The new Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) chairman and CEO Vicki Eetrides sat down for an interview Toronto star on Friday where she detailed some of what we can expect from her stint in the near future.
“I’m very focused on the competition. I’m focused on pricing,” said Eatrides, which began a five-year term at the CRTC last January 5. It replaced Ian Scott, who has built a reputation for favoring larger telcos over smaller ones. The youngest and one-year communications expert recently It has been described as “disastrous for public confidence” in the regulator.
Residential internet prices in Canada are not falling significantly, despite the CRTC creating a framework that requires national players to allow smaller operators to lease access to their networks at regulated wholesale rates. The independent service providers then sell internet and television service to their customers.
The CRTC aims for this system to encourage competition and lower prices. However, wholesale internet rates paid by smaller telcos have risen since the watchdog It reversed its 2019 decision to cut it significantlywhich ultimately leads to higher Internet bills for end users.
Independent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like TekSavvy too They argue that high prices make it difficult for them to competewith some Sold to bigger players like Quebecor and Bill.
Itrades wants to fix this situation. “We have seen that the high-speed access framework does not have the intended positive impact that we would like,” she said. the star. She added that in “the months — not years, soon — we plan to come up with something to revisit this model, because we know we need a better model.”
The new CRTC head went on to cite a recent government-commissioned study from Wall Communications Show that internet prices in Canada have risen consistently and exponentially Since the regulator failed to lower the wholesale prices of the Internet in 2019.
“When you look at the prices, even internationally…they’re not good,” Ietrides noted. “Internet prices — and wireless, quite frankly, although wireless might come down a little bit — we’re kind of in the top three of the highest prices in the world.”
Eatrides is also committed to working on wireless pricing. “I would like to know where the big suppliers are in terms of negotiations with regional suppliers,” she said, referring to Create mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) rules last year.
Earlier this week, TekSavvy He petitioned the CRTC to investigate “illegal” internet rates below tariffs Rogers agreed to offer Vidéotron in Quebec as part of Freedom Mobile’s bundled with the telecom giant Proposed $26 billion takeover of Shaw Communications.
The independent ISP has argued that the CRTC, which had already given the green light to the Rogers-Shaw merger last year under Scott’s oversight, needs to rule on the Rogers-Videotron agreement before moving forward with the merger. Eatrides said it’s too early to comment on the fate of the TekSavvy app, which could delay – if not prevent – proposed transactions.
“Aside from (the TekSavvy app), we’re watching very closely, obviously,” she said of the Rogers-Shaw merger.
“I want people to be able to say, ‘What has CRTC done for me?'” And then get good answers to that, whether it’s lower prices or more options and (network) flexibility and more access to Canadian content.”
The CRTC may also gain a load of new responsibilities under Eatrides C-11 bills And C-18Controversial proposals that would give the regulator new powers are working their way through government.