One of Canada’s long distance telephone resellers is dipping its toe in the waters to see if the move to local service is the logical next step. Primus Tele-communications Canada Inc. has begun sending out advertising pamphlets to people north of Toronto seeing if they are interested in receiving local telephony. While most telcos have shied away from entering the residential market, Primus Canada president/COO Ted Chislett attributes his company’s move to the most basic economic argument."We’re always looking for ways to bring in new revenue," he tells Network Letter. The firm is partnering with FCI Broadband (formerly known as Futureway Communications Inc.) to provide the service. It has sent out 10,000 letters to subscribers in the York region, just north of Toronto, trying to gauge the interest in an alternative to Bell Canada. "We’ve had some telephone calls," Chislett states. "We’ve even signed up a few customers." He refuses to speculate how many clients Primus will need to convert the trials to a full-time enterprise. One of the advantages for customers is the ability to get a rationalized telephone bill. Subscribers who have been paying Bell for local service and Primus for LD will find the two bills replaced with one Primus statement. In addition, Primus offers clients Aeroplan or Air Miles points for signing up for its telephony services. The telco executive reports that his company held discussions with various carriers before deciding on FCI. He believes the two firms complement one another and both companies expect that they can each make money by offering local service. FCI’s network is primarily fibre, with some co-llocation with other carriers. It operates mostly in the Toronto area. That could be problematic if Primus Canada is successful in providing local residential service and decides to move out to the national stage. Chislett admits that the telco would have to make deals with other carriers across the country. He is uncertain who exactly that would be, allowing that newer players like utels could become partners. "We’ll work with anybody that wants to work with us," he laughs.The only national player currently offering local residential service is Call-Net Enterprises Inc. It provides local dialtone in five major cities (NL, June 2/03). In addition, regional players like EastLink Telephone and FCI offer residential service.