Is it doublespeak at the CRTC?

There is a deadline fast approaching for Cabinet to finalize its variance of the CRTC’s local forbearance decision from last year. The final order must be issued by April 6, 2007 – Good Friday.

So the CRTC rushed out a forbearance order for Fort McMurray today, perhaps to demonstrate that it was still in-charge. Why do I say ‘rushed’? The order was released at 11:00am but contained a significant enough typo that an amended order was released 3 hours later.

The caveat in the order was:

The Commission approves the introduction of local forbearance in the Fort McMurray residential relevant market once [TELUS] has demonstrated that it has met the CQ of S [Competitor Quality of Service] criterion that will be in effect at the time of its CQ of S filing.

Both Bell and TELUS were incensed with the terms of the order. According to Janet Yale of TELUS:

It is an undeniable fact that Fort McMurray residents have a choice of competitors for their basic phone service, and yet the CRTC insists on maintaining outdated restrictions on TELUS’ ability to make its best offers to customers. The conditions for deregulation they set out for local phone service are unattainable in any practical sense, and were rejected as such by the federal government. Their decision today runs entirely contrary to the government’s directive.

Lawson Hunter of Bell said:

This proves the need for the government to move forward on its commitment, as confirmed in the recent federal budget, for a new regulatory framework for local service forbearance that will bring the full benefits of open competition to consumers.

Their concern is that cabinet may choose not to issue a final version of its variance announced in December.

When the kids were young, they would ask for a cookie before dinner, and my wife would answer them with a ‘yes’ – as soon as they finished their dinner. The CRTC said yes, you can have forbearance…

Scroll to Top