Telecom Update (Canada) EXTRA, May 31, 2002

Telecom Update (Canada) EXTRA, May 31, 2002

Post by Angus TeleManagemen » Sat, 01 Jun 2002 22:56:54



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TELECOM UPDATE EXTRA!

** CRTC RELEASES PRICE CAPS DECISION
    CONSUMERS ARE THE BIG WINNERS
    AT&T MAY APPEAL

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published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group
http://www.angustel.ca

Number 334a: May 31, 2002

Publication of Telecom Update is made possible by generous
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** AT&T CANADA http://www.attcanada.com
** BELL CANADA http://www.bell.ca
** GROUP TELECOM http://www.gt.ca
** LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES CANADA http://www.lucent.ca
** PRIMUS CANADA: http://www.primustel.ca
** Q9 NETWORKS: http://www.Q9.com
** TELUS: http://www.telus.com
** UNISPHERE NETWORKS: http://www.unispherenetworks.com

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May 31, 2001: Consumers are the big winners in the CRTC's Price Caps
decision, released yesterday. Both the incumbent phone companies and
their major competitors are unhappy, and AT&T Canada says it may file
an appeal.

The 232 pages of CRTC Telecom Decision 2002-34 set the framework for
regulating the major telephone companies for the next four
years. Highlights include:

** Basic residential service rates, on average, will not
    increase unless inflation exceeds 3.5%. Within this cap,
    no individual rate may increase more than 5% per year, and
    rates for optional services such as voice mail and call
    waiting may not increase more than $1 per year per
    feature.

** Business service rate increases are limited, on average,
    to inflation rate. No individual rate elements can
    increase more than 10% per year.

** The telcos' markup on essential services used by
    competitors has been cut from 25% to 15%.

** Digital Network Access service, which competitors have
    been paying retail rates for, must now be offered to
    competitors at cost+15%.

** Customers and competitors will be entitled to rebates if
    telcos fail to meet Quality of Service standards.

The CRTC will open several follow-on proceedings to consider such
issues as payphone rates, a consumer bill of rights, and other
questions.

Overall, it appears that the decision will reduce the fees paid by
competitors to use telco facilities by 15% to 20%.  This is much less
than the 50% to 75% they wanted -- but more than the telcos thought
appropriate.

Consumer groups have welcomed the decision. Philippa Lawson of the
Public Interest Advocacy Centre said that "Hopefully, ordinary
consumers will now start seeing some benefits from competition in the
local phone market."

The telcos, which wanted to increase residence rates and opposed
reductions to competitor rates, say they will have to study the
decision more fully to assess its impact.  Representatives of Bell
Canada and Telus both criticized the restrictions on their ability to
raise rates.

AT&T Canada and Call-Net, which had hoped for much larger discounts on
competitor services, expressed disappointment.  AT&T CEO John McLennan
called it a "disappointing decision," and promised to "explore all
options ... including a possible appeal."

http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Decisions/2002/dt2002-34.htm

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