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Your voice, DELIVERED: OpenMedia community urges CRTC to dethrone Big Telecom’s fibre monopoly!

We submitted input from nearly 4,500 people to the CRTC, urging the Commission to force Big Telecom to provide fibre wholesale access to indie ISPs!

Yesterday, your OpenMedia team submitted a detailed regulatory intervention with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), urging them to IMMEDIATELY end fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) monopolies in Canada and enforce wholesale access to FTTP networks for independent Internet service providers (ISPs). In case you missed it, this CRTC consultation is a BIG one — and there will be more news to come on how you can continue participating. You can read yesterday’s submission here.

We couldn’t have done this without YOUR help! Your input through our tool provided key evidence in our submission demonstrating to the CRTC why Canada can’t wait another eight years for a functional FTTP wholesale system. On top of the passionate and detailed comments you shared about why fibre affordability and choice matter to you, your survey responses helped clearly visualize for the Commission many of the major problems plaguing fibre access in Canada. Check out what the OpenMedia community said below:

  • Fewer than half (45.57%) of all survey respondents are currently subscribed to fibre Internet at home.
  • The majority of respondents (61.38%) do not have a choice of more than one fibre Internet provider where they live.
  • For respondents who aren’t subscribed to fibre, over 96% would be more likely to switch if it was more affordable.
  • For respondents who are already subscribed to fibre, 60.55% want the option to switch providers, and 63.83% said that their fibre Internet was too expensive — but a necessity.
  • More than 98% of respondents said they were concerned that Big Telecom’s recent purchases of independent ISPs in Canada are resulting in less choice.

This work is part of our community’s ongoing fight against Canada’s brutal telecom monarchy. Since Minister Champagne approved the Rogers-Shaw buyout, Rogers has become the biggest telecom giant in Canadian history. “King” Rogers and their court of monopoly pals, Bell and Telus, have spent years doing everything they can to keep YOU on shoddy, expensive, and outdated Internet connections.

How do they get away with it? For one, our broken wholesale system.

In 2015, the CRTC ruled that you should have access to fibre Internet on any choice of provider you want. But the rules they put in place at the time were so restrictive, it allowed Big Telecom to maintain a near total monopoly on fibre Internet access to your home ever since. That’s almost a decade head start for Big Telecom, locking the vast majority of smaller competitive providers out of the market entirely, and leaving your fastest Internet option in the hands of a monopoly.

Right now, the CRTC’s unfair wholesale system doesn't let independent providers access fibre at any price, meaning they simply cannot compete against the faster connections of Big Telecom. That means for many, our only option for fast and reliable fibre Internet is to purchase a wildly expensive plan from greedy giants like Rogers and Bell.

But after pressure from the OpenMedia community and others, the Commission recently launched a consultation to reassess the wholesale access system, and most urgently, examine if they should grant emergency access to fibre networks for independent providers. Thank you SO MUCH for participating in the first part of this consultation — and we can’t wait to share how you can take the next step in the weeks to come.

If you’re just joining us, you probably have a lot of questions about what wholesale access means, what fibre Internet has to do with it, and why the OpenMedia community is advocating for the CRTC to fix things. Have no fear — we’ve got you covered! Click here to read an OpenMedia article explaining wholesale and fibre, and click here to learn about what the CRTC is and why you should care.

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