Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.

Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.

January 17, 2007 11:51 ET

Cable Association Urges Changes to Minister's Order to Encourage Competition in Small Markets

QUISPAMSIS, NEW BRUNSWICK--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 17, 2007) - The Industry Minister's proposed order to deregulate local telephone competition will have a devastating impact on local telephone competition in all but Canada's largest urban markets says the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance (CCSA). In a submission to Industry Canada, CCSA urges the Minister to ensure that any new rules recognize the needs of consumers outside Canada's major cities.

"In many smaller markets," says CCSA, "competition for phone customers will come, if at all, from the local independent cable company. If the local cable company is driven out before it has the opportunity to gain even a toehold in the telephone market, there will be no competition." The big telcos will have no reason to reduce prices for consumers in these markets.

CCSA recommends that the proposed order retain safeguards for consumers outside the major cities. This would include retaining widely accepted tests to measure the market power of the telcos as a condition of deregulation and retaining restrictions that prevent anti-competitive practices. "Our members want to compete for this business," says Alyson Townsend, President of CCSA, "but if the order stands as proposed, they will never have a chance to get started. The result will be lost investment in competitive phone service and lost job opportunities in Canada's smaller cities, towns and rural areas."

CCSA is a buying group formed by independent cable companies across Canada. CCSA's members are more than 90 cable companies across Canada, including many small cable systems that serve Canada's North, aboriginal communities and rural centres in all provinces and territories.

CCSA's brief can be found on the CCSA website at www.ccsa.cable.ca, "What's New".

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