Monday, November 14, 2011

Canadian Regulator Approves Capacity-based Billing for Wholesale Access

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved a new capacity-based billing model for large telephone and cable companies to charge independent Internet service providers (ISPs) for the wholesale use of their networks.

Under the CRTC's new capacity-based approach, large telephone and cable companies will sell wholesale bandwidth to independent ISPs on a monthly basis. Independent ISPs will have to determine in advance the amount they need to serve their retail customers and then manage network capacity until they are able to purchase more. Alternatively, large companies can continue to charge independent ISPs a flat monthly fee for wholesale access, regardless of how much bandwidth their customers use. Both billing options give independent ISPs the ability to design service plans and charge their own customers as they see fit.

"Our aim is to foster a marketplace in which Canadians have as many options as possible for their Internet services,�? said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “Independent ISPs provide an alternative to the large telephone and cable companies, but must rely on these same companies for certain elements of their network. Under the capacity-based model announced today, they will have to forecast their usage and plan accordingly."

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