The CRTC announces new pricing rules for local telephone services



    OTTAWA and GATINEAU, April 30 /CNW Telbec/ - In a decision issued today,
the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
established new pricing rules to govern the rates charged by large telephone
companies for local telephone services. These rules, which are known
collectively as the price cap regime, will come into effect on June 1, 2007,
and apply to the following companies: Bell Canada, TELUS, SaskTel, MTS
Allstream and Bell Aliant.
    "This third-generation price cap regime provides greater pricing
flexibility for large telephone companies, while providing a ceiling for
prices to individual consumers," said Richard French, the CRTC's Vice-Chairman
of Telecommunications. "Where current prices are below cost, the ceiling can
be adjusted by 5 per cent per annum or the rate of inflation, whichever is
lower."
    The price cap regime is designed to ensure that residential consumers in
regulated markets continue to have access to just and reasonable rates, and
includes incentives for telephone companies to operate more efficiently and to
offer more innovative services. The price cap regime was last reviewed in
2002.

    
    Highlights

    - Residential customers in urban areas will not see a rate increase for
      basic local telephone service.
    - Residential customers in rural areas, where it is more expensive to
      provide basic local telephone service, have generally paid rates at
      below cost. The Commission's policy is to move rates closer to actual
      costs as long as prices remain just and reasonable. The new price cap
      regime allows large telephone companies to raise prices in these areas
      by the lesser of the annual rate of inflation or 5 per cent.
    - Large telephone companies have been granted the flexibility to charge
      different rates to different customers for residential telephone
      services, including optional local services.
    - The Commission will no longer impose a limit to the rates that the
      large telephone companies may charge for optional local services.
    - The Commission has approved a request to increase pay telephone rates
      up to a maximum of $0.50 per cash call, and up to a maximum of $1.00
      per non-cash call. This represents the first price increase for pay
      telephones in many years. For instance, Bell Canada has not raised its
      pay telephone rates since 1981.
    

    The CRTC

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


    Reference documents:

    Telecom Decision CRTC 2007-27, Price cap framework for large incumbent
    local exchange carriers
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/whatsnew.htm
    Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-5
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Notices/2006/pt2006-5.htm
    Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-43
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Decisions/2002/dt2002-43.htm
    Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-34
    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Decisions/2002/dt2002-34.htm




For further information:

For further information: Media Relations:
http://support.crtc.gc.ca/CRTCSubmissionMU/forms/Mediarelations.aspx?lang=e,
(819) 997-9403, Fax: (819) 997-4245; General Inquiries: (819) 997-0313, TDD:
(819) 994-0423, Fax: (819) 994-0218, Toll-free # 1-877-249-2782, TDD -
Toll-free # 1-877-909-2782; On-line services
http://support.crtc.gc.ca/crtcsubmissionmu/forms/main.aspx?lang=e; Copies of
today's documents are available through our Internet site
(http://www.crtc.gc.ca) or by contacting the documentation centre of any CRTC
office. These documents are available in alternative format upon request


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