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CRTC expedites Primus complaint against incumbents

Briefs | THE WIRE REPORT
Published: Wednesday, 11/14/2012 10:57 am EST

The CRTC is expediting a complaint from Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. that said Telus Corp. and BCE Inc. are delaying proposed rates for network transport services facing deregulation.

The complaint, filed with the commission Nov. 6, said Telus and BCE subsidiaries Bell Canada and Bell Aliant have not yet provided their proposed rates for the transport services to be deregulated.

Those transport links, called competitor digital network services, allow smaller, third-party Internet service providers (ISPs) to pay for access and expand their networks by connecting one network to another. The CRTC designated the transport services as non-essential in decision 2008-17 and scheduled them for deregulation on March 3, 2013, so that they no longer face CRTC rate regulation.

Primus said Telus and Bell delayed releasing their new rates for the services as a stalling tactic to gain leverage during rate negotiations. The complaint said the incumbents “enjoy the knowledge that if a negotiated agreement is not reached … they will be permitted to charge the rates of their choosing.”

Primus said the 2008 CRTC decision required incumbent telcos to provide at least six months’ notice of any impacts resulting from deregulation, such as proposed price changes.

Primus asked the commission to extend the date the services will be deregulated until six months after the companies provide their proposed new rates.

In a letter dated Nov. 9, Mario Bertrand, the CRTC’s director of dispute resolution and decisions, said the commission will consider the complaint on an expedited basis.

The deadline for comments on the complaint is Nov. 19 and Primus’ reply is due Nov. 26.

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