VMedia Response to Petitions Exposes Gross Inaccuracies
Toronto, February 27, 2020 – VMedia Inc. has submitted an objection to petitions by Bell Canada and Canada’s major cable carriers to the Governor in Council, which ask the Federal Cabinet to maintain internet prices at levels which the CRTC has determined are unjust and unreasonable. In its reply, VMedia exposes gross material inaccuracies in those petitions, which Bell and the cable carriers (comprised of Bragg Communications Incorporated (Eastlink), Cogeco Communications Inc., Rogers Communications Canada Inc., Shaw Communications Inc. and Videotron Ltd.), ought to have known are false.
“The distortions and misrepresentations contained in their petitions destroy the credibility of the petitioners,” said Alexei Tchernobrivets, CEO of VMedia, “and reinforce the reasons for the CRTC’s rejection of their arguments supporting higher internet prices in the first place.”
After a process spanning five years, last August the CRTC determined that the tariffs which competitive internet service providers (ISPs) like VMedia pay to Bell and the others were unjust and unreasonable. These excessively high tariffs threaten the viability of ISPs, which play such an important role in helping Canadians have access to competitive internet services at affordable prices.
Moreover, in the course of that process the CRTC found that the approaches of some of the big companies to the costing process which assists the CRTC in determining those tariffs were inappropriate, and that the fact that these large companies did not respect accepted costing principles and methodologies was “very disturbing”.
“The Federal Cabinet and indeed all Canadians should also be very disturbed by the liberties that these giants, nourished by taxpayers and sustained by monopoly licences for decades, have taken with the facts before the CRTC, and now before the Cabinet itself”, said George Burger, Co-Founder of VMedia.
In its submission, which can be found here, VMedia exposes at least two key elements of the petitions that are clearly inaccurate, and were used to bolster their argument that ISPs are paying very fair prices. The petitioners’ intention in doing so was to show that adjustments lowering rates to fair and reasonable levels is not needed, because ISPs are doing so well at current tariff levels. But this is not the case.
The first misrepresentation grossly overstates the market share that ISPs have, asserting that is 13% and growing robustly, when it is in fact under 9%. The correct figures are readily ascertainable in the CRTC’s own Communications Monitoring Report 2019, the data bible of the industry. Simply put, the petitioners included internet providers who are not ISPs, just to overstate ISP market share.
The second distorts and greatly exaggerates the margins which ISPs generate from internet services, by citing supposed retail prices charged by ISPs which are far above those actually charged by all of the major ISPs, including VMedia.
“These blatant misrepresentations reflect the cynicism of the major companies, and their disrespect for the Federal Cabinet and the Canadian people”, said Burger. “It is astounding that they thought they could get away with it, after being sanctioned for these same tactics by the CRTC.”
VMedia’s reply asks that the Federal Cabinet dismiss the petitions as expeditiously as possible, so that ISPs may begin to offer Canadians the fair internet rates that they deserve.
VMedia is Canada’s leading independent telecom and broadcasting company available coast to coast, offering unlimited Internet, TV, Home Phone and Home Security services. VMedia’s mission is to provide the most affordable prices, the best choice and flexibility, dedicated consumer advocacy and ongoing service innovation. VMedia is recognized as an innovation leader in the industry, as the first to launch numerous consumer-friendly service and packaging features, and in particular is a pioneer in the development of live TV streaming solutions and IPTV broadcast technology, offering easy and affordable choice and access to your favourite TV entertainment. Visit www.vmedia.ca.