Thank you for the exposure and serving an example of why we need a commission with more regulation. I would like to take the opportunity to present our side of the story.
In this particular case, you are of course on the side of the CRTC because indeed you agree with their position that less regulation is ultimately better for the consumer as you have indicated in your presentation to the CRTC on the net neutrality hearings conducted last month. We have seen that in fact that is not the case. For example, when the CRTC decided to deregulate home telephone service in some markets, many of the telecom providers immediately raised the rates for those markets. This is obviously not in the best interest of the consumer.
Secondly, your knowledge of the issue surrounding usage based billing seems to be lacking so here is the break down. First of all, wholesale ISPs are already paying for the pipes to use Bell’s network and on top of that each end user is paying roughly $22.50. These two elements were considered to be appropriate compensation in the past by Bell and the CRTC when the tariff was approved. Late last year when Cybersurf submitted a request for higher speeds on the wholesale tariff, the CRTC ordered Bell to produce a new tariff to match the requirements.
The issue lies in that when Bell submitted the tariff, they failed to match the request and instead offered lower tiers and introduced usage based billing. This is not an appropriate response to the original request and the CRTC failed to uphold the ruling by allowing the tariff on an interim basis.
The other issue with the usage based billing ruling is that now effectively the ISP is being “double dipped” both for capacity and bandwidth usage. This is NOT a common model for internet connectivity and such a model does not exist in any other country. Additionally, with the approval of usage based billing, it is stifling competition, contrary to the CRTC’s mandate by not allowing differentiation of service by wholesalers from Bell retail. This is not an appropriate wholesale model.
Third, I have just laid out many important points that affect consumers and many of which the CRTC failed to gauge the Canadian public even though in some cases the public comments smashed all records for any case involving the CRTC. Even so the CRTC ruled in favour of Bell without a logical explanation for the decision.
I hope I have properly addressed the issues and that this clarifies any confusion over the terms and facts of the petition.