Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.

Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.

December 21, 2006 12:01 ET

Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.: Industry Minister's Proposal Would Kill Telephone Competition in Small Markets

QUISPAMSIS, NEW BRUNSWICK--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 21, 2006) - Industry Minister Maxime Bernier's recent proposal to totally deregulate the large monopoly telephone companies will deprive customers in smaller rural markets of competition and lower prices. The Canadian Cable Systems Alliance (CCSA), which represents over 90 small cable companies serving almost 1100 communities in all regions of Canada, rejected the Minister's one size fits all approach.

"Canada is a very diverse country and so are its telephone markets.
While competition is flourishing in the major urban centres it has only just begun or is in the planning stages everywhere else. We need a different approach in these emerging markets." Said Alyson Townsend, CCSA President and CEO.

The Minister's proposal would deregulate the large telephone companies immediately upon the launch of a competitive service by a small cable company. This could occur even before the first customer had a chance to try out the new service. Another part of the proposal would allow the telephone companies to contact every customer who wanted to transfer to a competitor and make them a better offer. The offer, however, might not be made public and would not be available to other customers. This kind of competition would quickly wipe out new entrants and in the long run leave customers with higher prices and less innovative offers.

"CCSA will be making recommendations to the Minister to recognize the uniqueness of small markets. Outside the top 10 urban markets forbearance (deregulation) should not occur until the telephone companies lose at least some of their dominant market power. As well, winback rules, which prevent customers from being targeted as soon as they leave to go to a competitor, should remain in place until forbearance is approved. We believe strongly in competition but it has to be sustainable if Canadians, not just those living in major urban centres, are to see the benefits", said Townsend.

CCSA is a buying group formed by independent cable companies across Canada. CCSA operates on a not-for-profit basis to represent its members' interests and to perform volume purchasing of television programming, hardware and services on their behalf. CCSA's membership comprises 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.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.
    Alyson Townsend
    President & C.E.O.
    (506) 849-1334, ext. 203
    Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.
    Chris Edwards
    V.P. Corp. & Regulatory
    (506) 849-1334, ext. 211
    Harris D. Boyd Consulting
    Harris Boyd
    (613) 421-3597