbent carriers may bestow undue commercial advantages to their retail services through the uneven application of stricter COVID-19 procedures.

TekSavvy has always supported fair prices for Canadians. Now, as Canadians live through these extraordinary times, TekSavvy is asking the government and the CRTC to ensure that fairness and stability are maintained through this health crisis. To do this, the government and the CRTC must enact emergency provisions to put in place the final rates from the CRTC’s August 2019 decision on an urgent basis while ongoing appeals processes play out, ensuring independent ISP’s continue to deliver service to Canadians from coast to coast.