teksavvy for sale

An Ontario internet provider was just put up for sale and even non-customers are fuming

One of Ontario's major internet service providers — and one of the few independent ones left — has made the difficult decision to put itself up for sale, it has just been revealed, and residents nationwide are full of frustration and fear about what the news means for consumers and the industry.

Teksavvy, based in Chatham, is one of just a handful of companies that have offered an alternative to larger telecoms and the dangerous oligopoly that they hold over connectivity in Canada.

With more than 300,000 customers, the 25-year-old business is the largest of its kind in the country, and operates by leasing infrastructure from the bigger guys such as Rogers.

The Globe & Mail broke the story of the firm's looming sale on Thursday, noting the number of other ISPs that have been absorbed by larger players in the last year and a half, among them Distributel and Ebox (both bought out by BCE Inc.), Telecom and Start.ca (purchased by Telus), and Oxio (picked up by Cogeco Inc.).

The sale also follows the Competition Bureau of Canada's request that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) more thoroughly examine the state of competition in the telecom industry and amend its policies for wholesale providers accordingly.

"We remain committed to supporting the development of frameworks that promote competition in this industry ─ to achieve lower prices, greater choice and innovation," the Bureau wrote on Thursday.

Teksavvy and other indies have long been citing regulatory uncertainty, high wholesale rates, and delays implementing any changes to better help wholesale providers like them operate in the current landscape and thus foster more fair competition in the sector.

Not only has the CRTC failed to decrease rates for these providers, but it actually went back on an previous decision to do so, which the Canadian government admitted was a bad move.

As the Ontario provider wrote in a recent submission to the CRTC, "Swift, significant regulatory changes are needed to save what remaining wholesale competition is left, and to restore confidence in the regulator’s ability to perform its core mandate: ensuring telecommunications pricing in Canada is just and reasonable."

Residents who hold Teksavvy accounts are already mourning the potential loss of the company and it's "different, in a good way" ethos to Bell or Rogers, as well as the fact that citizens in general is being left with progressively fewer options, and at a higher price point.

Canada is known for over-protecting the telecom market and having sky-high rates as a result — pricier than anywhere else in the world, in fact — and the CRTC is endlessly criticized for not better supporting smaller brands like Teksavvy and, in turn, the public.

Many fear that it is just a matter of time before the big three that already dominate the market will be all that there is left to choose from if the government does not intervene, and soon.

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