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Feds propose to accelerate deregulation of local telephone service

Federal industry minister Maxime Bernier today announced a proposal to change a decision by the Canadian Radio-tele...


December 11, 2006  


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Federal industry minister Maxime Bernier today announced a proposal to change a decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that would put in place a revised framework to determine when to deregulate retail telephone prices of the former monopoly telephone companies.

“The government’s proposal is intended to stimulate competition and innovation among local telephone service providers so that Canadian consumers and businesses will benefit from even more choice, improved products and services, and lower prices,” Bernier said in a statement.

In June, he tabled a proposed policy direction signalling the government’s intention to direct the CRTC to rely on market forces to the maximum extent feasible under the Telecommunications Act and regulate only when necessary.

Earlier this year, the CRTC issued Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-15 (Forbearance from the regulation of retail local exchange services), which laid out a framework for price deregulation of local telephone service provided by traditional telephone companies.

Bernier wants to replace the CRTC’s market share test with one that emphasizes the presence of competitive infrastructure in a given geographical area.