TORONTO — Independent telecommunications provider Beanfield Metroconnect is asking the industry regulator to outlaw arrangements between carriers and developers that provide turnkey internet service for all units of a particular condo building.
In an application filed to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) last September, Toronto-based Beanfield took specific aim at Rogers Communications Inc. for its use of “bulk agreements,” arguing such deals “effectively eliminate end-user choice” and “constitute an undue advantage” that limits competition.
It wants the commission to declare that Rogers’ bulk agreements violate the Telecommunications Act and require it to terminate such deals.
Todd Hofley, Beanfield’s vice-president of policy and communications, said bulk agreements create “monopolistic islands” where rival providers can’t compete for residents’ service as easily. The agreements typically cover the first five to eight years after the condo is built and see residents pay for internet through their rent or condo fees.
“We are happy to compete against the incumbents whenever that playing field is even and is level,” Hofley said.
While Beanfield’s application focuses on Rogers’ bulk deals, Hofley said it’s a practice that has become increasingly common over the past five years by various major carriers, making it harder for companies like Beanfield to sign up customers in new residential buildings.
He said a CRTC ruling in his company’s favour could set a precedent that prevents all carriers from entering into them with developers.
Beanfield estimates bulk deals are in place for close to half of all new condo or apartment developments in the Toronto area. That’s based on a survey of 110Read more on financialpost.com