Key Decision Brings Indie ISPs Up to Speed

Ottawa – A new regulatory policy released yesterday by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) mandates that major telecom companies must allow their independent Internet service competitors to obtain access to the same speeds of broadband as that to which they offer to their own retail customers.

This ruling supports independent internet service providers (ISPs) that operate by purchasing access to incumbent networks. By allowing smaller ISPs to access high-speed networks, the CRTC has provided a more even playing field for broadband competition in Canada.

However, the CRTC ruling denied indie ISPs’ requests to be given access points in networks that are high enough to be autonomously controlled, with little interference from the incumbent carrier. “Innovation,” said Commissioner Timothy Denton, voicing his dissenting opinion on this matter, “could proceed in ways not envisaged by the underlying carrier.”

Steve Anderson, National Coordinator of said today, "This is a win for independent ISPs, Internet users, innovation and the Canadian economy. The commission should go further to support a vibrant and competitive internet service market in the future, but this is a positive step in the right direction."

The policy set forth by the CRTC is a step forward in allowing for broadband competition, access, choice, speed, and net neutrality. It would nevertheless be much better if it had allowed indie ISPs to bypass major telecom companies’ discriminatory throttling, and provide access to the open Internet that Canadians want.

When making decisions the CRTC should provide as much flexibility as possible for independent ISPs to control their services and build their own infrastructure.



Lindsey Pinto
Communications Manager,


Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-632 – Wholesale high-speed access services proceeding:

CRTC Press Release – CRTC encourages competition and investment in the provision of Internet services:

TekSavvy (an independent ISP) Release – TekSavvy Solutions Inc. Reaction to Landmark CRTC Decision: Competitors Allowed to Exist but Denied the Means to Innovate: