Interventions Phase 2: Intervenor 691

Document Name: 2015-134.227130.2529617.Interventions Phase 2(1$7v501!).html

Access to broadband internet is without any question the most important necessity for participating in a digital economy in Canada, and fixing the problems surrounding services that deal with this technology should be treated as an absolute priority in this hearing. Broadband with a speed of at least 25mbps should be the bare minimum level of service available to all people across the country, and aggressive regulation must be put into place to ensure that prices are the same in all areas whether urban, rural or remote. While price caps absolutely need to be put in place by the Commission, they alone will not solve the grievous problems that currently plague internet accessibility in this country. Canadians, no matter where they live, are overcharged for the most basic services, and the main reason this is happening is because both primary broadband infrastructures and the "last mile" lines connecting consumers and businesses to these infrastructures are owned by the same companies. Countries that have much more stable and competitive internet markets, such as Japan, have separate ownership of infrastructure and last mile lines, with competition between providers existing solely at the last mile level. This is the example we must follow in Canada - SEPARATE ownership of broadband infrastructure, with competitive prices being set entirely by resellers at the last mile level. Ownership of primary broadband infrastructure should also be consolidated to reduce the amount of unused or redundant lines being installed.It would certainly be in the Commission's interest to pursue these changes, but in all likelihood action will need to be taken by the federal government for this to be done properly. Nationalizing broadband and fibre optic infrastructures (much of which was laid with taxpayer dollars) is likely the only way that such a drastic change can be made. However, it is a change that must be made. As it currently stands, access to vital communication resources are impeded by an unworkable oligopoly, and drastic structural change is the only way this can be remedied.