CRTC orders rebate for Bell Canada, Bell Aliant, Telus and MTS Allstream's
home telephone customers and approves a plan to bring broadband Internet to
287 communities

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, Aug. 31 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today directed the large telephone companies to rebate $310.8 million to their urban home telephone customers. At the same time, the CRTC has approved a plan for the deployment of broadband Internet service to 287 rural and remote communities.

"Today's announcement is a positive solution for Canadian consumers," said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. "Subscribers of the major telephone companies in urban areas will enjoy a rebate on their home telephone service. And residents in hundreds of rural communities will soon be able to take advantage of the many social and economic benefits broadband Internet access provides."

Over the next four years, broadband Internet service will be rolled out to communities where it is currently not available. This service will be comparable to urban areas and fast enough to link residents to telehealth services and bring about business and educational opportunities. The large telephone companies will use funds that have accumulated in their deferral accounts to pay for these initiatives.

The companies will make investments totalling $421.9 million to expand their networks: Bell Canada and Bell Aliant Regional Communications will connect 112 communities in Ontario and Quebec; Telus Communications Company will connect 159 communities in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec; and MTS Allstream Inc. will connect 16 communities in Manitoba.

The CRTC has ordered the companies to rebate the remaining funds to their existing customers residing in urban areas. The rebate must be credited within the next six months and will range from approximately $25 to $90 per subscriber.

In addition, the companies are already investing $35 million from the deferral accounts in initiatives designed to make telecommunications services more accessible to Canadians living with disabilities.

"The question of how the funds in the deferral accounts should be allocated was hotly debated. Our decision to rebate consumers was contested all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. We are pleased that the Court confirmed our jurisdiction in this matter, clearing the way for the distribution of the funds," Mr. von Finckenstein added.

Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-637

Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-638

Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-639

The CRTC

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

Reference document:

Telecom Decision CRTC 2008-1

These documents are available in alternative format upon request.

    
                    Backgrounder on the deferral accounts
    

In 2002, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) required that the large telephone companies create "deferral accounts" as a way to encourage competition in the local telephone market. Instead of reducing rates for local telephone service in urban areas, the companies were instructed to place surplus funds collected from urban consumers into the deferral accounts.

The CRTC later determined that the funds that had accumulated in the deferral accounts should be used to deploy broadband Internet services to unserved and underserved communities, as well as to improve accessibility to telecommunications services for persons with disabilities. Any funds remaining in the accounts after carrying out these initiatives were to be returned to customers in urban areas.

As of May 31, 2010, the deferral accounts held $770 million (including interest). Of this amount, $310.8 million will be rebated to customers, $421.9 million will be spent on broadband services and $35 million has already been allocated to accessibility initiatives. The remaining balance will go toward the administrative costs of the consumer rebate.

Bell Canada, Bell Aliant Regional Communications, MTS Allstream Inc., Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel) and Telus Communications Company were required to create deferral accounts. The Commission previously approved SaskTel's proposal to spend all of the funds in its deferral account, which amounted to approximately $1.5 million, on accessibility initiatives.

Expansion of broadband Internet services

The Commission has approved plans to deploy broadband Internet services to 287 communities across five provinces by 2014. The areas covered by these projects are listed below.

    
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                               British Columbia
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    Appledale                           Kitwanga (Boulder Creek)
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    Beaver Valley (Big Lake Road W.)    Kitwanga (Cedarvale)
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    Beaver Valley (Marguerite Lake)     Kitwanga (Kitseguecla)
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    Beaver Valley (McInnes Lake)        Klahoose Fn (Tork 7)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Beaver Valley (Overton Road)        Kluskus No. 1
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    Blackpool                           Kwiakah
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    Bonaparte (Bonaparte 3)             Kwicksutaineuk-Ah-Kwaw-Ah-Mish
                                         (Gwayasdums No. 1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Boswell                             Lake Babine Nation (Babine 6)
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    Boswell (Akokli Creek)              Lake Babine Nation (Pinkut Lake 23)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Boswell (Hepher Road)               Lake Babine Nation Tachet Lake
                                         (Babine 25)
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    Boswell (Mountain Shores)           Lakelse Lake
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    Boswell (Redmond Road)              Little Shuswap Lake (Chum Creek)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Boswell (Sanca Creek)               Loos
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    Bridge River No. 1                  Manning Park
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    Canoe Creek                         Manning Park (East Gate)
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    Chawathil                           Marble Bay
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    Cheslatta Carrier Nation            Mowachaht (Ahaminaguus 12)
     (Cheslatta 1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Christina Lake                      Mowachaht (BC024)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Christina Lake (Cascade City)       Moyie
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Christina Lake (English Point)      Nee-Tahi-Buhn (Uncha Lake 13A)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cluculz Lake (Bednesti)             Neskonlith (Neskonlith No. 1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cluculz Lake (Bednesti Lake)        Nicomen
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cluculz Lake (Isle Pierre)          Nimpo Lake
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    Compton Island No. 6                Nooaitch No. 10
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Da'Naxda'Xw First Nation            Oclucje No. 7
     (Dead Point No. 5)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Decker Lake                         Oregan Jack Creek No. 3
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Decker Lake (Palling Road West)     Pender Harbour (Earls Cove)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Decker Lake (Rose Lake)             Pender Harbour (Egmont)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ditidaht (Malachan 11)              Penelakut Spit (Kuper Island 7)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Donald                              Puckatholetchin No. 11
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    Duncan Lake                         Reid Lake (Reid Lake Road)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Duncan Lake (Johnsons Landing)      Sahhaltkum No. 4
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    East Pine                           Saltery Bay
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    Ehattesaht (Chenahkint 12)          Shackan No. 11
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Elko                                Siska (Siska Flat No. 3)
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    Elko (Baynes Lake)                  Skatin Nations (Skookumchuck 4)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Elko (Waldo Road)                   Skeetchestn
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gitsegukla (Gitsegukla 1)           Skin Tyee (Skins Lake No. 16A)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hansard                             Skookumchuck (Lazy Lake)
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    Hesquiaht                           Spuzzum (Spuzzum 1)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hesquiaht (Refuge Cove 6)           Stone No. 1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hope Island No. 1                   Thrums
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Inklyuhkinatko No. 2                Toosey No. 1
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jaffray (Bull River)                Trout Lake
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jaffray (Galloway)                  Tsawatanineuk (Quaee 7)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kahmoose No. 4                      Tsimpsean No. 2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kanaka Bar No. 1A                   Upper Nicola (Douglas Lake 3)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kingsgate                           Wet'Suwet'En (Palling No. 1)
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    Kitselas (Kulspai 6)                Xeni Gwet'In First Nations Government
                                         (Chilco Lake No. 1A)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Alberta
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    Bear Canyon                         Jarvie
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    Berwyn                              Keephills
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    Blue Ridge                          Keg River
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    Brocket                             Legal
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    Bruce                               Manyberries
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    Buck Lake                           Marlboro
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    Burdett                             Mulhurst
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bymr/Byemoor                        New Dayton
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    Chipewyan Lake                      Peerless Lake
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    Clyde                               Pickardville
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Derwent                             Robb
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    Donalda                             Rolling Hills
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    Donalda (Dnldab03)                  Rosebud
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Donnelly                            Schuler
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    East Coulee                         Seba Beach
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    English Bay                         Seven Persons
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Etzikom                             Smith
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ferintosh                           St. Michael
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Flatbush                            Tilley
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Foremost                            Walsh
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Girouxville                         Warner
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hays                                Waterton Park
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hilda                               Widewater
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Holden                              Wildwood
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hussar                              Wrentham
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


