CRTC Mandates Wholesale High Speed Access for Small ISPs in Ontario, Quebec


Ahead of a planned rollout across the rest of the country, the CRTC has ordered Canada’s big telecom companies to give smaller internet providers in in Quebec and Ontario, access to their wholesale high-speed services over fibre-optic networks, CBC News is reporting. “We want Canadians to have more choice for innovative internet services at competitive prices”, said the telecommunications regulator.


The CRTC will now proceed with a plan first announced in 2015 to let smaller ISPs piggyback on high-speed networks that larger companies have built out. The plan means that smaller ISPs will now be able to pay for access to the incumbents’ disaggregated high-speed fibre-optic networks, and then resell that service to consumers.

“Large incumbent companies will now have to make their fibre facilities available to their competitors”, said the regulator. Although it is still deciding on the rates that smaller companies will be allowed to purchase the access for.

“As of today, providers in Ontario and Quebec will have access to services based on a new architecture that will enable greater competition,” the regulator said.

Technology analyst Daniel Bader of Mobile Nations said that Tuesday’s announcement is the CRTC’s way of saying “they think that Quebec and Ontario are much more in need” of more competition. “The CRTC is looking to make the biggest impact on two most populous provinces,” Bader said in a telephone interview.

“The CRTC needs to be mindful of the impacts of the rates it sets on investment in next generation broadband facilities,” BCE Inc.’s communications director Marc Choma said.

For now, small ISPs can buy high-speed access from big telecom companies at the current nterim rates to stimulate competition.


  • Bill___A

    Who is going to invest billions in fiber to the home build out if they just have ot turn around and wholesale it to someone who makes minimal investment?
    This whole idea of making so called “big” companies do huge builds of mobile networks, fiber networks, etc, only to turn around and wholesale it to anyone and his or her dog who wants to become a provider is a huge disincentive to make the networks in the first place.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    You sound like you work for one of the Pig 3. Since there’s an oligarchy & collusion from the Pig 3, the CRTC has to try and create competition since there’s no interest from the Pig 3 to do so.

  • raslucas

    It isn’t like they aren’t still getting paid… They just don’t have to pay for customer support.

    In fact, if I was a ISP, I’d love to sell wholesale… such simplicity.

  • toysandme

    You are so cynical. Just because the Pig 3 keep introducing specials within minutes of each other does not necessarily mean there is collusion. Coincidences do happen in nature. /s

  • toysandme

    No if they can only do the same with mobile services …

  • erth

    sounds like the PC government knew what they were doing. the price of internet and mobility in canada is the highest in the world because there isn’t competition. the Big 3 need to be forced to release their grip on the consumer. also, i would now move to one of these third party companies, because you all know what is going to happen at the BIG 3… higher prices on everything else because they need to exceed last years revenue.

  • mcfilmmakers

    Coincidences don’t happen EVERY TIME. That’s collusion.

  • mcfilmmakers

    They don’t sell wholesale at a loss. They still profit from it.

  • JD

    Why only in Quebec and Ontario? Last time I checked it was the CANADIAN radio-television and telecommunications commission not the Ontario-Quebec RTC.. Such a joke..

  • YoGoerz

    Does anyone know why this isn’t mandated cross country? I totally get that this serves the majority of Canadians due to the populations – but it does feel a little broken to not have that option in Alberta or BC.

  • YoGoerz

    I will give them credit for promoting competition. However a 4th entrant doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t just end up with four, instead of three, high priced options.
    I do think this approach and movement towards MVNO’s is a good choice

  • toysandme

    I know! That’s why I added the /s for SARCASM!