Bell continues push for speedier CRTC

Bell Canada this week filed a proposal with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that the carrier hopes will result in a speedier process for the withdrawal of telecom services no longer in high demand.

Bell had already filed an application to the CRTC in November of last year calling on the commission to speed up its decision making process. Customers are having trouble getting innovative services from incumbent carriers like Bell, because the CRTC is taking too long to approve the services, said Mirko Bibic, Bell’s chief of regulatory affiars.

Bibic believes Bell’s proposal this week would make it simpler for incumbent providers to roll out IP offerings.

Bell says there is currently no standard process for the withdrawal of older telecom services and Bell’s proposal includes such a process. One of the criteria included in the process is whether an older service could be replaced by a similar offering from Bell or a competitor, so customers using older telecom offerings wouldn’t wind up with nothing.

Mark Quigley, an analyst with the Yankee Group Canada, said the CRTC’s long decision-making process has been an issue for some time. “They haven’t proven to be fleet of foot the past couple of years,” he said. “It seems to take them longer and longer to arrive at any sort of decision.”

Lengthy decisions can hurt incumbent providers like Bell, which have to go to the CRTC to approve such items as pricing and bundling changes, Quigley said. Competitive carriers, such as Allstream outside Manitoba, don’t have to wait for the CRTC before they go ahead with new pricing or bundles.

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