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Internet: Wholesale vs. retail

Last Updated: July 15, 2011

Individual Canadians can buy retail internet packages from big telecommunications and cable companies or from small, independent internet service providers. Small ISPs can connect their own networks to the internet, but must buy wholesale network services from the big phone and cable companies that own huge networks. The diagram below shows how it works, using fictional companies we've named BigTelco and IndyISP.

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