Canadians benefit from independent ISPs competing with big internet networks: study

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OTTAWA — The Competition Bureau says smaller internet service providers play an important, positive role in Canada’s telecom market even though only a small minority of consumers chose one of them over a major phone or cable company.

A year-long study by the federal agency found that the independents currently serve one million Canadian households — about one in six — and received higher customer satisfaction scores than the traditional suppliers.

It found Canadian consumers were generally happy with their existing home internet service provider but customers of the independents were significantly more likely to say they are “very satisfied.”

It also found other households use the presence of an alternative supplier to negotiate lower prices for home internet services from the bigger facilities-based players that own most of Canada’s network infrastructure.

The bureau says the smaller ISPs without full-fledged networks have been able to compete by purchasing wholesale access to the phone and cable networks at a price determined by the federal telecommunications regulator.

The entire study can be viewed online from the Competition Bureau’s website by clicking here.