September 20th, 2019

Canada’s big cable companies ask court to overrule CRTC’s wholesale rates


By The Canadian Press on September 13, 2019.

TORONTO – Canada’s five largest cable companies have asked a federal court to hear their appeal of a dramatic reduction in the wholesale rates they are allowed to charge independent internet providers.

Filings on behalf of the Rogers, Shaw, Vidotron, Cogeco and Eastlink cable systems say the CRTC made “numerous errors of law and jurisdiction” in making a rate decision in favour of their competitors.

Among other things, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruled in August that wholesale rates that had been in place on an interim basis had to come down by as much as 72 per cent.

The cable companies have asked the Federal Court of Appeal to suspend the regulator’s order while they mount an appeal on an expedited basis.

The CRTC’s Aug. 15 decision had already been criticized publicly by the cable companies as well as Bell Canada, the country’s largest phone company.

A spokesman for the Canadian Network Operators Consortium, which fought for years to get lower wholesale rates, said in a phone interview that the court action was disappointing but not surprising and the group will respond as necessary.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B, TSX:SJR.B, TSX:QBR.B, TSX:CCA)

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