I got an email on 20 August from my internet service provider, TekSavvy:
In August 2019 the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced final rates that companies like TekSavvy are charged by the large telecom carriers. In some cases, those new rates were a reduction of more than 43%. TekSavvy took steps to pass on those savings on by reducing rates for the vast majority of our customers. We saw it as simply the right thing to do.
However, the large carriers petitioned Federal Cabinet to overturn the CRTC’s decision and impose higher rates. In their recent August 15, 2020 statement, the Federal Cabinet effectively directed the CRTC to increase these wholesale rates. Ultimately, in announcing its verdict on the petitions, Cabinet caved to pressure from the large carriers, who threatened to hold back investments in rural Canada unless they were protected from competition. The decision is a reversal from Cabinet’s previous direction that the CRTC place affordability, competition and consumer interests at the forefront.
After 5 years of cost uncertainty, inflated interim rates, and anti-competitive behaviour by the large carriers, TekSavvy is left with no choice but to interpret this announcement as an expectation from the government that retail prices should be raised, specifically to protect Incumbent investments. We are therefore making a difficult decision in order to continue providing you with the service you have come to expect.
We’re writing to notify you about changes to the pricing of the services that you have with TekSavvy. Starting with your first billing cycle with an effective date of service on or after October 1, 2020 there will be a change to your current package with us for OID2xxxxx. Your current package 150 Mbps with Unlimited GB of usage at a monthly cost of $67.95 will be invoiced at $77.95. Your package speed and monthly usage will not change.
They’d posted about it on 17 August: Cabinet decision means higher prices, less competition for Internet services: TekSavvy. The press release from the government is here: Response by the Government of Canada to petitions concerning CRTC wholesale Internet rates.
The government made the wrong decision. The prices charged by the big phone companies for telephone and internet access are way too high. The rates they charge to smaller companies like TekSavvy for access to their networks need to be lower.
This decision will make internet access worse for Canadians. This year, we all need reliable internet access more than ever. That will just be more true year after year.