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TekSavvy files complaint seeking probe into Bell, Rogers pricing for independent ISPs

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. says it has filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau seeking an investigation into how Bell Canada and Rogers Communications charge independent internet service providers.

The company that bills itself as Canada’s largest independent internet service provider accuses the telecom giants of engaging in a pattern of anti-competitive activities that is costing millions of Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars.

It alleges that Bell and Rogers‘ wholesale divisions drove up competitors’ costs, while their retail divisions target those competitors with retail prices below their wholesale costs that are wrongfully inflated.

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Bell, Rogers and Canada’s other major phone and cable companies asked the federal cabinet in November to overrule a 2019 regulatory decision that slashes how much they can charge independent ISPs like TekSavvy.

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The complaint comes a month after TekSavvy appealed to Canadian consumers, which it says has resulted in support for the CRTC’s decision by more than 150,000 Canadians.

The industry giants argued the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission overstepped its authority in August by cutting wholesale capacity rates by up to 43 per cent and chopping access rates up to 77 per cent.

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“These companies must be held accountable for their anti-competitive activities,” stated Andy Kaplan-Myrth, TekSavvy’s vice-president regulatory and carrier affairs.

Canada’s small and mid-sized ISPs collectively serve about one million households using infrastructure they either own or rent.

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