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TekSavvy demands immediate refund from Bell, Rogers after FCA rejects ‘dubious’ appeals of CRTC wholesale rate decision

ISP says it will cease payments until CRTC-ordered rate correction and refund received in full

Sept 11, 2020

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy)  praised today’s unanimous decision from the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) rejecting appeals filed by Canada’s largest telecom and cable companies (such as Bell Canada and Rogers), who sought to overturn a key CRTC decision concerning the wholesale rates the large carriers charge TekSavvy and the other independent Internet service providers.

In dismissing the appeals with costs, the FCA noted the large carriers’ arguments were of “dubious merit”. The FCA also lifted the Stay on the implementation of the CRTC’s August 2019 rate decision, which confirmed that the large carriers overstated their costs of providing wholesale access to their networks for years, corrected their rates based on evidence of their costs and ordered the large carriers to repay amounts they overcharged competitors over the 3 year process. The CRTC previously condemned the large carriers’ rate-fixing conduct as “very disturbing” because it would drive smaller competitors out of business and deny Canadians choice for Internet services.  

TekSavvy previously filed a formal Complaint with the Competition Bureau, detailing how Bell and Rogers deviated from CRTC-costing rules to inflate wholesale rates they charge competitors, while offering competing retail prices below the wholesale costs they had inflated. TekSavvy submitted that the Government of Canada should order the Competition Bureau to investigate Bell and Rogers’ wholesale rate-fixing activities because it harms competition and keeps Internet prices artificially high at the expense of millions of Canadian consumers.

“The FCA decision is a major step forward in the fight for fair Internet pricing for Canadians. The arguments of Bell and the other carriers have been revealed to be just more baseless tactics designed to stifle competition and keep prices high”, says Andy Kaplan-Myrth, VP of Regulatory and Carrier Affairs for TekSavvy.

Based on the CRTC's August 2019 rate decision and today’s Federal Court of Appeal decision, TekSavvy is owed tens of millions of dollars by the large carriers. Every month, Bell and Rogers continue to game the system and their inflated wholesale rates continue to stifle competition and gouge consumers. TekSavvy expects that the CRTC will once again direct the large carriers to file updated tariffs with the corrected final rates and to refund monies owed, consistent with the CRTC’s prior direction before the Stay. Until that outstanding balance is paid, in full, TekSavvy will be applying the amounts owed, with interest, as a monthly credit on the wholesale fees charged by Bell and Rogers. 

About TekSavvy

TekSavvy has been proudly serving Canadians with reliable telecom services for more than 20 years and has won numerous awards for the quality of its service and for its commitment to fighting for consumers’ rights online. With offices in Chatham, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec TekSavvy is Canada’s largest independent telecom service company with over 300,000 customers from coast to coast.

For more information contact:

Trevor Campbell,
The iPR Group

John Settino,
The iPR Group


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