New Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) chair and CEO Vicky Eatrides sat down for an interview with The Toronto Star on Friday where he explained some of the things we can expect from his post in the future.
“I’m very focused on the competition. I look at the price,” said Eatrides, who began his five-year term at the CRTC on January 5. He replaces Ian Scott, who has built a reputation for to large telecommunications companies rather than smaller and single-owned ones.The telecom expert called the regulator “damaging public trust”.
The cost of residential Internet in Canada has not decreased, although the CRTC is putting forward a plan to force national players to allow small entities to rent their Internet at wholesale prices. Independent providers then sell internet and television service to their customers.
The CRTC intended for this system to promote competition and lower costs. However, internet prices paid by smaller telcos have risen since the watchdog reversed its own 2019 decision to lower them significantly, leading to higher internet bills for end users .
Independent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like TekSavvy argue that the rise will make it harder for them to compete, with sales to big players like Quebecor and Bell.
Eattrades would like to rectify this situation. “We know that the high-level system has not had the desired effect,” he said. The Star. He added that “in the next few months – not years, not soon – we plan to come out with something that looks at that model again, because we know we want to a better example.”
The new CRTC chair went on to cite a new government study from Wall Communications that shows internet prices in Canada have continued to rise and continue to rise since the regulator did not lower wholesale internet prices in 2019. .
“When you look at the price, even in the world … it’s not good,” said Eatrides. “Internet prices – and wireless, of course, even though the phone is going down a little bit – we’re in the top three in terms of the highest prices in the world.”
Eatrides is also committed to working at an electronic cost. “I want to know where the major providers are in terms of negotiations with local providers,” he said, referring to the CRTC’s formulation of the rules of the mobile virtual network operator. (MVNO) last year.
Earlier this week, TekSavvy asked the CRTC to investigate the “unreasonable,” lower-than-usual network fees that Rogers agreed to provide to Quebecor’s Vidéotron as part of the Freedom Mobile combined with the telecom giant’s $26 billion takeover of Shaw Communications.
The independent ISP argued that the CRTC, which cleared the Rogers-Shaw merger last year under Scott, needed to fix the Rogers-Vidéotron deal before it could proceed. Eatrides said it’s too early to talk about the impact of TekSavvy’s proposal, which could delay — if not prevent — the proposed actions.
“Other than that (the TekSavvy proposal), we’re looking at it, obviously,” he said of the Rogers-Shaw merger.
“I want people to be able to say, ‘What does the CRTC do for me?’ Then there will be good answers to that, whether it’s low or more choice and (network) resilience and more access to Canadian knowledge.
The CRTC could gain new powers under Eatrides as Bills C-11 and C-18, controversial proposals to give the regulator new powers, work their way through government.