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Federal Court of Appeal Ruling Massive Win for Canadian Consumers

Big Telcos' Wholesale Internet Rate Appeal Unanimously Dismissed by Judge

OTTAWA — September, 10, 2020

Today's dismissal by the Federal Court of Appeal of the large telecom incumbents' appeal concerning wholesale rates is a major victory for Canadian consumers, according to the Competitive Network Operators of Canada (CNOC).

"This is a massive win for Canadians, for competition and for affordable internet," says Matt Stein, Chair of CNOC. "This validates that the CRTC's original rate correction struck the right balance between investment in Canadian consumers and service-based competition. Deserving consumers across Canada can look forward to the increased value and innovation that the CRTC's original decision was designed to protect."

In its unanimous decision, the court found that the CRTC did not breach the principles of procedural fairness or engage in arbitrary decision-making, that the Commission provided sufficient reasons as required by law and that its original rate decision was not an unconstitutional tax.

"This marks the end of a pivotal chapter in a long, unnecessarily drawn-out fight, which challenged Canada's longstanding practice of appropriate oversight to ensure fair pricing and competition," adds Stein. "It's been more than a year since the CRTC determined that the big telcos have been charging too much for access to their networks and it's time Canadians finally benefitted from that ruling."

CNOC is calling on the big telcos to put an end to these delay tactics, to start playing fair and to bring this fight to a close, so that the benefits of lower rates can flow through to Canadians. "We look forward to the Commission upholding its original well-thought-out and just decision," says Stein. "Affordability, consumer choice and a competitive industry hang in the balance, three elements that are essential to a vibrant Canadian economy and a strong middle class."

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About CNOC

CNOC is the voice of Canadian independent ISPs, representing more than 35 competitive telecommunications providers that operate wireline and/or wireless networks in many regions of Canada. CNOC’s mission is to increase the level of competitive choice and innovation in the delivery of communications services to Canadians.