Worldline recognizes the challenges faced by Canadians due to the lack of choice and competition in the market. Our parent company, Fibernetics, is a CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) that is dedicated to fostering innovation, competition, and affordability in the telecommunications industry. With the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announcing a consultation on the Internet services market, now seems a good time for us to answer some questions you may have around the CRTC and the hidden costs of the Canadian telecommunications industry.
What is the CRTC?
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was created in 1976. It is a regulatory agency which represents the public’s interest when it comes to broadcasting and telecommunications. The CRTC has long been committed to ensuring all Canadians have access to world-class communications systems and they have made several decisions in recent years to address the pain points of Canadians; namely high prices, limited competition, poor customer service, and slow internet speeds.
Their recent announcement of a consultation on the Internet services market, which includes a re-examination of wholesale rates and access to fiber-to-the-home networks, demonstrates their ongoing dedication to Canadians. While their actions are commendable, it is essential to consider the hidden costs associated with the current state of the Canadian telecommunications industry as these costs impact the quality, affordability, and accessibility of services for all Canadian consumers.
What are the hidden costs of the Canadian telecom industry and how do they affect me?
Why they happen: The market dominance of the “Big Three” telecom companies has long been a significant pain point for Canadians who often pay higher prices for services compared to consumers in other countries. Many of the “smaller” telecos that you may think of as independent, are owned by the “Big Three”. The lack of competition means that these large providers have little incentive to lower prices or offer better services.
How does it impact me? Lack of competition in the market means you end up paying more for the services you need.
Why it happens: A lack of competition can stifle innovation in the industry. When a few companies control the market, there’s less motivation to invest in new technologies, services, or infrastructure.
How does it impact me? Less innovation means there are fewer emerging technologies which puts Canadians and our businesses at a disadvantage on the global stage.
Rural-Urban Digital Divide
Why it happens: The Big Three have largely focused on investing in urban areas, leaving rural areas underserved. The CRTC has declared broadband internet to be a basic telecommunications service, but there is still work to be done to bridge the gap between rural and urban areas.
How does it impact me: The lack of investment in rural infrastructure widens the digital divide, preventing many Canadians from accessing high-speed internet services and hindering smooth digital communication between Canadians in urban and rural areas.
Inefficient Market Dynamics
Why it happens: The current market dynamics limit the potential of smaller Internet Service providers and alternate service providers like Fibernetics.
How does it impact me: Restricted access to fiber-to-the-home networks combined with high wholesale rates makes it difficult for smaller players to compete effectively, often forcing them to pass on higher costs to consumers.
What is the CRTC Consultation All About?
The CRTC’s recent announcement of a consultation on the Internet services market is a step in the right direction to address these hidden costs. By re-examining wholesale rates and considering mandating access to fiber-to-the-home networks for competitors, the CRTC is working to promote competition, lower prices, and increase choice for consumers.
Here are some of the questions they’ll be examining:
Should there be further Wholesale Rate Reductions? The CRTC has imposed an immediate 10% reduction on some wholesale rates. This move could help level the playing field for smaller ISPs and alternate service providers and allow them to offer more competitive pricing which ultimately benefits Canadian consumers.
Should large telephone and cable companies provide competitors with access to their fiber-to-the-home networks? By enabling faster Internet speeds for customers and further promoting competition in the market, the CRTC will be addressing one of the primary pain points of Canadians. Mandated access to these networks could lead to a more innovative and competitive industry, ultimately benefiting consumers with better services and better pricing.
What is the public’s opinion? The CRTC wants to remain in touch with the needs of Canadians and they are offering the public a chance to voice their concerns and opinions. This open dialogue will help inform and shape the CRTC’s decisions, ensuring the final outcomes align with consumer expectations and needs.
What are the implications of various wholesale access models on competition and consumer choice? Although the CRTC has decided not to pursue a broader implementation of the disaggregated model for wholesale access to large companies’ networks, they will maintain the model in areas where it has already been approved. This decision shows that the CRTC is carefully considering the implications of wholesale access models on consumers with respect to competition and choice.
How is Fibernetics Shaping the Future of Canadian Telecommunications?
As a CLEC, Fibernetics is committed to playing an active role in shaping the future of the Canadian telecommunications industry. We strive to be a driving force for positive change by offering innovative and affordable services to Canadian consumers. Here’s how we’re working to address the hidden costs in the current market:
We’re fostering innovation: Innovation is one of our core values because we
believe it is the key to a thriving and competitive industry. We continuously invest in new technologies and services to bring the best possible experience to our customers. Since our origins, we have challenged the status quo and sought to inspire other providers to do the same. (And on that note, stay tuned… Fibernetics is about to make an announcement regarding its biggest innovation in its twenty-year history!).
We’re bridging the digital divide: Fibernetics is working to bridge the digital divide that has left many Canadians underserved by providing high-quality services to both urban and rural communities. We are committed to expanding our services to ensure that all Canadians have access to the fast, reliable internet they deserve.
We’re advocating for fair market conditions: Fibernetics actively engaged with the CRTC and other stakeholders to advocate for fair market conditions that promote competition, choice, and affordability for Canadian consumers. By voicing our support for policies that benefit consumers, we contribute to a more dynamic and competitive industry.
We’re delivering superior customer service: We understand that exceptional customer service is a critical differentiator in the telecommunications market. Fibernetics is committed to providing outstanding support through our wholesale services, NEWT business services, and Worldline residential services. We have a Net Promoter Score of WHAT (Compared to an average NPS of what across the Big Three) fnd our customer response time averages less than a minute. We are committed to providing ongoing outstanding support to ensure that our customers have a positive experience when interacting with our company.
How do I make my voice heard?
The CRTC’s latest consultation on the Internet services market is a promising development in the ongoing effort to address the hidden costs associated with the current state of the Canadian telecommunications industry. By re-examining wholesale rates and considering mandated access to fiber-to-the-home networks, the CRTC is taking crucial steps toward promoting competition, lowering prices, and increasing choice for consumers.
Fibernetics is proud to be an active participant in this process, advocating for policies that benefit Canadian consumers and working to provide innovative, affordable, and high-quality telecommunications services. As the industry evolves, we remain committed to our mission of delivering exceptional customer experiences and driving positive change in the Canadian telecommunications landscape.
From now until June 22, 2023, the CRTC wants to hear from Canadians and we encourage all Canadians to participate in the CRTC’s consultation. Voice your opinion on the future of this industry. Together, we can work toward a more competitive and consumer-friendly telecommunications market that benefits everyone.