The new owners of the Toronto Star should be ashamed. When reading an article on a business opinion page on the weekend, it became apparent that I was reading an advertisement. This was not balanced reporting. It might be something that the company sends out in a news release but was not a report by an impartial and knowledgeable reporter. The source was obviously some public relations person writing on behalf of the president of Bell Canada’s residential and small business services!
This was purported to be an article about the recent reversal of a 2019 plan by the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to make deep cuts in Bell Canada’s wholesale rates for use by resellers of Bell’s Internet infrastructure.
Bell Canada’s near-monopoly position because of its copper wire and fiber optic networks allows the company to charge what the market will bear for its Internet services. And those rates are substantially higher than those charged in other developed nations for similar broadband services.
The Toronto Star article was written to make it appear that the CRTC decision in 2019 was some flight of whimsy. The reason the 2019 rates were never implemented was that Bell Canada and other networking telecoms had the rates challenged in court, denounced to politicians and anyone else willing to listen. Heaven forbid the Canadians ever get a fair shake in Internet pricing.
The facts are that the CRTC had set the previous 2016 wholesale rates so high that savvy customers saw that the resellers rates were no lower than Bell’s or other telecoms. There was no wiggle room for a better price.
A great deal of study and evaluation went into the 2019 figures. What the telecoms claimed as serious cuts were in fact the cuts that were needed to give the resellers an opportunity to carve out a piece of the Internet market. Internet customers are not about to organize a tag day for Canadian telecoms.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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