CRTC improving pole access and encouraging more broadband competition

News release

February 15, 2023 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Today, the CRTC is setting expedited timelines for large telephone companies to provide competitors with access to poles. Competitors seeking access to poles owned or controlled by large telephone companies will be able to roll out their broadband networks more quickly and efficiently, leading to more competition across Canada.

The CRTC is also clarifying responsibilities for pole maintenance and the sharing of costs related to the installation of equipment. Large telephone companies are being required to provide details to competitors and the CRTC on pole access requests to enhance transparency and accountability.

Provincial and territorial governments are being encouraged to coordinate with telecommunications service providers and other stakeholders to facilitate network deployment.


“Poles are essential for the deployment of telecommunications networks. The measures introduced today will have tangible impacts for Canadians by helping competitors speed up their deployment of broadband networks, leading to more competition.”

- Vicky Eatrides, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, CRTC

Quick facts

  • The measures announced today apply to the larger telephone companies: Bell, TELUS, SaskTel, and Télébec.

  • Poles include telephone poles, hydro poles and utility poles, and typically support both telephone and electricity company equipment. To install equipment on poles, a provider must request access from the company that owns or controls the poles.

  • The CRTC regulates access to poles owned or controlled by large Canadian telecommunications services providers.

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