Canada’s dominant cable operators have an opportunity to take significant market share in the Voice over IP (VoIP) services market if left unchecked, as is called for under the CRTC’s preliminary views on how to regulate VoIP services. Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. and Yak Communciations (Canada) Inc. spilled considerable ink in their comments to Telecom Public Notice 2004-2 warning the commission that it simply can’t let cablecos’ CLEC subsidiaries enter the VoIP market like other CLECs. The following is an edited excerpt of Primus Canada’s submission to the commission. Rogers and other cable companies that intend to enter the local telephony market cannot be viewed in the same way as past new-entrant CLECs such as Allstream and Call-Net. A comparison between Allstream and Call-Net prior to the launch of their local service offerings with cable companies such as Rogers, which even before launching its service already passes 3.2 million homes, clearly demonstrates that the cable companies will be in a position to leverage their existing cable networks and relationships with customers to literally storm the local residential telephony market overnight. The cable companies’ ability to leverage their existing network demands that the commission take steps to prevent the cable companies from giving themselves unfair competitive advantages compared to other non-ILEC service providers in the local market. Primus anticipates that the cable companies will argue that "a CLEC is a CLEC is CLEC" and so when they enter the local market they should be afforded exactly the same regulatory treatment that Allstream and Call-Net received when they entered that market. Primus would not object to this argument if, as suggested above, it was not a case of "comparing apples and oranges." Primus is concerned that widespread cable CLEC entry into the local market using their triple play bundle of VoIP, cable television and high-speed Internet access services without firm competitive safeguards would have the effect of curtailing the competitive forces that have been able to establish themselves to date. From Primus’ perspective, the size and scope of the cable companies’ networks is comparable to that of the ILECs’ local networks. Accordingly, the Commission should ensure that the access principles applied to the ILECs’ networks and services are applied to the cable companies’ networks as well. One other example of an obstacle to competitor’s use of the cable companies’ networks relates to the restrictions contained in the TPIA tariffs on the use of VoIP service. The prohibition on the provision of VoIP services via the cable company’s TPIA services is a key obstacles currently facing competitors given market developments in the past six months. While TalkBroadband customers are able to use the service on any high-speed Internet service connection, competitors are currently not permitted to use the cable companies’ networks via the TPIA service to provide their own bundle of high-speed Internet and VoIP services. Primus submits that the cable companies should not be permitted to enter the local telephony market unless or until this restriction is eliminated from the agreements/tariffs. Primus notes that the Commission has recently launched a proceeding to review the costs of cable companies’ TPIA services and to determine whether separate tariffs are required for the provision of wholesale access to "Lite" Internet access services. Primus submits that the cable companies should not be permitted to enter the local telephony market until this review has been concluded and the new rates filed with and approved by the Commission. Primus notes for Commission consideration that current rates for TPIA do not allow wholesale customers sufficient margin to operate a viable business, as evidenced by the dearth of TPIA sales.