Stock Symbol: MBT
WINNIPEG, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - MTS Allstream Inc. ("MTS Allstream") has filed a submission with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) opposing Fee-For-Carriage, which would see service providers pay broadcasters a fee to provide customers with television signals that are available free of charge over the airwaves. The submission has been made in preparation for a CRTC hearing on broadcast issues expected to take place in November this year.
"The solution to the broadcasters' problems is not to hold Canadians ransom by forcing them to pay for something that is already available free of charge," said Chris Peirce, Chief Corporate Officer, MTS Allstream. "The fee is simply a reaction to the current financial situation of its main proponents. There is no reason that service providers like MTS Allstream who are investing in innovative networks and packaging to bring customers greater choice, should be forced to have their customers pay even more to support broadcasters."
The MTS Allstream submission to the CRTC points out that service providers and the Canadian public already contribute over $1 billion annually - much of which benefits the broadcasters - to the Canadian broadcasting system. The CRTC recently introduced and then arbitrarily increased the fees for the local programming improvement fund with no additional local programming obligations to broadcasters. The funding obligations as well as the substantial investment to maintain and upgrade networks represent significant costs to MTS Allstream, and fee-for-carriage would increase costs with no benefit to customers.
"The CRTC has already visited this matter twice, and declined it twice," added Peirce. "There is no reason an additional burden should be placed on TV subscribers because the matter is being pushed forward for a third time."
About MTS Allstream
As one of Canada's leading national communication solutions companies, MTS Allstream provides innovative communications for the way Canadians want to live and work today. The Company has more than 100 years of experience, with 6,000 employees across Canada dedicated to a mission of delivering true value as seen through the eyes of our customers. In 2008, MTS Allstream had nearly two million total customer connections spanning business customers across Canada and residential consumers throughout the province of Manitoba. The Company's extensive national broadband and fibre optic network spans almost 30,000 kilometres. MTS Allstream is a proud sponsor of Cindy Klassen, 2006 World Champion and Canada's greatest Olympian, and a proud contributor to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.'s common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange (trading symbol: MBT). Customers, stakeholders and investors who want to learn more about MTS Allstream services, markets, community commitments and record of creating shareholder value are encouraged to visit: www.mtsallstream.com.
SOURCE MTS Allstream
For further information: For further information: Media: Greg Burch, MTS Allstream Corporate Communications, (416) 345-3587, (204) 941-8576, firstname.lastname@example.org; Investors: Paul Peters, MTS Allstream Investor Relations, (204) 941-6178, email@example.com