Campaign for Competitive Broadband Reports Unprecedented Demonstration of
Grassroots Concern

OTTAWA, Nov. 3 /CNW/ - With just 42 days before the federal cabinet must decide on the future of competitive internet service in Canada, The Campaign for Competitive Broadband has released details of the success of the campaign to date.

    -   In an unprecedented demonstration of grass roots concern, Canadians
        across the country have sent more than 85,000 messages of concern to
        Prime Minister Harper, Industry Minister Clement and his Cabinet
        colleagues, Opposition Leader Ignatieff, as well as individual
        Cabinet Ministers and MPs. ( )

    -   More than 41 different organizations and companies, including the
        Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and the Canadian
        Association of Internet Service Providers, have joined the campaign.
        Together, these companies serve hundreds of thousands of consumers.
        The CFIB itself represents more than 100,000 small and medium

    -   A report release by Harvard University this month provided powerful
        evidence that unless Cabinet guides the CRTC to change course, Canada
        will continue to lose ground compared to competitors around the
        world. When it comes to broadband service, Canada is among the worst
        served countries in the OECD.

    -   Most recently, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, one of
        Ottawa's most respected advocacy groups when it comes to telecom
        regulation, has announced it will publicly support the Campaign's
        efforts to change the Commission's Decision to a more favourable
        result for consumers.

    -   More than 12,000 people have joined an electronic mailing list,
        asking to be kept up to date with the progress of the Campaign, and
        to find out what more they can do. This week alone, these Canadians
        sent more than 17,000 messages of concern to members of the Cabinet
        Committee on Economic Growth and Long-Term Prosperity.

At issue is an ill considered ruling by the CRTC that would provide incumbent former monopoly telcos like Bell and Telus the power to threaten competition in high speed broadband services. If allowed to stand, this decision would cause spiraling prices, while speed and service levels will stagnate or worse.

MTS Allstream, the leading Canadian competitor in broadband business services, launched an appeal of this decision, asking the federal cabinet to reverse the decision. Since then, a broad array of organizations and many thousands of Canadians have joined the fight to reverse this decision.

According to MTS Allstream Chief Corporate Officer Chris Peirce, "this Cabinet recognizes that government has a role to play in ensuring healthy competitive conditions. There's a wealth of evidence that the CRTC has no idea how to ensure competition, and that is why the Government must continue to direct the CRTC.

We are optimistic that the many people who have made their voices heard in support of our campaign are having an impact on our elected officials, and that the Cabinet will do the right thing. We can't let up now, and we will keep on making the case for Canadian consumers and businesses across the country."

According to PIAC's Executive Director Michael Janigan, "competition is how consumers are supposed to be protected. When a regulatory decision favours the big telecommunications giants over new entrants, it is bad for competition and leaves consumers less protected in the long run."


For further information: For further information: Megan Hooper, Coalition for Competitive Broadband, (416) 979-1120 ext. 297,

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