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YOU ARE HERE 📍: What’s happening in the fight for fair Internet wholesale rates

Your voice, delivered! On June 22, we submitted YOUR input directly to the CRTC in their historic review of Internet wholesale rates.

Yesterday was a MASSIVE day in the fight for Internet affordability — for both good reasons and bad.

Remember the string of independent Internet service providers (ISPs) that have been bought out by Big Telecom over the past year? Well, the situation just got even worse. In a devastating blow to competition and affordability in Canada, The Globe and Mail reported on June 22nd that TekSavvy, one of the largest and most successful independent ISPs in the country, has just put itself up for sale.

The TekSavvy announcement came on the same day as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)’s deadline for submissions in its review of the Canadian Internet wholesale system, a historic consultation that has the potential to finally secure fair and lower Internet wholesale rates for people across the country. It’s wildly ironic, considering our dysfunctional Internet wholesale system is the primary reason why independent ISPs are getting snapped up by monopolies — or going out of business entirely.

Yesterday’s somber news is a reminder for us that fixing our Internet wholesale system is a battle we can’t afford to lose. The future of fair and lower prices is at stake, and we couldn’t be more proud to be taking YOUR voice to the front lines to defend that future with everything we’ve got. 

Thanks to YOU, yesterday we submitted the input of over 3,500 ordinary people directly to the CRTC for consideration as evidence in their Internet wholesale review (click here to read it in full!). That sends an incredible message to the CRTC, Big Telecom, and the federal government: they can drag out the Internet wholesale fight for years, but the OpenMedia community is still not going ANYWHERE.

When we say years, we’re not kidding around. The battle for a fairer wholesale system that enables cheaper Internet, more choice of providers, and access to the best quality connectivity (fibre!) has been going on for nearly a DECADE. If you’re wondering where things stand as of this year — and what comes next — read on!

How did we get here?

  • In early 2023, we pressured the CRTC to act on fixing Internet wholesale rates. In February, OpenMedia filed a submission to the CRTC containing nearly 32,000 of your signatures urging a reversal of the CRTC’s 2021 wholesale price hikes. In our submission, we urged the CRTC to open a review of the Internet wholesale system to address its many failings. And in March, nearly 8,000 of you signed a new petition urging the CRTC to stop the extinction of independent ISPs by fixing the Internet wholesale system.
  • Then: MAJOR WIN! The CRTC heard your voice and opened its consultation on the wholesale high-speed access service framework. The review covers two important parts of the wholesale system: fibre home Internet, and other home Internet technologies like cable. It also took a major step forward on rates by imposing an immediate 10% reduction on some wholesale rates — an effort to try to keep small ISPs alive until a more permanent change can be made to make the system functional again. 
  • Focus shifted to helping the OpenMedia community participate in the CRTC’s consultation. In April, we launched a tool to help you tell the CRTC why YOU want affordable and accessible fibre Internet from a provider of your choosing. On April 24, we submitted your input to the CRTC.
  • In June, we launched a second tool to help you tell the CRTC what you thought about Internet choice, affordability, and telecom monopolies beyond just fibre. In no uncertain terms, you made it clear to the CRTC that they need to urgently fix our Internet wholesale system and lower the rates to give you the freedom of choice and the lower Internet prices YOU need.
  • You are here! On June 22, we submitted your input to the CRTC in the final round of interventions for the current proceeding. We couldn’t have done it without YOU!

Coming up next…

  • With the wholesale review proceeding ongoing, and YOUR input thus far on their desks, the CRTC is next going to examine the evidence that’s been presented to them. There will be more opportunities to continue to participate and engage in this process in the months to come — so stay tuned!
  • In the meantime, we have a way for you to make a BIG impact in a different campaign. OpenMedia is meeting with Vicky Eatrides, Chairperson of the CRTC in just a few short days. What do you want us to tell her?

Open Road by Jason_Renslow from Getty images, licensed under Canva Pro Content License and modified for this article by OpenMedia.

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