Internet Provider Beanfield Calls for Investigation into Bulk Agreements

Beanfield, a leading telecom provider, urges the federal regulator to probe bulk agreements, asserting their adverse impact on consumers. These arrangements, common in condos, strip away choice and foster monopoly. With nearly half of Toronto's new developments affected, consumer concerns mount.

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Telecom provider Beanfield has called upon the federal telecom regulator to scrutinize what it sees as a detrimental practice impacting consumers: bulk agreements.


These agreements target residential units, compelling tenants to subscribe to services such as internet and TV from a sole provider they haven’t chosen. Commonly established prior to occupancy in multi-dwelling units (MDUs) like condos, these arrangements strip away consumer choice and foster what Beanfield describes as “islands of monopoly,” according to Todd Hofley, Beanfield’s VP of policy and communications.

Beanfield’s Action

Beanfield lodged a Part 1 application to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in September, spotlighting the prevalence of bulk agreements, particularly with Rogers.

Key Points

Typically spanning five to eight years, these agreements entail telecom companies invoicing a single bill for an entire building, with fees folded into tenants’ rent or condo fees, regardless of service usage. Moreover, developers receive an initial fee, with Beanfield noting sums around $450 per unit.

Consumer Impact

Hofley stressed the consumer predicament: “There’s nowhere for a consumer to turn. No matter how bad the service is, you’re stuck. No matter if you want to upgrade your service, you’re stuck.”

Impact in Toronto

Toronto, in particular, has felt the impact, with nearly half of new and planned multi-dwelling buildings in the city subject to bulk arrangements, affecting close to 40,000 units, as per a January 2022 survey by Beanfield.

Continued Challenges

Even amid service disruptions, such as the July 2022 Rogers outage, these agreements persist, hindering other providers from entering the market. Beanfield argues that when these agreements lapse, the original providers maintain a competitive edge, having already recouped their network investments.

Rogers’ Response

Responding in October, Rogers urged the CRTC to dismiss Beanfield’s concerns, asserting the longstanding nature of such arrangements and their benefits to residents. Rogers contends that bulk billing arrangements don’t impede competing providers from directly serving residents in MDUs.

Upcoming Discussion

Beanfield is slated to address these bundled agreements during a public hearing on February 13th, as part of discussions on the wholesale high-speed access framework before the CRTC.

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