MTS Allstream Calls for Strong Essential Facilities Regime to Spur Competition and Innovation

    Stock Symbol: MBT

    OTTAWA, Oct. 26 /CNW/ - As the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission ("CRTC") holds hearings to review the definition
of essential facilities and the terms governing competitor access to those
facilities, MTS Allstream Inc. ("MTS Allstream") has made a submission which
advocates that a robust definition of essential facilities is more important
than ever to ensure continued competition and innovation in the Canadian
telecommunications landscape, and the associated benefits of choice and
competitive pricing for customers, especially in the business market.
    "The government has deregulated the retail pricing of the large former
monopolies in major markets across Canada for both consumer and business
services on the premise that they will provide fair wholesale access to the
networks that they control and that competitors must use, in order to offer
competitive choice to customers. You can rely upon market forces at the retail
level so long as you ensure that a dominant player does not hinder its
competitor from reaching the customer by denying essential network access. The
government's forbearance framework and policy direction recognizes this, and
now the CRTC has the opportunity to follow through by designing a robust
framework for essential facilities," said Chris Peirce, Chief Regulatory
Officer, MTS Allstream. "Reliable network access for competitors, coupled with
retail deregulation, allows maximum reliance upon market forces and the least
interventionist regulatory approach. We support such an approach, which is
crucial to delivering the competitive benefits of choice, innovation and
competitive pricing to customers."
    More information on MTS Allstream's submission to the CRTC in connection
with its essential facilities hearings can be found at

    About MTS Allstream Inc.

    MTS Allstream Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manitoba Telecom
Services Inc., and is one of Canada's leading national communication solutions
providers, delivering innovative products and services through the Enterprise
Solutions and Consumer Markets divisions. The Enterprise Solutions division,
which operates under the Allstream brand nationally and under the MTS brand in
Manitoba, is a leading competitor in the national business and wholesale
markets. This division offers customers a portfolio of solutions tailored to
the needs of medium and large businesses looking for success in a world of
rapidly evolving technology - Internet protocol-based communications, unified
communications, voice and data connectivity services. The Consumer Markets
division leads every telecommunications market segment in Manitoba, delivering
a full suite of next generation wireless, high-speed Internet and data,
digital television and wireline voice services under the MTS brand, as well as
small business services across Canada under the Allstream brand, and security
and alarm monitoring services through AAA Alarm Systems Ltd., an affiliate of
MTS Allstream which also operates in other western provinces. MTS Allstream's
extensive national broadband fibre optic network spans more than 24,300
kilometres, and provides international connections through strategic alliances
and interconnection agreements with other international service providers.
Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.'s common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock
Exchange (trading symbol: MBT). For more information, please visit:

For further information:

For further information: Media: Greg Burch, Manager Corporate
Communications, (416) 345-3576, (204) 941-8576,; Investors: Ian Chadsey, Vice-President
Investor Relations, (204) 941-8283,

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