Chatham-based TekSavvy Solutions Inc., Canada’s largest independent ISP, is asking the CRTC to take immediate action on behalf of hundreds of thousands Canadians, during the COVID-19 crisis.
TekSavvy, according to a media release is looking to ensure Canadians who use independent Internet service providers (ISPs) continue to be able to access these services
“Never have so many Canadians relied on their internet service as they find themselves working and studying from home during this unprecedented situation. Under the current wholesale rate structure, independent ISPs are forced to pay inflated fees to the big Canadian telecoms,” according to the TekSavvy media release.
On April 9, Calgary-Nose Hill MP and shadow Minister for Industry and Economic Development, Michelle Rempel Garner, called on the government to act to safeguard competitive Internet access for Canadians. Her statement calls for action to address the conditions that put the independent ISPs at risk at a time when Canadians most need these services.
“Independent ISPs already pay inflated rates but the pressures of COVID-19 have made our costs impossible to meet,” said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, VP of Regulatory & Carrier Affairs at TekSavvy, in the media release. “The government has the solution right in front of it: the CRTC already calculated more reasonable rates in their August 2019 rate decision.”
Further, TekSavvy has asked the CRTC to investigate unilateral changes that the big Canadian carriers are making to regulated processes for ordering, service installations and repairs. Without oversight by the CRTC, the big incumbent carriers may bestow undue commercial advantages to their retail services through the uneven application of stricter COVID-19 procedures, TekSavvy said in its media release.