Canada Bells riled over VOIP regulation
It's not often you hear about companies wanting the freedom to slash their own prices. But that's the latest from Canada, where phone companies there are decrying a recent decision to regulate the pricing of VOIP offerings by existing telcos.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission took heat from Canada's four largest telecommunications companies (Aliant, Bell Canada, SaskTel and Telus), who are asking the government to reconsider its decision by year's end.
Bell Canada's CEO Michael Sabia was quoted by the Ottawa Business Journal, saying the decision "sets back innovation in our sector, hampers productivity and undermines Canada's hard-won leadership in the communications industry by constraining the very companies best positioned to maintain that leadership. It is simply bad public policy."
Opposing the telcos is the Canadian cable industry, which holds the CRTC's VoIP decision promotes competition in the local residential telephone market while ensuring consumers benefit from lower prices.
In sum, the battleground up north is quite similar to the one we've seen here in the U.S. where telcos squawk about price regulations, and MSOs get big smiles on their faces when telcos are fettered. It's doubtful that any of this is about the consumers, or offering them the most choice. It's ultimately about marketing, and who gets to sell bandwidth to users at the lowest price.
For more reading, see the Globe and Mail's article on this emerging dust-up.