Colba has national IPTV ambitions, but incumbents not sold on resale

9 May 2012

Small Montreal-based ISP Colba Net Telecom has ambitions to launch IPTV in cities across Canada, having placed applications with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for broadcasting licences covering major cities in Quebec and Ontario as well as Western and Atlantic Canada. Winnipegfreepress.com reports that Colba Net, which currently offers IPTV only in greater Montreal as a reseller of Bell’s service (since early 2012), has operated as an ISP in the Francophone region since 1996 (with around 3,200 subscribers at end-2011 and annual revenues of around USD3.2 million). The CRTC has scheduled hearings for the regional applications in May and June, and the reports quotes Colba’s CEO Joseph Bassili as saying: ‘We do not expect many hurdles because the CRTC has said it wants competition… we’ll offer more channels for a lower price,’ adding that the company intends to invest ‘millions’ of dollars in the venture. Commenting on Colba’s plans, a spokesperson for one regional incumbent telco, Winnipeg-based Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS), with over 95,000 IPTV users at end-2011, was quoted as saying: ‘We do not have to resell our [IP] TV service to them.’ In the case of MTS a newcomer to the region could potentially resell the incumbent’s internet service and offer its own IPTV product.

Canada, Bell MTS (formerly MTS)