Competition Bureau to 'shine a light' on internet industry with market study

OTTAWA _ The federal competition watchdog says he wants to “shine a light” on Canada’s broadband internet providers with the public’s comments on a market that is predominantly served by traditional phone and cable companies.

The Competition Bureau says there were more than 550 companies that could be alternatives to traditional telephone and cable companies, but only 13 per cent of Canada’s retail internet subscriptions were with the alternative providers, according to 2016 data.

By comparison, telephone and cable companies had 87 per cent of Canada’s retail internet subscriptions.

The Competition Bureau says it’s exploring ways to make the broadband internet sector more competitive, including a change to regulations, easier switches between providers and more informed consumer choice.

The bureau is seeking initial submissions by Aug. 31 and aims to publish a final report next year.

Among Canada’s biggest internet service providers are BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada, Rogers Communications Inc., Telus Corp, Quebecor’s Videotron, and Shaw Communications Inc.

“There are few products more vital to Canada’s economic future than broadband. We want to shine a light on potential competitive issues in a sector at the heart of our daily lives,” Commissioner of Competition John Pecman said in a statement.