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News | 11/11/2004 5:00 am EST

Frequency of residential phone service survey reduced
The CRTC has approved an application from Bell Canada to reduce the frequency of Statistic Canada’s Residential Telephone Service Survey. In Telecom Decision 2004-73, the commission approved the Bell application, which was filed in April 2004 on behalf of itself, Aliant Telecom Inc., MTS Communications Inc. (now known as MTS Allstream Inc.) Northwestel Inc., TELUS Communications Inc., and TELUS Communications (Québec) Inc., to reduce the frequency of sponsoring the survey and the reporting of the results from twice a year to once a year. The Part VII application suggested that the companies already provide a number of reports and surveys to the commission relating to monitoring of the affordability of residential telephone service in Canada. The companies noted in the application that penetration rates across the country have remained high and stable over the entire monitoring period November 1997 to May 2003. They also noted that reducing the frequency of the reporting requirements would not only save them money, but also interested parties filing comments and preparing briefs relating to the monitoring reports. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) agreed with the companies that according to the statistics penetration rates have remained stable and reporting requirements could be reduced to once year. But PIAC noted it would agree to the reporting reduction only if the monetary savings were returned to subscribers by allocating cost savings to the deferral accounts. The CRTC denied PIAC’s stipulation, noting that it didn’t meet all three requirements to be deemed an exogenous factor.

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