Six large Canadian ISPs, including Bell Canada and Rogers, have won a temporary stay from The Federal Court of Appeal against a CRTC decision to force them to provide lower cost wholesale access to their networks. The case will now be heard by the Federal Court of Appeal, although the judge has warned that if the ISPs lose the case they will have to repay any overcharges since March 2016.

The August 2019 decision by the Canadian regulator was immediately appealed by the ISPs on 13 September 2019, with an interim decision from the court on 30 September 2019.

In the initial hearing, the companies argued that the CRTC is exceeding its powers and had made mistakes when it ruled that they had overcharged, and should refund, smaller networks under interim wholesale rates established in 2016. Bell Canada said that it would have to pay back around C$100 million; while six cable companies estimated their share to be C$225 million.

The judge acknowledged that the decision could fundamentally alter market dynamics in Canad, a situation “which could be extremely difficult to remedy afterwards”. His judgement is that the status quo should remain while the appeal is heard.

Posted by Teresa Cottam

Teresa is the Chief Analyst at Omnisperience and has over 25 years' experience in the telecoms and technology markets. She is an expert on SME and enterprise telecoms, and has considerable vertical market expertise. Her research focus lies in helping B2B telecoms firms become more commercially successful by better understanding and meeting their customers' needs. She is a judge of the GSMA Global Mobile Awards (GloMo's) for customer experience and enterprise innovation, and for the UK Cloud awards. You can follow her on Twitter @teresacottam

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