Is there room for more competition among internet providers?

News release

New market study to examine broadband competitive landscape and consumer habits in purchasing internet services

May 10, 2018 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

Every day, Canadians rely on broadband services to connect with their peers, make purchases, or run their business. Today, the Competition Bureau launched a market study to look into consumer habits in purchasing internet services, with the goal of better understanding the competitive dynamics within the Canadian broadband sector.

The study will explore whether there are ways to foster more competition in this sector, which could lead to more choices and lower prices for Canadians. Could changes to internet regulations result in a broader range of service options, encourage more informed consumer choice, or reduce barriers to consumer switching between providers?

The Bureau’s market study will focus on the state of competition in the broadband sector, and will seek to identify positive steps that regulators or policymakers could take to further support competition among broadband providers. The study will address four broad themes: the ability of broadband providers to deploy competitive service offers, consumer reactions to new competitive alternatives, the impact of existing regulation on broadband providers, and whether there are lessons to be learned from how other countries manage and regulate broadband competition.

Those with an interest in the Canadian broadband sector are invited to share their views on the issues raised by the study. Further information on how to get involved is available in our Market Study Notice.

Quick Facts

  • Most Canadian homes are served by two networks capable of providing broadband internet services: one owned by the local telephone company, and the other by the local cable company.
  • The CRTC has historically taken action to increase the level of competition in Canadian broadband markets by allowing independent resellers to use existing telephone and cable networks to provide modern, high-speed internet services to Canadians.
  • According to the CRTC:

    • More than 550 companies have been established to act as competitive alternatives to traditional telephone and cable companies.
    • As of 2016, 87% of retail internet subscriptions in Canada were purchased from a traditional telephone or cable company, whereas 13% were purchased from independent resellers.
  • Market studies allow the Bureau to perform an in-depth examination of an industry and gain a better understanding of the competitive dynamics at play. Through market studies, the Bureau can identify competition issues and suggest potential solutions.


“There are few products more vital to Canada’s economic future than broadband. We want to shine a light on potential competitive issues in a sector at the heart of our daily lives.”

John Pecman
Commissioner of Competition

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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

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