Smaller telecom providers can leverage the existing copper and coaxial infrastructure to offer Internet services to end users but until this week they have not been able to use the fibre networks that offer really high speed connectivity.
This is about to change as the CRTC announced their decision that big telecoms provider must share their high speed networks with smaller competitors.
You're probably thinking 'so what?' but if you will permit me I think there are three points worth making:
1. Firstly this is good news for smaller companies who provide Internet services to smaller areas. The Internet Of Things is not hyperbole, its real, its happening now and it will transform life for future generations. More devices consuming more content means more bandwidth is required and its required where the users are.
This decision supports that trend.
2. To quote the article 'Many smaller competitors say they would prefer to move to a disaggregated model, because they are currently forced to pay heavy transport fees to move their data long distances to a single provincial point of access before it crosses over to their own networks.' Congested centralized peering points and long cable runs covering great distances adds latency and only serves to further validate the Akamai model so perfectly recognized by Dr Tom Leighton and Danny Lewin back in 1998.
You need to be close to the end user to deliver that performance and a highly distributed approach is the only way to accomplish that. Not only will moving to a disaggregated model reduce these transport fees, it improves performance and paves the way for growth.
3. 'Companies that prefer to continue to operate under the old aggregated model will have their internet speed capped at 100 megabits per second. While that is considered a fast internet connection today, the CRTC believes that any company that remains capped at 100 mbps will become increasingly unattractive to consumers as internet speeds increase across the board.' Staying with the aggregated model is not a successful long term plan with this 100Mbps ceiling.
The average bandwidth today in Canada is 11.6Mbps, that is up 8% from the previous quarter and 19% up over the same time a year before (see attached State of the Internet report). This is at the low end required to stream 4K video but it is technically possible (see the presentation from Akamai's Chief Media Architect, Will Law given at this years NAB). This is just the beginning of a video revolution and if you are capped at 100Mbps then you have limited your potential and your ability to grow.
Ultimately this is about making the right decision to increase competitiveness, support growth, and ensure Canadians are not left behind in the digital age.