Wednesday, 14 December 2011

CRTC opens Canada's North to local telephone competition

---------------------------- Original Message
Subject: CRTC opens Canada's North to
local telephone competition
From: "CNW Portfolio System"
Date: Wed, December 14, 2011 11:14
To: "Portfolio E-Mail"

CNW Group Portfolio E-Mail

Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission
Government of Canada Transmitted by
CNW Group on : December 14, 2011 11:00
CRTC opens Canada's North to
local telephone competition
OTTAWA-GATINEAU, Dec. 14, 2011 /CNW/ -
Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) announced that it is opening Canada's North to local telephone

 Residents in many parts of the Yukon,
Northwest Territories and Nunavut will have the option to choose from
competing telephone service providers as of May 1, 2012.

"For the first time, many northern residents will be able to choose
an alternate local telephone service provider," said Leonard Katz,
the CRTC's Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications. "Competition will be
introduced as soon as possible to bring choice and innovative options to
Canada's North."
In its ruling, the CRTC has also denied
Northwestel's request to raise by $2 the rates for residential and
business local telephone service. Such an increase is not justified at
this time and is inconsistent with the current regulatory regime.
Moreover, the CRTC found that Northwestel has insufficiently invested in
its network despite its strong financial performance during the past few
years, and is concerned that the company's aging infrastructure is
affecting the quality and reliability of its service.
must provide, within the next six months, a plan detailing how it will
modernize its network. This will form the basis of the CRTC's
comprehensive review of Northwestel's infrastructure and services over
the next two years.
"We are disappointed that Northwestel,
which has until now been the sole provider of local telephone service in
the North, has not made a greater effort to improve its services,"
Mr. Katz added. "Many communities have been plagued by service
outages and certain features are not widely available to customers.
Northern residents deserve to have access to reliable and high-quality
services comparable to those offered in the rest of the country."

During the next two years, the CRTC will closely monitor the
situation in the North as local competition is implemented.

Today's decision follows a proceeding that included a public hearing that
was held in Yellowknife, N.W.T., on October 4 and 5, 2011.
Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-771

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-302
further information:

Media Relations:
Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245
General Inquiries:

Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218
Toll-free #
1-877-249-CRTC (2782) &#160;&#160;&#160;
TDD - Toll-free
# 1-877-909-CRTC (2782)
These documents
are available in alternative format upon request.

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