ISP says lower prices, unlimited data the "first step" for consumers after key CRTC decision
CHATHAM, ON, Sept. 13, 2019 /CNW/ - TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy), Canada's largest independent Internet service provider (ISP), today announced that it is lowering bills and upgrading packages for hundreds of thousands of internet subscribers, crediting a recent decision by Canada's telecom regulator for its consumer-friendly moves.
TekSavvy confirmed that over 85% of its customers will benefit from reduced prices or upgraded, unlimited data plans on their next monthly bill, as the ISP streamlines its retail product line in the wake of a major regulatory decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) last month.
On August 15, 2019, the CRTC determined that Canada's biggest telecom companies—such as Bell Canada and Rogers—had grossly overstated their costs in providing smaller competitors with wholesale access to their networks. The CRTC identified numerous brazen deficiencies in the big telcos' evidence, found that the existing wholesale rates were in fact severely inflated, and corrected the final rates down to more reasonable levels. The CRTC further ordered the big telcos to repay the amounts they had overcharged smaller competitors during the 3 year regulatory proceeding.
In a related decision from 2016, the CRTC strongly condemned the big telcos' wholesale rate-fixing behaviour as 'very disturbing', because it would drive smaller competitors out of business and deny Canadians choice for Internet services. Both CRTC decisions show the big telcos ignored the CRTC's regulations to exaggerate their costs, which in turn drove up costs for competitors and kept retail prices high for consumers. The CRTC-ordered refund dates back to March 2016, which the big telcos claim adds up to $325 million. However, the disputed amount is much higher, given that the big telcos first introduced their extremely inflated wholesale rates in 2011.
"TekSavvy has been ringing alarm bells about inflated wholesale rates for years," said Marc Gaudrault, TekSavvy's CEO. "So we're happy to be able to pass these benefits on to our customers as we continue our investments in wireless LTE and fibre networks."
"The impact of the rate inflation was devastating to competitors and an unjust windfall for the big telcos. For years, we struggled to compete and lost out on many opportunities to invest in our own networks, our businesses, and innovations," said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, VP Regulatory & Carrier Affairs. "We appreciate our customers sticking with TekSavvy and today's announcement is just the first step while we continue to assess the CRTC's final rates decision."
"Correct and properly set wholesale rates let TekSavvy create more savings for our customers and do our part to spur a more competitive telecom market in Canada," said Janet Lo, VP Privacy & Consumer Legal Affairs. "Canadians have been clear that they want to pay less to connect and we're glad that the CRTC's decision will help competitors bring lower prices, consumer choice, and innovation."
TekSavvy has been proudly serving Canadians with reliable telecom services for more than 20 years and has won numerous awards for the quality of its service and for its commitment to fighting for consumers' rights online. With offices in Chatham, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec, TekSavvy is Canada's largest independent telecom service company with over 300,000 customers from coast to coast.
SOURCE TekSavvy Solutions Inc.
For further information: John Settino, 416-662-2955 Or Trevor Campbell, 647-201-5409, The iPR Group, [email protected]