The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has launched an online consultation asking Canadians to comment on the way large cable and telephone companies charge independent Internet service providers (ISPs) for the use of their networks. This consultation is part of a proceeding that will include a public hearing beginning on July 11, 2011, in Gatineau, Quebec. The online consultation will conclude at midnight (EST) on June 24, 2011.
Canadians can access the Internet through wireless service providers, satellite companies, independent ISPs or large cable and telephone companies. Given this competition, the CRTC does not set rates or regulate the terms and conditions under which Internet services are offered to Canadians.
To ensure that the market for retail Internet services remains competitive, large cable and telephone companies must offer their wholesale customers, the independent ISPs, access to their networks under terms and conditions approved by the CRTC. Different pricing plans for wholesale Internet services have been proposed and so the CRTC is seeking the views of Canadians on the following questions:
- How do you think large cable and telephone companies should charge independent ISPs for the use of their networks?
- What kind of wholesale pricing plans encourage innovative products and services that benefit consumers?
- What kind of wholesale pricing plans encourage network investment by large companies and independent ISPs?
- What kind of wholesale pricing plans would be most beneficial for consumers?