Blog #1. Special Mission #CRTC - Ottawa Bound

Hey Canada,

We’ve met but I’ve never officially introduced myself. My name is Weston. I am Axia’s Digital Communications Specialist. If you read our blog, follow us on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook – you’ve read my posts.

I am responsible for all things digital communications at Axia. This week I am on a special mission and I wanted to bring you along with me! I am off to Ottawa to attend the CRTC hearing to review Basic Telecommunications Services for all Canadians.

This hearing is pretty important to Canadians everywhere. In a nut shell (because it is quite complicated) the CRTC is trying to figure out if Broadband for Internet is the new basic required service replacing the old telephone system. Axia’s CEO, Art Price, is presenting to the commission on Wednesday, April 20th to present our views on our experience in Asia, Europe and North America. I’m flying in a couple days earlier to attend the hearings on Monday and Tuesday and follow what everyone is saying online.

If you’re like me, the Internet is incredibly important to everything that I do. At home, I don’t have cable so I watch all my favorite shows online using streaming services like #Netflix. I tweet, post, snap, Instagram all day long so having a reliable Internet connection is extremely important to me. At work, I am on my phone (rarely to actually make telephone calls) and computer all day long. Our head office is in Calgary, so we’re lucky that we have access to great Internet service.

Now, for anyone we haven’t met – Axia is an Alberta based company dedicated to providing access to high bandwidth fibre infrastructure where it does not currently exist. This means that we are not focused on the major urban city centers like Calgary or Edmonton. Instead we focus on the rural communities. Our fibre to the premise team is working hard to connect rural towns to our province wide fibre network. We are currently live in Vulcan, Nanton and Nobleford Alberta with construction just announced in Barnwell.

You might not know that our experience in fibre optic infrastructure expands far outside of Alberta. We have helped to establish networks in Singapore, France and the United States. We’ve been successful in our approach and we wish to remain the preferred service provider of digital transport services delivered over high performing fibre optic networks in the regions that we operate.

OK – back to the reason for this blog. We want the #CRTC to realize that traditional service over copper wire is not working anymore. They need to understand that fibre to the home, tower, and business is the new basic infrastructure. Axia and the other Telco’s (even if they don’t admit it) know that engineered performance capacity and cost is vastly superior with fibre compared to copper for any kind of digital traffic. So there is no question that fibre is the answer. However, the question is, what regulatory and business framework is needed to manage this.

To answer this question, we need the CRTC to ask what is in the long-term interest of the customer? Axia’s view is the customer would be best served by vibrant, sustained competition and choice. Think of it like the apps on your smart phone. We all have different apps on our phone to fit our specific needs. Mine are surely different than yours. The service that we have is the same, but the way we use it is significantly different. So when you’re thinking about fibre infrastructure you need to separate the infrastructure from the voice, media and data service sectors. It is not practical to have competing infrastructure but instead drive competition on the web service side.

Axia is the ultimate “un bundler.” We build the fibre infrastructure and provide an engineered Internet service – that’s it. Our customers then deal directly with parties that the customer wants. You are free to create your own bundle. If you want to subscribe to streaming services, or Internet phones you can – we aren’t making you. We just supply high-performing, reliable broadband.

We’re here to convince the CRTC that this is the way to think about Canada’s digital future.

Follow me as I attend the hearings to learn more about what others are saying. I’d love to hear what you think. Do you agree with Axia?

Join the conversation on Twitter by following us @AxiaFibre and using the #CRTC and #TalkBroadband hashtag. Follow me on Instagram @AxiaFibre and make sure to flip over to Facebook so we can keep this debate and conversation going.

Talk soon,

Weston

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