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(OTTAWA, February 16, 2006)—The Public Interest Advocacy Centre expressed its dismay with today’s CRTC decision to allow telephone companies to spend the fund, in which rate reductions have been deposited, on rural broadband.
“With all due respect to the Commission, this is not their money, it belongs to the telephone customers who paid the excessive rates in the first place,” says Michael Janigan, PIAC Executive Director.
“Telephone customers won’t get the rate reductions after all. Instead we will all make a $650 million contribution to the Commission’s favourite projects. It is unfair and unprecedented,” Janigan says.
Please take PIAC’s survey on the disposition of the deferral accounts.
On February 16, 2006, in Decision Telecom 2006-9, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruled that over $650 million dollars of telephone subscriber fees that had been raised by officially sanctioned higher rates for telephone service should be spent by incumbent phone companies like Bell, Aliant, Sasktel and TELUS should be used to build high-speed Internet connections to rural and remote areas and to improve access for persons with disabilities, despite arguments by PIAC and others that the money should be rebated to consumers.