Cabinet OK's competition between big and small phone companies in rural areas - InfoNews

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Cabinet OK's competition between big and small phone companies in rural areas

July 05, 2012 - 4:17 PM

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet has upheld a CRTC ruling that allows big telephone companies to compete against smaller ones in rural areas.

Smaller phone companies from Ontario, Quebec and B.C. petitioned cabinet to overturn a May 2011 decision by Canada's telecom regulator to allow competition in some rural and remote parts of the country.

Those areas had been protected from competition by regulations that allowed for only one service provider.

The associations representing small independent telephone companies had argued the CRTC ruling meant the big companies would be free to offer telephone services to homes passed by their cable networks, while ignoring other potential customers in the more remote areas.

But Industry Minister Christian Paradis says cabinet's decision will give rural customers more choice and access to phone services.

Meanwhile, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled this week the decision to uphold or overturn the CRTC's ruling falls to cabinet, and not the court.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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