Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.

Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.

April 05, 2007 11:56 ET

CCSA: Canada's Small Cable Companies Welcome Changes to Telecom Deregulation Order

QUISPAMSIS, NEW BRUNSWICK--(CCNMatthews - April 5, 2007) - The Canadian Cable Systems Alliance welcomes changes reflected in the Government's Telecom Deregulation Order issued yesterday. "We are very pleased that the Industry Minister and Cabinet listened to and acted upon the concerns we raised in the comment process on this Order and recognized the very different state of competition that exists in Canada's smaller, rural communities," says Alyson Townsend, President and C.E.O of the Alliance. "The 18-month transition period given to smaller competitors to enable them to build sustainable market share in their communities will help ensure that consumers in Canada's non-urban areas will be able to share the benefits real competition will bring."

However, CCSA remains deeply disappointed at the immediate removal of the winback restrictions that prevented the large incumbent telephone companies from pursuing individual customers as soon as they switch to a competitor. "The winback rules are at the heart of the matter," says Townsend. "Without these rules, customers will not have the opportunity to experience our members' new competitive services before the big telcos try to win them back through bundled offers that cross-subsidize local service. That means that not all customers will see the benefits of competition, only those who switch to a competitor. You can be sure that Canada's small cable companies will work hard to ensure that as many customers as possible switch so as to create sustainable competitive markets in all of the areas they serve."

"As a result," Townsend adds, "both Government and the industry will have to be exceptionally vigilant to ensure that the telcos' targeted campaigns do not frustrate the intent of this Order through anti-competitive practices that will undermine competition as soon as it begins to emerge."

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.

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