The Beanfield Way: Choice

Today, we sympathize with Rogers staff and customers, as we know how critical connectivity is for those of us working at home or from the office, and for businesses big and small. We hope to see their network restored shortly. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out our public WiFi locations across Toronto – they are all up and running for you to connect.

At Beanfield, we have long been vocal behind the scenes about the importance of choice and our views on Canada’s telecom oligopoly. We’ve made ourselves well-known at Toronto City Hall and raised our concerns to the CRTC and Competition Bureau. We believe that competition results in resiliency and highly connected communities. Without it, we’ve seen prices soar, systems set up to discourage fibre investment, the rise of power of the “Big 3”, and today, we feel just how big of an impact a single point of failure can have on our livelihoods and broader economy.

We wish that we could say things are heading in the right direction, but that simply wouldn’t be true.

Bulk deals, where residential buildings allow for just a single ISP, have been of particular concern. In Toronto, we’re seeing a surge of high-rise residential buildings locking into these bulk agreements and unfortunately, we even have to participate to stay competitive. Why do we feel a bit queasy about them though (okay, a lot queasy)? These deals open up the door to a lot of different issues. Not only do they result in less choice for customers, they lock these buildings into relying on a single provider – a single point of failure.

So, let’s say your service provider is experiencing an outage and you’re left without a connection to the outside world. Can you turn to your neighbor? No, their Internet would be down too. Head to your amenities space to connect? No, that’s down as well. Will there be issues with your building’s systems trying to connect? For sure. Plus, your Property Manager will be feeling the blunt of that outage as well.

You’re dead in the water.

Business owners have long been caught in a sticky situation as well. Now more than ever, they require fast, reliable connectivity to keep their everyday operations going and to connect with the communities they serve. Relying on a single provider to operate could have dire consequences. If most of a neighbourhood is connected to a single provider, any issues will affect nearly an entire community. We see this now as ATM’s, cafés, and more are impacted. Even in the city core, small businesses don’t have access to quality services. These businesses end up paying outlandish prices, meaning they can’t afford network redundancy. That means when their network goes down – they are out of luck until it’s fixed. Think of the impact that has on their operations, their incomes, and their customers.

Beanfield got its start in a community where businesses had little to no options for telecom services. We are lucky to have thrived when so many small providers haven’t, and we’ve always considered ourselves the alternative to the big players. We believe in choice for customers to encourage investment in high-quality services, to make pricing fair and equitable, to build resilient communities, and to make sure that our Canadian ecosystems will never be brought down by an outage from a single provider.

That’s how it should be.  

We have created a Linktree page where Canadians can find sources to help change the Canadian telecom landscape:

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