CRTC VoIP Decision

13 May ’05

The CRTC has opted for partial regulation of VoIP. CBC’s coverage is here, and the Globe’s is here. From the Globe:

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.

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