07/22/2015 04:07 EDT | Updated 07/22/2016 05:59 EDT

Big Telecom Must Open Fibre Networks To Competition, CRTC Rules

GATINEAU, Qc - Canada's communications regulator is forcing the country's big Internet service providers to offer competitors access to their fibre optic networks.

The new requirement will give smaller internet service providers, or ISPs, access to much higher speed networks.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says the move should also foster greater competition in the broadband Internet market.

The big telecom companies, including Bell, Rogers, Telus and Shaw, have so far made fibre optic services available to about three million homes across the country.

But they have limited access by smaller ISPs to their slower networks, through cable or copper wire systems.

The CRTC says it is also moving to a so-called disaggregated model of providing high speed access, which will require smaller ISPs to invest in equipment to access networks in different locations.

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