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Call-Net urges CRTC to address problems identified in competition report

Call-Net Enterprises Inc. today commented on the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunication Commission's (CRTC) la...

November 27, 2003  

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Call-Net Enterprises Inc. today commented on the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunication Commission’s (CRTC) latest report on the status of telecommunications competition in Canada.

“With today’s report, we see further evidence that the CRTC needs to be more proactive in addressing the problems identified with respect to competition, particularly in the home phone market segment” said Bill Linton, president and chief executive officer of Call-Net Enterprises.

The report is issued annually by the CRTC to the Governor-in-Council pursuant to a Cabinet directive to report each year on the status of competition in Canadian telecommunications markets and on the deployment of
advanced telecommunications services and facilities.

In the report, the CRTC confirmed that local competition is still weak.

The former monopoly telephone companies continue to enjoy a virtual monopoly in the local residential market segment with a market share in excess of 97 per cent, the company said.

“It is clear that the CRTC fully understands the dimensions of the current problems in the local residential market”, said Linton. “The key,however, is for the CRTC to also understand and act on the urgency of the
situation, and move quickly to remove the barriers to meaningful competition that exist.”

Although the market for local competition was opened in 1997, little progress has been made in ensuring that consumers in all regions of thecountry have a real choice of suppliers for home telephone service, Call-Net said.

The company entered the local service (home phone) market in 1999. In May, it filed an application with the CRTC to promote greater competition in the local residential telecommunications market. Call-Net’s application identifies several actions necessary to remove the remaining barriers to entry into the local service market that will allow competitors to achieve the scale necessary to compete. They include:

* Extending the period during which ILECs cannot solicit competitors residential local customers from three months to one year, in order to reduce churn and accelerate scale, and

* Reducing loop rates by 50 per cent over a two-year period.