Yesterday marked a monumental day for the Telecom industry. Finally (!) some measure of real autonomy from the trappings of the incumbent pricing models. But at what cost? Telecom Notice 2011-77 was decided yesterday and though I agree with the usage model selected by the CRTC, they really missed the mark on the costing! The rates set by the CRTC are not good for Canadian independent ISPs or consumers. It's a strange feeling truthfully for it to be so right and yet so wrong at the same time. On the one hand we've got a solid win in the way of the usage model, which is based on speeds and which is similar to how the incumbents' networks are built. On the other hand the rates set in the ruling will definitely lead to higher prices for consumers and hinder competition, since the rates are artificially set too high. It's the ultimate "Here's your cake but you can't eat it!" approach.
Let me explain a bit further. When we look at what's going on around the country and around the world, what we see is that Canadians are leaders in the adoption of technology and online services. Canadians are inherently technology savvy consumers! We want and need a policy that matches our appetite!
Today Canadians are trending toward high bandwidth usage for everyday functions. We have multiple devices connected in our homes, we rent or purchase movies and download them through services like AppleTV, Netflix and CinemaNow to name a few. There are content providers and new Cloud services of all kinds, not to mention IPTV. Google opened a new online music store today, as it happens. The usage growth in the market is tremendous and the trend won’t slow down. This ruling will increase costs for Internet into the home by forcing artificially high usage costs. Each year your costs will get larger and larger for Internet with these new rates. At some point this decision will force Canadians to make a choice as to what services they can afford to use through the Internet.
The road forward is uncertain. We need to digest this further and see what can be done from here. Consumers need to pay close attention to this. I know that for myself and TekSavvy it's not something we're going to take lightly. Too much depends on getting this right and I think most technology savvy Canadians can resonate with that. We need to be world leaders of the telecom industry and it starts by getting the policies right!
In short, the numbers are incredibly wrong. What does that mean to Canadian ISPs? What does it mean for innovation? What does it mean for the average Canadian family? What does it mean for our customers and competition? There are many questions concerning the impact of this decision that will need to be answered in the coming days. For our customers nothing will change overnight. We are looking at what this means for us, for you and, in usual TekSavvy fashion, we will fight to ensure our customers are taken care of.
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy