From Friday's Globe and Mail
Canada's telecommunications regulator ruled Thursday that the country's dominant phone companies will not be able to set their own prices for on-line telephone services, part of its effort to create more competition and lower prices in the budding market.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission rejected the arguments of the country's largest telephone companies Bell Canada and Telus Corp., who had argued that voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) should be left unregulated like other Internet applications.
Instead, the commission decided that it would regulate the large phone companies' prices in the VoIP market, preventing them from cutting rates to keep out rivals at least until there is legitimate competition in local phone services. The large phone companies' challengers, however, such as upstarts and cable companies, will not have their VoIP prices regulated, as The Globe and Mail reported last week.
CRTC chairman Charles Dalfen said the market could reach an acceptable level of competition within the next two years. "This is precisely the moment when Canada needs a regulatory framework that will provide the quickest road to competition," Mr. Dalfen said.
Bell and Telus reacted harshly to the ruling, and they plan to appeal the decision to the federal cabinet and may launch legal challenges.
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How to Distribute VoIP Throughout a Home:If you live in Michigan, subscribe to the MI-Telecom group: