Campaign Launched to Reverse Harmful CRTC Decision



    
    Regulator's decision threatens competition for retail Internet services,
    Canadian Association of Internet Providers and other partners ask
    Canadians to make concerns heard in Ottawa
    

    OTTAWA, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Internet Providers
(CAIP) has joined a group of telecom and business stakeholders, in launching
an internet based "Campaign for Competitive Broadband" - to convince the
federal government to scuttle a CRTC decision that would throttle competition
in broadband Internet, Ethernet and other next generation communications
services.
    CAIP, MTS Allstream, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses
and more than a dozen individual companies have collaborated in this campaign
to educate and inform consumers of the pending risks to competition that may
in turn lead to unconstrained monopoly pricing for broadband Internet
services.
    The goal of the campaign is to ensure that the network facilities built
by incumbent telephone companies with the help of public subsidies are
accessible to a wide range of competitors who want to offer services to
businesses and consumers. Bell and TELUS, which control these networks in most
parts of the country, would have the ability to shut out competitors if the
CRTC decision is allowed to stand.
    CAIP and the other participants in this campaign urge Canadians to learn
about the risks to them if this decision is not reversed, by visiting
www.competitivebroadband.com, and using the capabilities of the website to
make their concerns known to Industry Minister Tony Clement and others in
Ottawa.
    "The competitive framework for broadband Internet services is hanging by
a thread as a result of the CRTC decision" said Tom Copeland, Chairman of
CAIP. "Independent service providers, in many cases, are the engine that is
driving broadband expansion and coverage to small communities who may
otherwise be overlooked in a single-supplier market. There must be a
realization in the federal cabinet that a retreat to monopoly conditions will
erode the natural incentive for expansion and innovation that only competition
can provide."
    Through www.competitivebroadband.com, CAIP is providing Canadians with an
opportunity to learn about the issue, join a growing online petition, e-mail
the federal government, the CRTC and their local MP, as well as encourage
others to join the campaign.
    "Independent telecommunications and Internet service providers enable
communities to realize their full potential" said Keith Stevens, Chairman of
Execulink Telecom, a full service telecommunications provider operating in
South-western Ontario. "They offer a real alternative to companies such as
Bell and TELUS while supporting their communities as employers, innovators,
and community service agents. The CRTC decision removes the surety of a
competitive framework that these independent companies need to compete
effectively, and we all know that when competition falters it is the consumers
who pay in terms of higher prices, diminished choice, and insufficient
service."
    CAIP has supported a petition filed by MTS Allstream to the federal
cabinet asking it to take the necessary steps to have the CRTC recognize that
competitive access to broadband and the Internet is essential for Canadians
and Canadian businesses. The Campaign for Competitive Broadband encourages all
Canadians to support this notion by visiting www.caip.ca.

    About CAIP

    Formed in 1996, CAIP's Mission is to foster the growth of a healthy and
competitive Internet service industry in Canada through collective and
cooperative action on Canadian and international issues of mutual interest.
CAIP membership comprises commercial telecommunication service providers,
Internet providers, independent cable companies and enterprises interested or
involved, directly or indirectly, in the industry of Internet service
provisioning. CAIP provides effective industry advocacy respecting public
policy and regulatory matters (e.g., access, copyright, privacy and security
issues, e-commerce guidelines) affecting Canada's ISP industry. Find out more
about CAIP at www.caip.ca

    About Execulink

    In operation since 1904, Execulink Telecom has evolved from a small
independent local telephone company into one of the leading telecommunications
providers in Southwestern Ontario. Execulink is committed to delivering high
quality Voice, Video, Internet and Data services to over 50,000 business and
residential customers. Our consistent growth is attributed to our strong focus
on providing superior service and support to our customers each and every day
as well as our reliable and affordable service offerings. With offices in
Kitchener, Burgessville, Thedford and London, we are proud to be the local
choice for your telecommunications needs. Find out more about Execulink
Telecom at www.execulink.com

    About MTS Allstream

    MTS Allstream is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manitoba Telecom Services
Inc. and is one of Canada's leading national communication solutions
providers, delivering innovative products and services through the Enterprise
Solutions and Consumer Markets divisions. The Enterprise Solutions division,
which operates under the Allstream brand nationally and under the MTS
Allstream brand in Manitoba, is a leading competitor in the national business
and wholesale markets. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.'s common shares are
listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange (trading symbol: MBT). For more
information, please visit: www.mtsallstream.com.

    About the Coalition for Competitive Broadband

    The Coalition for Competitive Broadband represents consumers and
businesses that rely on healthy competition for high speed Internet and other
next generation telecommunication services. The coalition came together in
response to a recent CRTC decision which, if not reversed, would result in
less competition, higher prices, weaker service and declining innovation. The
coalition is open to all those who share these concerns and want Ottawa to set
a course that will ensure healthy competition. The Campaign is supported by
organizations which collectively serve or represent over 250,000 businesses
with 1,200,000 employees and over 900,000 consumer Internet customers in
Canada. To learn more, and find out how you can help, please visit
www.competitivebroadband.com.





For further information:

For further information: MTS Allstream - Greg Burch, (416) 345-3576,
media.relations@mtsallstream.com; CAIP - Tom Copeland, (905) 373-9313,
tom@eagle.ca; Execulink Telecommunications - Keith Stevens, (519) 456-7890,
kstevens@execulink.com

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