Today marks a critical milestone for independent high-speed fibre Internet access in Canada. Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, Navdeep Bains is supporting a CRTC decision that forces Canada’s big Internet providers to share their high-speed infrastructure with smaller carriers at a wholesale cost.
Bell Canada had asked the Liberal government to overrule the regulator’s decision, saying it would discourage innovation. However, Bains said that middle-class and low-income families need access to affordable high-speed internet.
In addition, he said that the wholesale broadcasting rule helps enable retail competition in the market. Bell had argued that the regulation could slow innovation forcing itself to stop investing in technology.
Bains said the CRTC decision balances the industry’s incentive to continue to invest and consumer choice. He said the federal government is encouraged by recent announcements of companies investing in fibre across Canada.
In response to the statement, Bell spokeswoman Jacqueline Michelis wrote in an email: “We’ll abide by the rules and move forward.” Consumer advocacy groups praised the cabinet decision.