ISP urges public support for new government plan that will drive down prices
CHATHAM, ON, March 29, 2019 /CNW/ - TekSavvy Solutions Inc. ("TekSavvy") today launched a website where Canadians can voice support for a new directive from the Government of Canada, which orders the CRTC to lower Canadians' internet and cell phone bills with policies that promote real consumer choice. The proposal is open for public comment until April 8.
"Our mission is to bring Canadians real choice at a fair price – that's hard to do when a handful of giant telcos game the regulatory system to shut out competition," said Marc Gaudrault, TekSavvy's founder and CEO. "So when the federal government stands up for consumers, we think it's important to inform the public and offer online tools that make it easy for them to have their say."
TekSavvy hopes the CRTC will quickly fix policies that deny consumer choice and keep prices high, such as by removing the 50 Mbps Internet speed cap currently hampering TekSavvy's business in Ontario and Quebec, and finally opening up the wireless sector for competition. "TekSavvy fought and won the right to offer unlimited Internet to Canadians who were trapped paying for metered 'usage'. If the CRTC allows real consumer choice for wireless, TekSavvy wants to be able to bring unlimited cell phone plans too," added Gaudrault.
Consumer choice for Internet services remains under threat, said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, VP Regulatory & Carrier Affairs. "While the CRTC allowed TekSavvy to offer unlimited Internet, the big carriers inflated the wholesale rates for Internet 'usage' – in some cases by over 1300%. These unfair rates nearly drove smaller ISPs out of business and kept retail prices high for consumers."
In 2016, the CRTC rebuked the large carriers for breaking its rate-setting rules and called their behaviour "very disturbing". As noted in TekSavvy's filing with the CRTC today, the large carriers overcharged ISPs more than $300 million that would have otherwise been passed on as savings to customers or invested in new infrastructure. The CRTC has not set final rates or refunded the overbilled amounts.
"Without companies like TekSavvy, the Internet market would look just like the wireless market today – no choice, no unlimited plans, and high prices," said Janet Lo, VP Privacy & Consumer Legal Affairs. "This new directive to the CRTC will be a major win for consumers, so we are doing our part to rally public support. Today, we're asking the CRTC to repair the basic building blocks for Internet competition, so that it can apply these lessons to promote real consumer choice for wireless services too."
TekSavvy has been proudly serving Canadians with reliable telecom services for 20 years and has won numerous awards for the quality of its experience and for its commitment to fighting for and upholding 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.
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