August 18, 2015 11:55 am
Updated: August 18, 2015 11:56 am

Independent Internet providers want to offer own wireless services

Regulators ruled in May they wouldn't mandate access for smaller Internet providers on big wireless networks owned by the country's big mobile companies.

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP
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TORONTO – Canada’s small Internet service providers are appealing a recent regulatory decision against their efforts to offer wireless services using the networks of the big cellphone providers: Bell, Telus and Rogers.

The Canadian Network Operators Consortium, which represents independent Internet providers, wants the big telecom companies to be required to provide access to their mobile networks, similar to how they’re required to provide access to their terrestrial cable and phone lines.

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A decision from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, or CRTC, in May ruled the regulator won’t mandate access to wireless networks, a move aimed at allowing the third-party companies to sell their own mobile services.

Bell, Telus and Rogers had argued that if access were allowed — effectively letting smaller competitors piggy-back on their networks without building out their own infrastructure —  they could pull back on investing in their networks.

CNOC said in its appeal that it wants the CRTC to mandate that the wireless connection to the consumer is shared but each company has to commit to a level of investment. They suggest the regulator mandate smaller players to invest in their own communications backbone.

The group represents more than 30 small ISPs from across the country including Primus, Teksavvy, and Distributel.

WATCH: Wireless company report card.

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