The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Does the increasing use of alternative technologies for the provision of local telephone service necessarily mean a competitive market? Aliant Telecom would have us believe so, and thus its request to the CRTC to forbear its local telephone service from regulation.   But the question for measuring competition shouldn’t be usage levels for one technology over another. It should be about determining which communications service provider owns that customer billing relationship. Usually, it’s the incumbent telco. As Michael Hennessy has told Report on Wireless in the past, it doesn’t matter how much traffic is going over Bell’s network, 97% of people in Bell’s serving territory still pay it for local telephone service. Other telecom industry stakeholders agree with Hennessy that the issue is the access market. "It’s a nice try, but I don’t find it terribly convincing," one industry player tells RoW about Aliant’s application. The Atlantic Canada incumbent telco says that increasingly Canadians are using or will be using alternative forms of communication such as wireless, instant messaging (IM), email, others forms of chat, and Voice over IP. This, Aliant says, in addition to the significant landline market share EastLink has stolen away from it, means that there is sufficient competition in the provision of local telephone services in many of its serving areas to warrant complete forbearance on its own service. A Bell Canada network analysis demonstrates that consumers in Ontario and Quebec are increasingly using wireless in their local calling habits. The analysis shows that only 80% of local telephone traffic is traveling over its network. While 80% is still significant, it indicates that indeed Canadians are using wireless as a substitute for local wireline. No one can deny the fact that Canadians are to a much greater degree relying on other technologies to communicate. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that with about 14 million Canadian wireless subscribers, some will use their cell phone in the home. But money flowing out of one pocket and into another, as it is in the case of the incumbents, doesn’t mean competitors have cracked the market.