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Nortel, Telus join Bell in seeking major telecom regulatory reform

The pressure is building for the federal government to scrap the current telecom policy and regulatory framework.


August 15, 2005  


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The pressure is building for the federal government to scrap the current telecom policy and regulatory framework.
Nortel Networks Corp. and Telus Corp. today joined the list of vendors that want the telecommunications landscape to change.

The Nortel report puts forward 15 recommendations to the federal government, including a Canadian national strategy for information and communication technology (ICT).

Nortel submitted the report to the Telecommunications Policy Review Panel established by Industry Minister David Emerson in April to conduct a review of Canada’s telecom policy and regulatory framework.

“At no time has the development of a telecom policy been more critical to Canada’s future,” said Brian McFadden, chief research officer, Nortel.

“In today’s highly competitive global market, Canada’s traditional leadership in many areas of telecommunications has been eroded .We must move quickly to build on past successes by establishing a bold national strategy that ensures Canada can compete at the forefront of the 21st century information economy.”

“The creation and deployment of new, technology-based applications and services will be critical to the success of businesses across all segments of the Canadian economy.”

Central among Nortel’s recommendations is the creation and implementation of a Canadian national ICT strategy led by the Prime Minister and Cabinet and focused on a holistic and coordinated approach to strengthening Canada’s international competitiveness in communications technology and services.

“As a nation of 32 plus million people striving for leadership in the global marketplace, we need to ask ourselves what we are going to be really good at,” McFadden said. “Communications technology is a Canadian strength and should be nurtured.”

Janet Yale, executive vice president of corporate affairs with Telus said the approach now in place is contrary to the federal government’s commitment to end unnecessary and wasteful regulation.

“By denying the major telephone companies the opportunity to respond quickly to the dynamic telecommunications market, regulation reduces their ability and incentive to invest in new services such as voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services,” said Yale.

“Indeed, it creates a double whammy by reducing the incentive for non-regulated companies to be innovative in response to the telephone companies’ offerings. It’s like forcing a runner in a race to wear ankle weights. The other contestants don’t have to run as fast to win.”