SOURCE: Primus Telecommunications

March 06, 2008 16:36 ET

Primus Canada Supports Outcome of CRTC Decision on Essential Services

CRTC Decision Strikes a Fair Balance and Facilitates the Orderly Development of Telecommunications Networks

LONDON, ON--(Marketwire - March 6, 2008) - Following a detailed review of the CRTC's Telecom Decision 2008-17, Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. (Primus Canada) today announced its support of the Commission's decision in the Essential Services proceeding. The year-long process that included extensive hearings which ended on December 7, 2007, involved proposals from the incumbent telephone companies to scale back radically the scope of services that they are mandated to sell to competitors.

The established incumbent telephone companies argued that the Commission should rely on industry negotiations to set prices for the wholesale services under their control. Primus Canada is pleased that the Commission supported the need to continue its incremental approach to network development in Canada. In doing so, the Commission recognized that while many components of telecommunications networks can, given the appropriate circumstances, be built by competitors, the access networks, or the "last mile" into the consumer's home, of the incumbent telephone and cable companies can never or economically be duplicated by competitors.

In its ruling, the Commission established a new, clear definition of essential facilities and created six categories of incumbent wholesale services, including associated pricing rules and phase out provisions that together set an appropriate playing field for non-incumbent service providers in Canada.

"The decision by the CRTC reflects the essence of Primus Canada's position to put consumers and competition first," said Ted Chislett, President and Chief Operating Officer, Primus Canada. "By balancing the reliance on market forces against the inherent impediments to competition, the CRTC's decision will allow competition to continue and, in the end, customers will benefit from new services and better value."

Primus Canada believes that the greatest challenge to telecom competition is the plan to remove regulatory oversight from most Competitor Digital Network Services. The Commission established three and five-year transition periods for high capacity access and transport services based on its findings that there is, or will be, a sufficient number of alternatives available from companies competing with the incumbent telephone companies. Primus Canada believes this is an unrealistically short time in the telecom world within which to build such infrastructure. Primus Canada will continue to be an active participant in the ongoing dialog with the CRTC as the new regulatory regime is applied to existing and future incumbent wholesale services.

About PRIMUS Canada

Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. is the largest alternative communications carrier in Canada. The Company offers facilities-based voice, data, e-commerce, Web hosting, VoIP and broadband Internet services utilizing ADSL2+ technology. Primus Canada's national network consists of nationwide switches with international connectivity through its parent company's global network, ATM and IP nodes, and colocation facilities at major cities across the country. Primus Canada is also one of Canada's largest MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) offering Primus Wireless service. Primus Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of McLean, Virginia-based Primus Telecommunications Group, Incorporated (OTCBB: PRTL). Primus Canada news and information are available at the Company's Web site at

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