CRTC to Decide on NorthwesTel Expansion, Rogers Third-Party Network Access This Week
This is a big week for Canadian telecommunications as the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission) plans to issue a handful of decisions involving radio and Internet. Specifically, the Commission is to decide on a bid to launch a new AM station in St. Catharines, Ontario, as well as a request from the Canadian Network Operators Consortium to make Rogers increase the service speeds it offers to third-party Internet access customers.
The Rogers request is likely to be of interest to many Canadian consumers as Rogers recently increased its available cable broadband speeds to upwards of 150 Mbps on the downlink and 10 Mbps on the uplink, while third-party providers such as Teksavvy remain limited to upwards of 28 and one Mbps, respectively.
Meanwhile, the CRTC will also decide on an application from ICE Wireless and Iristel which requests that NorthwesTel cease and desist from launching new competitive services as well as reduce prices for existing competitive services until the Commission has completed all proceedings related to the establishment of the competitive environment in NorthwesTel's serving area.
NorthwesTel's modernization plan aims to extend wireless services to all 96 communities in its serving territory, upgrade and expand high-speed Internet services in its territory, introduce new calling features and Internet services, support transport upgrades, and replace its satellite network with an IP-based network.
ICE Wireless and Iristel first took issue with NorthwesTel's plan back in the summer of 2012, stating that Bell Canada, NorthwesTel's parent company, was attempting to funnel money to its subsidiary in order to keep competition out of the North. This came shortly after ICE and Iristel partnered to create a "new era of competition" in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut in order to address the minimal service in these areas by expanding the telecommunications and Internet services available.
Without Bell's funding, $40 million funneled to NorthwesTel, the company would have pulled back its modernization initiative.
Edited by Carlos Olivera