Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadians Benefit from Independent ISPs Competing with Big Internet Networks: Study

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadians Benefit from Independent ISPs Competing with Big Internet Networks: Study

Article excerpt

Cdns benefit from independent ISPs: study

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Smaller internet service providers play an important, positive role in Canada's telecom market even though only a minority of consumers chose one of them over a major phone or cable company, the Competition Bureau concluded in a report issued Wednesday.

The federal governmental agency, which gathered public opinion from thousands of people through surveys and focus groups over the course of a year-long study, says that it found 90 per cent of Canadian consumers surveyed were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their internet service provider.

Customers of the independents, however, were significantly more likely to say they were "very satisfied" than customers of the facilities-based carriers that account for about 90 per cent of the total market.

Additionally, the presence of an alternative allowed them to negotiate lower prices or other inducements from phone and cable companies such as Bell Canada, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Sasktel, Videotron, Cogeco and Eastlink, the 77-page report said.

The federal agency found that one million Canadian households get their internet or broadband service from dozens of independent ISPs that it calls "wholesale-based competitors." These providers, such as TekSavvy, Distibutel and VMedia, buy capacity on another telecommunications company's network at regulated rates.

"Under this wholesale access regime, independent competitors gain access to parts of existing telephone, cable, and fibre optic networks at regulated wholesale rates, and in turn use these connections to serve consumers in direct competition with network owners," the report says.

"In these respects, the wholesale access regime appears to be fulfilling its promise to bring about greater consumer choice and increased levels of competition for Canadian consumers. …

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