The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. The 12-month no-contact period that the CRTC mandated with respect to winback rules needs to be revisited, not only with respect to traditional telephone services but also for emerging Voice over IP services. Four incumbent telephone companies – TELUS, Bell, SaskTel and Aliant – have all launched appeals of the provision. At one time in our telecom history, it only seemed fair to protect new competitors from the power of the incumbent. They needed to establish themselves in a market where they were starting from scratch, trying to capture enough market share to make enough money to recoup investment. In this environment, there needed to be some restrictions put on the incumbent carrier’s ability to incent subscribers to remain with the ILEC.  It’s not that a no-contact period doesn’t have merit, because it does. It just doesn’t anymore in Canada.  The issue at play here is that the Canadian telecommunications environment under which the original winback rules were established no longer exists. There aren’t any more independent competitive telephone companies operating in the country.  They all fell victim to the spend-it-and-they-will-come heyday of the telecom bubble. The last one standing was Sprint Canada and it recently entered into an agreement to be acquired by Rogers Communications, owner of the largest cable company in the country. Today’s telephony competitive landscape is marked by the emerging, yet powerful, cable company, with subscriber clout equal to that of the ILEC. It is competing alongside Voice over IP providers, which are no longer dependent on ILEC infrastructure – a primary reason for the winback rules in the first place.  If a no-contact period is still deemed to be useful to promote the development of sustainable facilities-based competition, then it certainly shouldn’t be 12 months. That’s a lifetime in the telecommunications world.  There needs to be a workable solution that will allow the new competitors, regardless of the technology they use, to be afforded some protection from the power of the incumbent telephone companies, while at the same time allowing the ILECs to compete for subscribers on an level playing field.