The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. The battle being waged by a coalition of independent ISPs in Quebec and the ISP association stirs up connotations of a David and Goliath fight – the small under-financed ISP duking it out in a competitive market with a well-financed, deep-pocketed incumbent telco. Setting emotions aside, the ISPs’ arguments don’t hold water in a couple of ways.  First of all, someone or some company has to pay for making the underlying access facilities available to offer naked DSL. If Bell for example is required to offer naked DSL, but the household doesn’t have a phone line over which to receive the service, someone has to pay to bring the network to the home.  Bell recoups that cost through the surcharge that it levies on non-PES DSL subscribers of its own or via a surcharge to independent ISPs. This surcharge is not levied when the household has a home phone because the cost of making facilities available is recouped through the monthly PES charges.  The ISPs do present a compelling case, however, that the CRTC should not allow Bell to continue to charge an additional fee on independent ISPs reselling DSL into households without primary exchange service. They say their margins are being squeezed because of the additional surcharge and will not be able to compete on price with Bell for retail DSL customers.  The Coalition of Quebec ISPs is looking for a compromise from Bell. They believe that the surcharged levied by Bell should be much less than the $10 they are being charged.  But this leads to the second reason why their arguments don’t stand up to scrutiny. Even if the commission ruled that Bell had to stop charging the $10 to non-PES households, the actual operating expenditure impact to independent ISPs would be minimal because the number of households that don’t have primary exchange service is low.  Are ISPs margins being squeezed because of this added surcharged? Yes, but only in cases where the household doesn’t have PES. Expand the view to include the ISPs entire operating territory basis and the overall impact will be small.