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08/30/2010

How cheaper Internet access could be coming your way

The CRTC stuck it to the federal government and big telecom companies today in what’s essentially a repeat of a previous decision the big boys were unhappy with – and it means you could get better Internet service for less money.

Backstory: The Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission ruled in December 2008 that big phone companies like Bell and Telus had to offer resale customers (companies like Execulink and TekSavvy that offer cheaper Internet alternatives) the same speeds they offer their direct customers.

So, for example, a TekSavvy customer would be able to access the web at the same speeds as a Bell customer, theoretically for less. This didn’t bode well with big firms like Bell and Telus.

Well because the big boys didn’t like the CRTC decision almost two years ago and created a lot of a fuss, the federal government rejected the ruling and asked the regulatory body to reassess its decision for some nit-picky reasons.

Well now the CRTC has spoken again. Like a teacher telling mean kids to stop bullying a little boy for the umpteenth time, the CRTC pretty much said the same thing.

So company X can buy wholesale Internet from Old Company B and offer the same speeds at a smaller price.

The old companies are still not happy. They say now there`s no reason for them to invest in new technology because smaller competitors will be able to use the service without paying for the investments.

Valid point, but its tough for a new competing ISP to provide a service when companies already own the only infrastructure it can come through. It`s as if a new airline wanted to get up and running without being allowed to buy planes. The solution is to rent planes. Two airlines are better for the consumer than one.

There`s still a chance for the big boys to appeal the decision again, but at least the CRTC is showing who's team it's on.

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

The CRTC stuck it to the federal government and big telecom companies today in what’s essentially a repeat of a previous decision the big boys were unhappy with – and it means you could get better Internet service for less.

But I wouldn’t be jumping for joy. Yet.

Backstory: The Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission ruled in December 2008 that big phone companies like Bell and Telus had to offer resale customers (companies like TekSavvy that offer cheaper Internet alternatives) the same speeds they offer their direct customers.

So, for example, a TekSavvy customer would be able to access the web at the same speeds as a Bell customer, theoretically for less. This didn’t bode well with big firms like Bell and Telus.

Well because the big boys didn’t like the CRTC decision almost two years ago and created a lot of a fuss, the federal government rejected the ruling and asked the regulatory body to reassess its decision for some nit-picky reasons.

Well now the CRTC has spoken again. Like a teacher telling mean kids to stop bullying a little boy for the umpteenth time, the CRTC pretty much said the same thing.

So company X can buy wholesale Internet from Old Company B and offer the same speeds at a smaller price.

The old companies are still not happy. They say now there`s no reason for them to invest in new technology because smaller competitors will be able to use the service without paying for the investments.

Valid point, but its tough for a new competing ISP to provide a service when companies already own the only infrastructure it can come through. It`s as if a new airline wanted to get up and running without being allowed to buy planes. The solution is to rent planes. Two airlines are better for the consumer than one.

There`s still a chance for the big boys to appeal the decision again, but at least the CRTC is showing who`s team it`s on.

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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