Regulator's decision threatens competition for retail Internet services, the Canadian Association of Internet Providers and other partners ask Canadians to make concerns heard in Ottawa
OTTAWA, September 10, 2009 – The Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) has joined a group of telecom and business stakeholders, in launching an internet based “Campaign for Competitive Broadband” – to convince the federal government to scuttle a CRTC decision that would throttle competition in broadband Internet, Ethernet and other next generation communications services.
CAIP, MTS Allstream, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses and more than a dozen individual companies have collaborated in this campaign to educate and inform consumers of the pending risks to competition that may in turn lead to unconstrained monopoly pricing for broadband Internet services.
The goal of the campaign is to ensure that the network facilities built by incumbent telephone companies with the help of public subsidies are accessible to a wide range of competitors who want to offer services to businesses and consumers. Bell and TELUS, which control these networks in most parts of the country, would have the ability to shut out competitors if the CRTC decision is allowed to stand.
CAIP and the other participants in this campaign urge Canadians to learn about the risks to them if this decision is not reversed, by visiting www.competitivebroadband.com, and using the capabilities of the website to make their concerns known to Industry Minister Tony Clement and others in Ottawa.
"The competitive framework for broadband Internet services is hanging by a thread as a result of the CRTC decision" said Tom Copeland, Chairman of CAIP. “Independent service providers, in many cases, are the engine that is driving broadband expansion and coverage to small communities who may otherwise be overlooked in a single-supplier market. There must be a realization in the federal cabinet that a retreat to monopoly conditions will erode the natural incentive for expansion and innovation that only competition can provide.”
Through www.competitivebroadband.com, CAIP is providing Canadians with an opportunity to learn about the issue, join a growing online petition, e-mail the federal government, the CRTC and their local MP, as well as encourage others to join the campaign.
“Independent telecommunications and Internet service providers enable communities to realize their full potential” said Keith Stevens, Chairman of Execulink Telecom, a full service telecommunications provider operating in South-western Ontario. “They offer a real alternative to companies such as Bell and TELUS while supporting their communities as employers, innovators, and community service agents. The CRTC decision removes the surety of a competitive framework that these independent companies need to compete effectively, and we all know that when competition falters it is the consumers who pay in terms of higher prices, diminished choice, and insufficient service.”
CAIP has supported a petition filed by MTS Allstream to the federal cabinet asking it to take the necessary steps to have the CRTC recognize that competitive access to broadband and the Internet is essential for Canadians and Canadian businesses. The Campaign for Competitive Broadband encourages all Canadians to support this notion by visiting www.caip.ca.
About CAIP Formed in 1996, CAIP's Mission is to foster the growth of a healthy and competitive Internet service industry in Canada through collective and cooperative action on Canadian and international issues of mutual interest. CAIP membership comprises commercial telecommunication service providers, Internet providers, independent cable companies and enterprises interested or involved, directly or indirectly, in the industry of Internet service provisioning. CAIP provides effective industry advocacy respecting public policy and regulatory matters (e.g., access, copyright, privacy and security issues, ecommerce guidelines) affecting Canada's ISP industry. Find out more about CAIP at www.caip.ca.
About Execulink In operation since 1904, Execulink Telecom has evolved from a small independent local telephone company into one of the leading telecommunications providers in Southwestern Ontario. Execulink is committed to delivering high quality Voice, Video, Internet and Data services to over 50,000 business and residential customers. Our consistent growth is attributed to our strong focus on providing superior service and support to our customers each and every day as well as our reliable and affordable service offerings. With offices in Kitchener, Burgessville, Thedford and London, we are proud to be the local choice for your telecommunications needs. Find out more about Execulink Telecom at www.execulink.com.
About MTS Allstream MTS Allstream is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. and is one of Canada’s leading national communication solutions providers, delivering innovative products and services through the Enterprise Solutions and Consumer Markets divisions. The Enterprise Solutions division, which operates under the Allstream brand nationally and under the MTS Allstream brand in Manitoba, is a leading competitor in the national business and wholesale markets. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.’s common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange (trading symbol: MBT). For more information, please visit: www.mtsallstream.com.
About the Coalition for Competitive Broadband The Coalition for Competitive Broadband represents consumers and businesses that rely on healthy competition for high speed Internet and other next generation telecommunication services. The coalition came together in response to a recent CRTC decision which, if not reversed, would result in less competition, higher prices, weaker service and declining innovation. The coalition is open to all those who share these concerns and want Ottawa to set a course that will ensure healthy competition. The Campaign is supported by organizations which collectively serve or represent over 250,000 businesses with 1,200,000 employees and over 900,000 consumer Internet customers in Canada. To learn more, and find out how you can help, please visit www.competitivebroadband.com.
For more information, please contact:
CAIP – Tom Copeland, (905)-373-9313 firstname.lastname@example.org
MTS Allstream – Greg Burch, (416) 345-3576 email@example.com
Execulink Telecommunications – Keith Stevens, (519) 456 7890 firstname.lastname@example.org