New consumer research from Decima Research Inc. suggests that alternative home phone technologies such as Voice over IP (VoIP) and cable telephony are poised to expand beyond the early adopter phase. The survey results reveal that about 8% of Canadian households are already using these types of residential telephone alternatives, adding credibility to VoIP and cable telephony becoming mainstream services in the future.  "The potential for these two new options to win market share is no longer just an idea on a drawing board, but an unmistakable reality in the Canadian telecommunications market today," says Bruce Anderson, Decima Research CEO. Decima polled approximately 1,000 Canadians by phone between November 17 and 20 and found that VoIP and cable telephony are also gaining considerable mindshare among Canadians. Survey results reveal that two-thirds (66%) of Canadians are aware of these new home phone alternatives – a level which is pretty much consistent across all provinces and age categories. The results also indicate that in addition to an established existing user base there is a healthy appetite among non-users for adopting VoIP or cable telephony. Of those aware of these new services but not already using them, one in 10 (9%) are actively considering using VoIP or cable telephony and another 40% might in the future (see chart on page 1 for more details). Those living in Quebec and Alberta are most likely to be either already using or actively considering using an alternative home phone service, at 20% and 18% respectively. In contrast, Atlantic Canadians (10%) are the least likely to be considering an alternative to their traditional telephone service. Younger Canadians – those under 35 years of age (18%) – and higher-income households – those earning $80,000+ (18%) – are also most likely to be users or actively contemplating becoming users of VoIP or cable telephony. Even survey respondents who were unaware of these alternative home phone technologies expressed an interest in using either VoIP or cable telephony in the future. About 12% say they will likely decide to use one of these alternative phone services and 14% say they would seriously consider using one in the future. To determine households’ preferred choice of alternative home phone technology, Decima asked respondents to choose between a service that delivered voice signals over the Internet or over cable TV lines. On a national basis, each option garnered about one-third (35%) of Canadian households’ interest. Those living in Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Manitoba/Saskatchewan and British Columbia are more likely to choose an Internet-based alternative compared to Quebec households, where voice over cable TV lines is preferred. Anderson says this points to the emergence of a completely new dynamic in the telephone business. "Whether from cable company offerings or from a multitude of smaller specialty players, the telephone market as we once knew it is up for grabs. Every major player will have to fight to secure markets, and every low-cost entrant will have an opportunity to win some business," he states. Results of the survey come at a critical juncture as incumbent telephone companies such as Bell Canada, Telus Corp., SaskTel and Aliant Inc. try to convince the federal Cabinet that legacy telephone regulation can’t apply in the new IP telephony world. They argue the new competitive environment created by the emergence and acceptance of VoIP and cable telephony requires a completely new set of rules that should apply equally to both incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) and cable providers. The four ILECs appealed the landmark CRTC ruling (Telecom Decision 2005-28) to Cabinet in July. Telecom regulation is also under significant scrutiny from the Telecommunications Policy Review Panel, which is expected to issue its recommendations regarding modernization of the telecommunications regulatory framework by the end of the year.  The panel held three days of presentations from well-known economists, former government regulators and industry stakeholders in October. The survey of 1,040 Canadians was conducted between November 17 and 20, 2005 on Decima Research’s national weekly omnibus teleVox. Survey results are accurate to within +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. For more information on the survey results, or to inquire about the price of the report and data tables, contact Ryan O’Neill at (613) 230-1984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.