Thursday, November 11, 2010

Canada - Operators oppose universal broadband service to cover rural areas

[toronto sun] Several Canadian telecom giants fought the idea of mandatory broadband Internet coverage in rural areas on Monday.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has been hearing arguments since Tuesday on whether faster-than-dial-up Internet access should be declared a basic service for Canadians regardless of where they live.

Cable companies Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and Quebecor’s Videotron all said no to a new regulatory regime. Market forces continue to ensure that broadband is widely available, they said.

Furthermore, regulation could cause industry duplication and inefficiencies, they said.

Broadband Internet is already available in 95% of Canadian households and mobile and satellite-based technologies are increasingly able to extend coverage beyond that, they said.

In a separate presentation, Michael Hennessy, senior vice-president of regulatory and government affairs at Telus, also said there is no need to impose any obligation to serve with respect to broadband.

Telecoms oppose mandatory broadband coverage

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