CRTC to deregulate local telephony in the Fort McMurray residential market

    OTTAWA-GATINEAU, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced its decision to
deregulate residential telephone services in Fort McMurray, Alberta, once the
local phone company, TELUS, demonstrates that is has provided competitors with
fair access to its network.
    "This decision reflects our commitment to act quickly to bring the
benefits of competition to Canadians," said Konrad von Finckenstein, Chairman
of the CRTC. "In recent years, Fort McMurray has experienced a high rate of
economic growth due to the development of oil sands projects, and the
Commission has found evidence of strong competition in the residential local
services market. Our decision ensures that consumers in Fort McMurray will be
able to enjoy the benefits of competition, including greater choice and lower
prices, as soon as TELUS demonstrates that it has provided competitors with
fair access to its networks."
    The Commission set out its criteria for the deregulation of local
telephone services in Forbearance from the regulation of retail local exchange
services (Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-15, 6 April 2006). Among the criteria
were the stipulations that the incumbent local telephone company must have
lost 25 per cent of its market share in a given market and have provided
competitors with fair access to its networks by meeting specified quality of
service indicators for a six-month period.

    The CRTC

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

    Reference documents:

    Telecom Decision CRTC 2007-18 (Application for forbearance from the
    regulation of residential local exchange services in Fort McMurray,
    Telecom Circular CRTC 2006-12
    Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-15

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