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Company pleased that incumbents’ drawn-out efforts to delay lowering wholesale rates will soon come to an end
TORONTO – February 25, 2021: Distributel Communications Limited is heartened to learn that the big Canadian telecom companies’ appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), in which the companies hoped to argue against having to comply with a 2019 CRTC rate-correction ruling, will not go forward.
“This is a positive development,” says Matt Stein, CEO of Distributel. “We support our court system and we trust in the system, and we’re very glad to see an end to this case. Canadians deserve affordable internet access, especially now when so much of our lives has moved online by necessity. Connectivity is so important right now– our average customer has increased their internet usage by 24 per cent since the pandemic hit – yet for many Canadians it’s just not affordable, especially given the global crisis we’re in.”
It’s been nearly two years since the CRTC mandated that the incumbents lower the wholesale rates they charge independent carriers for access to their networks, and yet numerous efforts by the incumbents have delayed the implementation of those rates. And, as Stein says, “it’s Canadians who are paying the price – literally. We’re pleased that the courts won’t allow this effort by the incumbents to move forward, clearly this was another attempt to prolong their ability to overcharge, after their appeal attempts have been rejected again and again.”
“At Distributel, we are committed to doing what’s right for Canadians – making sure they have access to affordable and fair pricing,” says Stein. When the CRTC released its original rate decision in August of 2019, Distributel immediately passed the benefits on to Canadians. The company moved to increase internet speeds for the majority of its customers at no extra cost, and launched competitive new retail pricing for bundled and stand-alone products and services.
The company also reaffirmed its commitment to rural communities across the country by working to ensure more Canadians have equal access to the many benefits of high-speed internet. Having already, bridged the digital divide for six communities in Northern Quebec with speeds of up to 1Gbps, Distributel moved forward immediately following the CRTC’s ruling to offer services in four additional communities across the region: Chibougamau, Chapais, Matagami, and Lebel-sur-Quévillon.
Even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Distributel has remained fully committed to providing fair pricing, superior service, and innovative offerings. In May 2020, when so many Canadians began working and learning from home, Distributel announced that it was permanently eliminating data overage charges for its customers. Just this week the company announced the same charge-elimination for customers of Primus, which Distributel acquired earlier this year.
“I won’t say it’s been easy,” says Stein. “But we’re going to fight for Canadians even when our costs are dramatically and artificially inflated. We’re committed to continuing to do what’s right for this country and what’s right for Canadians.”
Distributel is also poised to invest and innovate to the benefit of all Canadians. “We’re ready,” says Stein. “We just need the original CRTC ruling to be implemented, so we can get back to the business of supporting Canadians with affordable, innovative internet services.”
Established in 1988, Distributel is a national, award-winning, independent communications provider offering a wide range of consumer, business and wholesale communications services. In 2020, the company proudly achieved certification as a Great Place to Work®, earning recognition for its progressive, collaborative workplace. 100% Canadian-owned, with offices across the country and a national network, Distributel is focused on providing choice and value to Canadians. With the recent acquisition of Primus Telecommunications, the company is even better positioned to offer solutions to consumers and businesses of all sizes. Distributel offers high speed internet, TV, mobile and home phone products through its consumer brands. It delivers business solutions through the Primus and ThinkTel brands as a provider of advanced voice and data offerings for the SMB and Enterprise markets throughout Canada. The company also forges new partnerships and brings innovative services to the wholesale market. For more information, visit www.distributel.ca.