Internet - Our Role
Retail Internet rates, quality of service and business practices
A retail customer is the end user who purchases access to the Internet. The CRTC does not intervene in the rates, quality of service issues, or business practices of Internet service providers as they relate to retail customers. This is because there is enough competition in the market and retail customers have a choice and can shop around for service packages. However the CRTC does ensure that all Internet data is treated fairly and that no advantage or disadvantage is given to any content or content creator due to differential pricing practices. Learn more about differential pricing and net neutrality.
Wholesale Internet rates and quality of service
A wholesale customer is an Internet service provider who must use part of the large telephone and cable companies' networks in order to offer Internet and other services to its own retail customers. The CRTC regulates how the wholesale customer is billed, rates and quality of service issues for wholesale services. This, in turn, ensures that Canadians have access to a range of Internet service providers.
Closing the Broadband Gap
The CRTC established a universal service objective that Canadians – in rural and remote areas as well as in urban centres – have access to voice services and broadband Internet access services on fixed and mobile wireless networks.
The CRTC set new targets for these services:
- speeds of 50 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband services
- an unlimited data option for fixed broadband services
- the latest mobile wireless technology available not only to all homes and businesses, but also along major Canadian roads
Details of the Broadband Fund
The CRTC has set out the criteria that will be used to evaluate applications for funding from its Broadband Fund. Details on the fund’s governance, operating and accountability frameworks have also been established.
Resources for applicants will be made available in the coming months, including an application guide and maps.
- The application guide will provide all the information that applicants will need to apply for funding, including procedural and practical details.
- The maps will identify the geographic areas that are eligible for funding
In 2019, the CRTC will issue a call for applications and begin the competitive process to evaluate and select projects. Details will be outlined in a future announcement.
More info on the fund.
Internet Pricing and the CRTC’s Role
Competition in dial-up Internet results in no regulation for consumer prices.
Two main sources for broadband Internet - cable and telephone. The CRTC does not regulate consumer prices.
CRTC requires telephone and cable companies to sell access to their networks to independent Internet service providers (ISPs) at regulated wholesale prices – no regulation of consumer prices.
In most areas of Canada, there are multiple choices for Internet services, therefore the CRTC does not regulate consumer prices, except for retail Internet services offered by Northwestel in its terrestrially served communities.
The CRTC regulates rates, terms and conditions between the telephone/cable companies and the independent ISPs.
Two approved Wholesale Billing Models
Both models include a monthly access rate per retail customer.
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