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                                   Manitoba
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    Cooks Creek                         Poplar Point
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cranberry Portage                   Rockwood
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dallas                              Roseau River
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Falcon River                        Sandy Bay
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lee River                           Sprucewoods
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lynn Lake                           St. Eustache
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nelson House                        Sunset Bay
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    Oswald                              Woodridge
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Ontario
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Acton                               Marathon
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ailsa Craig                         Markdale
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Apsley                              Maynooth
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Armstrong                           McKellar
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bancroft                            Meaford
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Barry's Bay                         Michigan
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Beachville                          Morson
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bluewater Beach                     Nakina
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Blyth                               Newtonville
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Calabogie                           Northbrook
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Campbellville                       Otter Lake
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cartier                             Oxdrift
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Clinton                             Parry Sound
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cloud Bay                           Pass Lake
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cobden                              Pelee Island
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Creemore                            Pembroke
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Denbigh                             Petawawa
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dorion                              Pickle Lake
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dublin                              Plevna
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dundalk                             Pointe au Baril
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Eagle River                         Ridgeway
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Echo Bay                            Sauble Beach
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Feversham                           Sault Ste. Marie-Airport
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Flesherton                          Sebright
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fort Erie                           Selkirk
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gilmour                             Shebandowan
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Goderich                            Stevensville
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gogama                              South River
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Golden Lake                         St. Joseph Island
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Goulais                             Stratton
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Harriston                           Tamworth
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hastings                            Thornbury
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hepworth                            Tweed
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Kaministiquia                       Vermilion Bay
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lafontaine                          Wabigoon
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lanark                              Wawa
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lucan                               Wiarton
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    MacDiarmid                          Wingham
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Madoc                               Winona
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Magnetawan
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Quebec
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Arundel                             La Romaine
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ayer's Cliff                        Leeds
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Baie-Saint-Paul                     Longue-Pointe-de-Mingan
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Baie-Trinité                        Mansonville
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bishopton                           Mingan
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bury                                Napierville
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cap-des-Rosiers                     Natashquan
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Clermont                            Ormstown
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Colombier                           Ristigouche-Partie-Sud-Est
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Compton                             Rivière-Bleue
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cookshire                           Rock Island
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dunham                              Saint-Augustin
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    East Broughton                      Saint-Chrysostôme
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Franklin Centre                     Saint-Honoré-de-Témiscouata
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hébertville-Station                 Saint-Joseph-des-Érables
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hemmingford                         Saint-Sébastien (Frontenac County)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Henryville                          Saint-Théophile
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Huntingdon                          Stratford Centre
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Knowlton                            Sutton
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    La Malbaie                          Tring Jonction
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    L'Annonciation                      Weedon
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    La Patrie                           Yamaska
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: For further information: Media Relations: http://support.crtc.gc.ca/CRTCSubmissionMU/forms/Mediarelations.aspx?lang=e, Tel: 819-997-9403, Fax: 819-997-4245; General Inquiries: Tel: 819-997-0313, TDD: 819-994-0423, Fax: 819-994-0218, Toll-free No. 1-877-249-CRTC (2782), TDD - Toll-free No. 1-877-909-CRTC (2782) http://crtc.gc.ca/RapidsCCM/Register.asp?lang=E


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