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Attention: News/Business Editors
PIAC: Don’t hold your breath waiting for lower phone bills
(PIAC 25/07)—OTTAWA—Today the CRTC followed Industry Minister Maxime Bernier’s orders by deregulating 14 out 88 exchanges local telephone exchanges in New Brunswick and 49 of 147 in Nova Scotia even though sufficient competition to protect consumers does not, in the Commission’s view, exist in these market.
Minister Bernier has promised that his action will lead to reduce telephone rates for consumers.
“It’s doubtful that there is enough competition to protect ordinary residential phone customers,” said Michael Janigan, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa. In fact, Bell Aliant has already started to raise prices on some bundles of services that include local phone service.
“While some high end users may get some discounts, don’t hold your breath waiting for your telephone bill to go down”, Janigan added. “The big telephone companies have always had the ability to lower their rates and never did so. Why should they do it now?”
PIAC participated in all CRTC and government processes associated with telephone deregulation on behalf of ordinary and vulnerable residential consumers.