CCSA lauds Ontario gov’t promise to review hydro rates

Originally published by The Wire Report

The Ontario government’s $315-million plan to improve connectivity in the province includes a promise to review hydro pole attachment rates, which was praised by the Canadian Communication Systems Alliance (CCSA) in a press release Wednesday.

“We are particularly pleased that the Ontario Government recognizes that its high hydro pole attachment rates create a financial barrier to broadband expansion in the province,” the CCSA said in the release.

“This is a matter we, and others, have asked the Ontario Government to address on many occasions.” Telecom companies have been protesting a move by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to raise rates, and arguing that the CRTC should have oversight over utility poles. Access to passive infrastructure is also a key area of concern for the panel reviewing the telecom and broadcasting acts, as it has commissioned a report on that matter.

The $315-million promise was originally announced in the provincial budget this spring. The plan, released Tuesday, gives more details about how the province will spend that money, including a $150 million provincial broadband and cellular infrastructure funding program that will begin in 2020-21.

It doesn’t break down the rest of the funding, but notes the $71 million the province has committed to a project from the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN).

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