TekSavvy files competition complaint against Bell, Rogers; upgrades rural broadband network

28 Feb 2020

Canadian ISP TekSavvy Solutions has filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau alleging that nationwide operators Bell Canada and Rogers Communications have engaged in anti-competitive practices such as rate manipulation, CanadianLawyerMag reported. Seeking an inquiry and enforcement action from the federal comptroller, TekSavvy says the larger telcos used their dominant positions in the wholesale market to drive up costs, while in the retail market Bell and Rogers’ respective sub-brands Virgin and Fido offered retail prices below the wholesale prices in order to exclude retail competitors. The report notes that in 2019 the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) found that Bell and Rogers had violated rate-setting rules more than 50 times in 2016-2019 and had inflated rates sometimes by more than 900%. The CRTC issued an order to correct the inflated rates and repay competitors, but Bell and Rogers were successful in staying execution of the order, arguing in their appeal that enforcement of the CRTC’s decision would catastrophically affect their businesses.

TekSavvy has recently partnered Ericsson to upgrade and expand its rural broadband fixed wireless access (BFWA) network in southwestern Ontario using Ericsson Radio System, microwave link transport and Cloud Core solutions. The project will upgrade broadband access services at 30,000 addresses in rural communities in Chatham-Kent municipality, plus the counties of Elgin, Lambton and Middlesex, utilising technology that enables ‘a smooth future evolution to 5G’, the company stated. The modernisation is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.