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David Ellis writes on the essential services hearings

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A good background on what is at stake in the essential services hearings is given by David Ellis here.

This figure below, from the OECD, illustrates the situation we face in Canada.


David Ellis writes, referring to a previous CRTC witness, Reza Rajabiun:


As Reza pointed out yesterday in a terrific appearance at the CRTC public hearing in Gatineau,[Monday 24th November]  the most damning counter-argument about the benefits of investment in Canada lies in the state of fiberoptic deployment. Across the whole retail broadband market in Canada, fiberoptic platforms account for barely over 2% of network connections, as my doctored chart above demonstrates. The average penetration in the OECD, by contrast, is nearly 16% (OECD spreadsheet uploaded here). Our incumbents have been left alone for many years to deploy fiber or not, and apparently that’s the best they can do. (Fiber platforms are usually divided into two main classes: fiber to the node or FTTN, and fiber to the home or FTTH. The latter is much faster but more expensive to deploy.)


What’s holding them back, since it’s obviously not the CRTC? Financial data cited by Reza at the hearing yesterday indicates the incumbents are too busy enjoying the free cashflow provided by their legacy networks to get serious about fiber. Why give up the money when customers who might want fiber have nowhere else to go? I would also argue that the incumbents are frightened by the prospect of not having either congestion or data caps as weapons with which to manipulate the retail market, as both of these are likely to disappear as access speeds approach one gigabit.


The whole article by Ellis is here.


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Timothy Denton is a lawyer by training who practices principally in telecommunications and Internet policy and domain name issues, with a strong concentration on explaining what the technology is and what it means.


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Guest Tuesday, 12 November 2019
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