Home internet is going to cost more in Canada
Why will internet cost more?
Unfortunately, it appears that home internet will cost more in Canada starting in August of 2021. However, this does not apply to everyone, so you may have been spared from the recent change in policy. The announcement came from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Due to the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadians are using up more internet than ever before, so service providers and workers need to be properly compensated for the increased demand. Previously, the CRTC imposed a ruling which reduced prices on internet service providers that possess their own infrastructure. However, at the end of May 2021, they repealed their ruling, resulting in increased rates for independent internet providers.
Independent service providers typically function separately from large corporations like Bell and Rogers. They provide their own technology and infrastructure to provide internet access to its users. With the recent announcement from the CRTC, customers of independent companies end up paying significantly more than they are used to, which impacts independent providers negatively. It’s possible that the price increase may be too much for some customers, who will end up shifting towards a larger corporation with a more affordable price. Regardless of whether they intend to or not, the CRTC’s actions could easily sway the population away from independent internet providers.
The telecom industry has noticed the potentially damaging effects of the CRTC’s ruling, and have raised their concerns towards the future of both independent and massive companies. Marc-André Campagna, the CEO of Oxio has spoken out against the ruling and its harmful nature. Oxio is a Montreal-based company that aims to provide self-service telecom resources to its users across Canada. Meaning, its users have access to a simplified hub in which they can manage and access all their plans themselves. As a result, users have a more personal experience with their services, and feel as if they are more in control of their budgeting and user experience.
In the wake of the CRTC’s announcement, Oxio announced that they are taking a small financial hit, but not letting it slow them down. For their 15 Mps internet plan, the monthly rate is increasing slightly from $30 to $37 a month. In addition, their TV plans are becoming $5 more expensive per month. However, these inflated rates only apply to new customers. Their long-time clients will not be affected by the price surge, as a way to give thanks to their loyal consumers that have been there since the beginning. Oxio has not gone unnoticed, as the company recently received a grant of $25 million to expand their services to the rest of Canada and the United States.
Despite the fact that home internet will cost more in Canada for independent providers, there is still a legitimate case to be made on their behalf. Although it may seem daunting to operate apart from the telecom giants, a smaller company with strong customer service and/or user interface can collaborate directly with them. For example, Oxio uses Videotron’s infrastructure to provide internet and TV to its users across Quebec. Since the population is familiar with Videotron’s reputation and products, they will trust a plan that incorporates their infrastructure. Shortly after the CRTC’s announcement, Campagna stated that approaches such as these are the simplest solution to remedy the current issues facing the telecom industry.
The future of independent service providers
It seems beneficial for smaller providers should focus on customer service, and offer to provide their services to large corporations in exchange for using their infrastructure. As a result, the clients receive great service and internet at a reasonable price, while the independent and large providers both make money. Instead of seeking out the cheapest plans provided by large companies, they should allow the innovation of start-ups to play more of a vital role. Campagna is certain that such an approach is not only better for the independent companies, but the major corporations as well. If they choose to place their trust in start-ups and invest in them, they could end up generating significant revenue or even absorbing them as a parent company.
However, as appealing as this all sounds, it remains highly unlikely for major corporations to consent to such an arrangement. The main reason being the historically shifting identity of these companies. Corporations like Bell have been around for several decades, and have continuously tried to distance themselves from being a simple provider of internet and phone technology. Initiatives like Bell Let’s Talk aim to create a unique brand for the company, one that the population can identify with and respect. Thus, it seems unlikely that a company like Bell would ignore their years of history and revert to being infrastructure operators. Even if the results are significantly positive, it would take a lot of work to convince the higher-ups to sign on.
Despite the hesitancy of these massive corporations, Oxio remains optimistic towards the future of independent service providers. To prove their confidence, they promised to donate a portion of the money they make off its new investors towards funding other independent and virtual providers. Oxio’s decision attempts to put a wager on the younger generation of start-ups, and prove to the CRTC that their ruling will do more harm than good. Despite the unfortunate fact that home internet will cost more in Canada, we can remain optimistic towards the future of the industry. If you’re interested in Oxio, feel free to browse through PlanHub‘s list of their available internet plans.