The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.It came as no surprise when the federal Cabinet decided to uphold the CRTC’s decision on price caps. The appeal by AT&T Canada succeeded in stirring the pot, but petitions to Cabinet have a success level somewhere behind the Montreal Canadiens in the playoffs.   Of note were the remarks made by Industry minister Allan Rock as he announced the dismissal of the appeal. He spent much time discussing the role of the CRTC and what the commission’s future actions should be, as evidenced in this edition’s Newsmakers column. Given that the commission answers to Canadian Heritage, it seems more than passing strange that another minister should take such an interest in the regulator. Some may attribute it strictly to internecine politics. Others may claim it is in preparation for a realignment of regulatory functions.Whatever the true reason, Rock has made some good points in his presentation. He raises the question of time lags between filing of applications and their final disposal. Take for example Bell Canada’s request to share customer information among its divisions. It initially filed a Part VII more than two years ago (NL, Dec. 20/00). The commission issued Public Notice 2001-60 to consider the matter. We’re still waiting for a final ruling. Aggravating, too, are the numerous housekeeping matters that must be filed with the CRTC, only to be rubberstamped months later. The typical order reads as "the commission received an application from a telco about this; the commission received no comments on this application; the commission approves the application." Some applications take weeks to be processed, others take months to wend their way through the bureaucratic maze. Rock called for the advancement of true competition in the telephone industry. He says the government will be closely monitoring the situation. It will be interesting to see what the Parliamentary committee investigating foreign investment in telecommunications recommends at the end of this month. It will be just as interesting to see what, if anything, Rock and his Cabinet colleagues do with those recommendations.