CRTC Denies Bell Appeal, Indie ISPs Will Get to Offer Fibre Internet

A new CRTC ruling allows Canadians access to more affordable fibre internet than before: the regulator denied Bell’s application to overturn a landmark July 2015 ruling which granted access to the incumbents’ fibre networks. As such, smaller ISPs will be able to start offering fibre services within the next year or so (via OpenMedia).

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The regulator’s ruling joins an earlier decision from Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, who rejected Bell’s appeal. The CRTC also denied Bell’s application to overturn the rules, according to the decision posted on the regulator’s website.

Bell argued that granting access to smaller ISPs to the incumbents’ fibre network would discourage investment in fibre networks. This has been debunked by Bell’s comments to its own investors, as pointed out by Michael Geist and quoted by OpenMedia in a press release saluting the CRTC’s ruling.

The regulator, however, upheld a part of its July 2015 decision that will phase out independent telecom providers’ mandated access to unbundled local loops. This access is important for telecom providers to offer Internet and phone services to business customers and residents. Allstream appealed this part of the July 2015 ruling saying that it will have a disproportionately negative impact on the over 25% of local businesses which rely on independent providers for Internet access.

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