Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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CRTC to review billing practices for wholesale Internet services

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, February 8, 2011 —The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today launched, of its own initiative, a proceeding to review its decisions on billing practices that would have applied to the residential customers of Small Internet service providers (Small ISPs).  

“The great concern expressed by Canadians over this issue is telling of how much the Internet has become an integral part of their lives,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “Our approach is based on two fundamental principles:

  1. as a general rule, ordinary consumers served by Small ISPs should not have to fund the bandwidth used by the heaviest residential Internet consumers, and
  2. it is in the best interest of consumers that Small ISPs, which offer competitive alternatives to the Large Distributors, should continue to do so.

With these principles in mind, we will be reviewing our decisions with fresh eyes and look forward to hearing the views of Canadians.”

Following a series of decisions, the CRTC had given Large Distributors the permission to change their billing practices for the residential Internet services provided to wholesale customers (i.e. the Small ISPs). Starting on March 1, 2011, the residential customers of Small ISPs would have been subject to additional charges for going over specific bandwidth caps. The CRTC has suspended the implementation of these decisions pending the outcome of the proceeding launched today.

The CRTC is seeking comments on:

  1. How best to implement the following principles with respect to Large Distributors’ wholesale services used by Small ISPs:
    1. as a general rule, ordinary consumers served by Small ISPs should not have to fund the bandwidth used by the heaviest residential Internet consumers, and
    2. it is in the best interests of consumers that Small ISPs, which offer competitive alternatives to the Large Distributors, should continue to do so.
  2. Whether the CRTC should set a minimum threshold level for the sale of bandwidth by Large Distributors to the Small ISPs and, if so, what should it be.
  3. Whether it is appropriate to hold an online consultation as part of its review.
  4. Whether it is appropriate to hold an oral public hearing as part of its review.

Interested parties may submit their comments by April 29, 2011, by filling out the online form, by writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, or by fax, at 819-994-0218.

Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-77

 

The CRTC

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.


Reference documents:

Statement from the Chairman of the CRTC on usage-based billing, February 3, 2011

Telecom Decision CRTC 2011-44

Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-802

Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-255

 

 

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