Shaw Videotron join industry concern over CRTCs new wholesale broadband rates

The Canadian Press Companies in this story: (TSX:SJR.B, TSX:BCE, TSX:RCI.B, TSX:QBR.B, TSX:CCA) TORONTO — Shaw Communications Inc. and Videotron join major Canadian telecom companies that have expressed concern over the CRTC’s decision to lower the prices that smaller internet providers have to pay them to use their networks.Calgary-based Shaw says there will be long-term negative consequences from the decision to dramatically reduce the federally regulated wholesale broadband prices, while Quebecor subsidiary Videotron has expressed concern about the change.Bell Canada said on Monday it would cut back on a rural broadband expansion because of the decision, while Rogers Communications and Cogeco Communications expressed disappointment and said they were reviewing their options.Last week, the CRTC issued final rates that smaller providers like TekSavvy and Distributel have to pay the large telcos to use their broadband network after issuing interim rates in 2016.The final rates are 15 to 43 per cent lower than the interim rates for monthly capacity, and three to 77 per cent lower for access rates, while the interim rates were themselves up to 89 per cent lower than what the companied had hoped to charge.The CRTC said it set the lower rates to increase choice at lower prices and ensure a competitive marketplace across Canada.

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