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Canada mulls VoIP regs

Big telcos get prices fixed

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Canada’s telecoms regulator is likely to rule that Voice over Internet Protocol services should be regulated in the same way as traditional telcos.

The official decision is expected later this week but anonymous sources told the Globe and Mail that the regulator will restrict prices. It fears that incumbents Bell Canada and Telus could use short-term price cutting to make life harder for new entrants.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is likely to stop incumbents offering such a loss-leading service.

The CRTC controls the incumbents’ local telco prices because of their very large market share.

The telcos gave evidence at hearings last year that regulation would be bad for competition. But VoIP providers warned that artificially low prices would hurt the market.

More at the Globe and Mail here.®

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