Independent internet service provider TekSavvy announced it is being “forced” to increase internet prices, due to recent CRTC policy.
Starting with the October 1 billing cycle, TekSavvy says residential internet prices are going up by $3 per month on service packages.
“To be clear, we do not want to institute this increase and would much rather lower prices, as we have done in the past. But we have been left with no choice thanks to recent reversals by a regulator that is now clearly siding with and padding the profits of Big Telecom – the CRTC,” wrote Peter Nowak, Vice-President Insight & Engagement, on Tuesday.
Smaller ISPs such as TekSavvy purchase internet from existing incumbents at wholesale rates, then resell to customers.
In 2019, the CRTC introduced lower wholesale rates to spur competition, but the decision was opposed in court by big telecom including the likes of Rogers and Bell.
In May of this year, the CRTC reversed its 2019 ruling, going back to 2016 rates, which are much higher. This decision, says TekSavvy, “largely cancelled the refunds owed by Big Telecom and derailed indie ISPs’ pricing and investment plans.”
TekSavvy says the price increases are also happening from other smaller ISPs as well. The CRTC reversal has also resulted in TekSavvy reducing its investment, particularly cancelling wireless ambitions, rolling back fibre expansion, and also ditching this summer’s 5G spectrum auction.
“It is up to cabinet now to right the ship. The Liberal government was elected on the promise of lowering telecom bills and helping middle-class Canadians. Recent polls have shown that affordability is once again a top concern as the nation heads into an election,” concluded Nowak, referring readers to PayLessToConnect.ca, allowing for letters sent easily to Members of Parliament to reverse the CRTC decision–and fire CRTC Chair Ian Scott.