A pedestrian walks past the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Canada’s top court has decided against hearing appeals brought to it by Bell Canada and a number of cable companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

A pedestrian walks past the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Canada’s top court has decided against hearing appeals brought to it by Bell Canada and a number of cable companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada’s top court says it won’t hear appeals by Bell and several cable companies

Supreme Court refusal a victory for Canada’s independent internet providers, may lead to lower prices

Canada’s top court has decided against hearing a pair of appeals brought to it by Bell Canada, Rogers Communications and a number of cable companies seeking to overturn a CRTC decision that lowered the wholesale rates those companies charge smaller competitors.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the appeals is a victory for Canada’s independent internet service providers and may lead to lower internet prices for consumers.

The independent ISPs compete with bigger internet network owners, such as Bell and Rogers, and say lower wholesale rates would let them cut retail prices

The Federal Court of Appeal in September had dismissed the appeals.

Thursday’s decision means the ball is back in the court of the CRTC, which has not yet implemented the new prices and is instead reviewing its decision, though the federal government has indicated it could step in at some point if it thinks the arms-length regulator doesn’t strike the right balance.

As is usual, the Supreme Court didn’t give a reason for its dismissal.

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