The return of the oligopoly and a price increase is upon us. Here is how you can help.
Since 2013, EBOX and all the other independent service providers have been fighting the CRTC to gain access to reasonable prices from the bigger providers. The goal is to be able to offer our clients competitive prices and fight our competitors with equal arms. This regulatory marathon has taken place from 2016 to 2021.
THE REGULATORY AND POLITICAL MARATHON
After a preliminary analysis, the CRTC established interim tariffs that would be in place until a more detailed financial analysis would be completed to determine the final tariffication.
The CRTC concluded that the prices billed by the big telecommunication service providers to independent providers like EBOX were unfair and overpriced. The prices were then reduced in the CRTC 2019-288 decision. They also ruled that the smaller independent service providers had overpaid the big telecommunication providers since 2016.
The telecommunication giants immediately brought the CRTC decision to court, pressured the federal government, complained directly to the CRTC that the new access fees were too low and requested that the decision be reviewed.
The analysis of the federal lobbying files established that between September 2019 and April 2021, Bell, Rogers, Shaw, Cogeco, Quebecor and Telus have had over 250 meetings with different governmental representatives of the ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry (ISI). They also had a dozen meetings with Ian Scott, president of the CRTC, including one encounter that took place in a busy bar in Ottawa.
After almost 2 years of legal procedures and political strategies from the big service providers, the CRTC, who’s president was also the past vice-president of Telus, accepted to bow down before the telecommunication industry giants by throwing away all the work done upstream of decision CRTC 2019-288 and published a new decision, CRTC 2021-181, in which they decided to maintain the 2016 interim tariffs with minor adjustments. Once again, the competition in the telecommunication industry and the interests of Canadians was placed second behind the interests of a hand full of big players in the industry.
THE REPERCUSSIONS OF THE 2021-181 DECISION
By letting the telecom giants introduce anticompetitive prices and second brands such as Fizz, that offer services at prices under the cost price billed to independent service providers, this decision gives them the opportunity to keep enjoying the advantages of an unbalanced system in their favor.
These practices keep encouraging the oligopoly that directly affects the Canadian consumers. The prices offered by those second brands are not only unfair but are also the ultimate weapon against the competition in the market.
Following this decision, many independent companies will have to raise their prices to be able to keep gaining enough profit to support their regular operations. Being unable to compete with these disloyal practices, some providers will have no other choice but to close. Once the competition is taken off the map, the bigger players will then have a clean slate to raise the prices as high as they want to and keep in place the oligopoly they have been battling for.
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP
We have one last chance to reinstate the lower prices, and that is by asking the Liberal government, which promised to reduce telecom costs, to immediately overturn the CRTC’s decision
Therefore, we have chosen to launch a public relation campaign to bring this to the attention of the minister of the industry M. François-Philippe Champagne. We are asking him to overturn the CRTC 2021-181 decision and to ensure that the CRTC does not take any further decisions that serve the interests of big telecommunication businesses without any considerations for what the Canadians need and deserve.
Your support is crucial to our success. Click on the link below, and in two easy steps you will be able to send a message directly to your local Member of Parliament to oppose yourself to these recent changes. Once you have sent your message, you can ask other members of your household to send messages as well.
Your voice, and that of hundreds of thousands of other Canadians, will make a difference, and help us get back to the important task of providing you with the best services at the most affordable prices.
Send your message to the COMPETITIVE NETWORK OPERATORS OF CANADA
EBOX has always had the mission of offering à different experience to our clients at a fair price. Every day, this goal lives on by being devoted towards our client’s needs and by being respectful and honest towards them.
We will keep on fighting the injustice currently taking place in the Canadian telecommunication industry and keep defending the consumers interests. We are confident that the everlasting support our clients show us will give us the opportunity of making a difference.