Some Brampton residents might be pleasantly surprised when they see their next internet bill.
TekSavvy Solutions Inc., announced on Monday, September 16, that it is lowering bills and upgrading packages for hundreds of thousands of internet subscribers. It was confirmed that over 85% of its customers would benefit from reduced prices or upgraded, unlimited data plans on their next monthly bill.
The company credited the move to a recent decision by Canada’s telecom regulator for its consumer-friendly moves.
On August 15, the CRTC determined that Canada’s biggest telecom companies, such as Bell Canada and Rogers, had grossly overstated their costs in providing smaller competitors with wholesale access to their networks.
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The CRTC identified numerous deficiencies in the big telecom’s evidence, found that the current wholesale rates were severely inflated, and corrected the final prices down to more reasonable levels.
The CRTC further ordered the mainstream telecoms to repay the amounts they had overcharged smaller competitors during the 3-year regulatory proceeding.
In a related decision from 2016, the CRTC strongly condemned the larger telecoms’ wholesale rate-fixing behaviour as ‘very disturbing,’ because it would drive smaller competitors out of business and deny Canadians choice for Internet services.
“TekSavvy has been ringing alarm bells about inflated wholesale rates for years,” said Marc Gaudrault, TekSavvy’s CEO. “So we’re happy to be able to pass these benefits on to our customers as we continue our investments in wireless LTE and fibre networks.”
According to TekSavvy, both of the CRTC’s decisions show the big telecoms ignored the CRTC’s regulations to exaggerate their costs, which in turn drove up costs for competitors and kept retail prices high for consumers. The CRTC-ordered refund dates back to March 2016, which the big telecoms claim adds up to $325 million.
TekSavvy states that the disputed amount is in reality much higher, given that the big companies first introduced their hugely inflated wholesale rates in 2011.
“The impact of the rate of inflation was devastating to competitors and an unjust windfall for the big telcos,” said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, VP Regulatory & Carrier Affairs. “For years, we struggled to compete and lost out on many opportunities to invest in our own networks, our businesses, and innovations. We appreciate our customers sticking with TekSavvy and today’s announcement is just the first step while we continue to assess the CRTC’s final rates decision.”
TekSavvy is Canada’s largest independent internet service provider.