CRTC takes action to increase choice and affordability of high-speed Internet
November 6, 2023 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
The CRTC is taking action to increase choice and affordability of high-speed Internet services for more than five million Canadian households.
In March 2023, the CRTC announced a major public proceeding to improve Internet services competition. As part of the proceeding, the CRTC launched an expedited process to determine whether competitors should be able to access the fibre-to-the-home networks of large telephone and cable companies on an interim basis. Today’s initial decision is the result of that expedited process.
The record of the proceeding, which includes over 300 interventions, shows that competition in the Internet services market is declining. In recent years, the percentage of customers served by competitors has decreased dramatically. This decrease is most significant in Ontario and Quebec, where independent competitors now serve 47% fewer customers than they did just two years ago. At the same time, several competitors have been bought out by larger Internet providers. This has left many Canadians with fewer options for high-speed Internet services.
Based on this record, the CRTC is acting quickly to help stabilize the market. On a temporary and expedited basis, the CRTC is providing competitors with a workable way to sell Internet services using the fibre-to-the-home networks of large telephone companies in Ontario and Quebec, where competition has declined most significantly. The CRTC is also setting the interim rates that competitors will pay when selling services over these fibre-to-the-home networks. These rates were chosen to allow Canada’s large Internet companies to continue investing in their networks to deliver high-quality services to Canadians.
Today’s initial decision aligns with the government’s policy direction that requires the CRTC to foster Internet services competition, and to conduct proceedings and issue decisions in a timely manner. The CRTC is continuing to work on this proceeding and looks forward to a public hearing that will start on February 12, 2024.
“The CRTC is acting quickly to improve Internet services competition across Canada. Today’s initial decision will bring new options to more than five million households. As the CRTC’s review advances, Canadians can expect continued action to increase choice and affordability, while supporting investment in high-quality networks.”
- Vicky Eatrides, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer, CRTC
For more than 20 years, the CRTC has required large incumbent telephone and cable companies to sell access to their networks under specific rates, terms, and conditions.
Competitors need this access to offer more choice of Internet services to Canadians.
Large telephone companies have the most extensive fibre-to-the-home networks across Canada. By the end of 2022, 60% of Canadian homes and businesses reached by the large telephone companies, not including the territories, had access to fibre-to-the-home networks. By contrast, less than 5% of homes and businesses passed by cable companies have access to fibre-to-the-home networks.
As a result of today’s initial decision, large telephone companies are required to provide competitors with access to their fibre-to-the-home networks within six months. The six-month period will allow companies to prepare their networks, and to develop information technology and billing systems.
- Review of the wholesale high-speed access service framework – Temporary access to fibre-to-the-premises facilities over aggregated wholesale high-speed access services (Telecom Decision 2023-358)
- Vicky Eatrides to The Canadian Telecom Summit
- Notice of hearing - Review of the wholesale high-speed access service framework (Notice of consultation CRTC 2023-56-3)
- Reconfiguring disaggregated wholesale high-speed access services (Telecom Decision CRTC 2023-53)
- Canadian Network Operators Consortium – request for temporary access to fibre-to-the-premises facilities (Telecom Decision CRTC 2023-54)
- John P. Roman – Request for review of CRTC’s determinations regarding forbearance (Telecom Decision CRTC 2023-55)
- Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on a Renewed Approach to Telecommunications Policy
- Date modified: