Written by Nick Heer.

OpenMedia: CRTC Decisions Will Be the Death of Small Internet Providers

Rosa Addario, communications manager for OpenMedia, in an op-ed in the Toronto Star:

Big Telecom may be waiting to pounce on vulnerable independent providers, but the blame falls directly on the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and our Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne, whose poor decisions created circumstances where indie ISPs are left no option but to sell.

The CRTC and federal government have both consistently failed to stand up for small providers. Over the past five years, we’ve seen them explicitly undercut the viability of small ISPs in Canada through siding with Big Telecom in their decisions time and time again.

Addario points to a study from Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada comparing cellular and fixed internet prices against preceding surveys and international rates. The headline figures are that wired internet prices are becoming more expensive, and we generally pay more than anywhere else. But I think there is just as much of a story in the study’s acknowledgement that “average regional prices tended towards uniformity” — internet rates are increasingly similar across the country. It is an indicator of a lack of competition at all levels. If the CRTC does not wish to encourage a more competitive market, it should end the drama by nationalizing our internet infrastructure. The policies we have right now are not working.