Wednesday 12 February 2014

CRTC Inquiry Into Satellite Transport Services

The CRTC quietly issued Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-44 on 06 Feb 2014 entitled:

"Appointment of an Inquiry Officer to review matters related to transport services provided by satellite”

Commissioner Candice Molnar will conduct “an inquiry with respect to the Canadian marketplace for satellite services that are used by telecommunications service providers (TSPs) to provide telecommunications services to Canadians.”  One way to look at TSPs is to consider them the last mile service providers.

The inquiry will look at both sides of the satellite provisioning issue;

Satellite perspective. The satellite services provided by satellite operators to the TSPs covering such items as: who they are; rates the TSPs pay; technical limitations; current and future satellite capacity; future technology; and CRTC framework for the satellite services.

TSPs perspective. Indentify TSPs that use satellite services; TSPs operating areas; the numbers of customers who have access to their services and the numbers of customers they serve; delivered services; and end-users service limitations.

The high cost of satellite backhaul service was a recurring theme in the recent CRTC hearings about Northwestel regulatory framework and Modernization Plan (the Northwestel proceedings). In particular, many of the intervenors placed much of the blame for the high cost providing reasonably priced Internet access to remote communities on the high cost of satellite transport.

While the satellite technology exists that can provide a service that compares favourably with terrestrial based systems used in the urban and suburban environment, the amount of bandwidth required it provide reasonable capacity is either not available or prohibitively expensive and in lot of cases a combination of both.

Unfortunately, the inquiry will not address issues relating to satellite services that satellite operators provide directly to end-users, it should cover services provided by the self styled “Canada's leading provider of rural broadband” TSP – Xplornet.

The inquiry is scheduled to be completed by October 2014. 

1 comment:

  1. "Canada's leading provider of rural broadband" by virtue of the fact that they were Canada's "only" provider of rural broadband...?