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Canadian Government Removes CRTC’s Power to Regulate VoIP Pricing


20/11/2006

Canada`s federal government has recently overturned a ruling by the CTRC, and removed the regulatory price controls imposed on the VoIP services offered by incumbent telecom carriers.

‘’I am pleased to announce that our government has decided to change the CRTC’s decision on VoIP,`’ said Industry Minister, Maxime Bernier, at a recent luncheon held by the Economic Club of Toronto. ‘’More specifically, we are telling the CRTC to start deregulating ‘access independent’ VoIP services.`’

This highly unusual decision marks the first time in over ten years that the government has overruled a decision by Canada`s independent regulator of telecommunications and broadcasting. It will allow major telephone companies to drastically reduce the price of VoIP services, often doing so at a loss, and undercutting smaller rivals like Primus Canada and Vonage.

Price regulation has been a point of contention in the Canadian VoIP industry for a couple of years now, with incumbent telephone giants like Bell Canada and Telus Corp. lobbying the federal government to step in and restore a fair market pricing system to the IP communication market.

Although the government`s decision takes away the CRTC`s power to determine the cost of broadband-based VoIP offerings, voice services not requiring a high-speed internet connection will continue to be regulated as usual.



 

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