Independent Communication Providers Support Videotron’s Pole Access Complaint Against Bell

QUISPAMSIS (NB), October 2, 2020 - The Canadian Communication Systems Alliance (CCSA), which represents independent communication providers across Canada, has voiced its support for Videotron’s recent complaint to the Competition Bureau which argues that Bell Canada is unfairly limiting competition in Quebec by slowing down and blocking access to Bell’s support structures (telephone poles).

“CCSA’s members in Quebec have had the same experiences and frustrations Videotron cites in trying to get fair and timely access to Bell-owned telephone poles in order to extend high-speed Internet services in that province.  Anti-competitive tactics by Bell and other pole owners represent the biggest barrier to providing rural Canadians with the same level of broadband service as is available to Canadians living in urban markets, not just in Quebec but across the country,” said Jay Thomson, CEO of CCSA.

CCSA recently joined other organizations and both small and large communications providers in complaining to the CRTC about how pole owners, including Bell, employ various tactics to prevent or slow down competitors’ access to telephone poles. The ability to attach high-speed fiber to such poles in an affordable and timely manner is critical to extending broadband to currently unserved or underserved Canadians.

“We have been emphasizing to decision makers that, even with the much-needed financial support governments and others are committing to the cause, the goal of universal access to broadband will not be achieved unless and until the pole access problem is addressed,” said Thomson. “This is a public policy issue, a regulatory issue and a competition law issue, and so we support Videotron’s initiative in bringing this matter now to the Competition Bureau.”

 

ABOUT THE CCSA

The Canadian Communication Systems Alliance (CCSA) represents more than 110 Independent companies providing internet, TV & telephone services to hundreds of thousands of Canadians in communities generally outside urban markets, from coast to coast to coast. CCSA members include community cooperatives, family businesses, municipalities and companies owned by Indigenous Peoples.   For more information, visit http://ccsaonline.ca.

 

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CONTACT

Cheryl Mangusso

Manager, Communications                                                                                                                         

CCSA                                                                                                

Phone:  (506) 849-1334 ext. 217                                              
Email:  cmangusso@ccsaonline.ca