Supreme Court throws out big telcos’ appeals against CRTC wholesale internet decision; TekSavvy urges CRTC to implement rates

26 Feb 2021

Canadian alternative ISP TekSavvy welcomed a decision from the Supreme Court declining to hear appeals by Canada’s largest telecoms and cable companies (including Bell and Rogers), who sought to overturn a 2019 decision from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) lowering the wholesale internet rates the large carriers charge smaller competitors. The Supreme Court also ordered the large carriers to pay TekSavvy’s legal costs, following an earlier, unanimous decision from the Federal Court of Appeal rejecting the large carriers’ appeals with costs, noting the big firms’ arguments were of ‘dubious merit’.

TekSavvy highlights that despite the Federal Court of Appeal’s rejection of the incumbents’ appeals, the CRTC issued a new decision declining to implement its own wholesale order, and allowed the large carriers to continue charging higher rates. Therefore, TekSavvy is challenging the CRTC’s stay decision, calling it ‘flawed and unreasonable’. TekSavvy added in a statement that the existing wholesale price framework has forced it to raise its own prices, warning that ‘the CRTC’s failure to act is hostile to independent investment.’