Basic telecommunications goals are under attack from big business, and the federal government needs to preserve and promote them, according to a declaration from 37 national organizations.  Led by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, the declaration identifies specific principles and protections in the Telecommunications Act that are to be defended and promoted by the federal government, including consumer protection and improved access for rural communities and persons with disabilities.   "Regulating the telecommunications industry in Canada is essential to the economic health of many communities including rural communities, which companies may feel are too expensive to service and to lower income people who can’t afford access," Michael Janigan, executive director of PIAC said in a news release. The following are three of the specific principles outlined in the declaration:Government and regulatory intervention is needed to ensure that Canadians of all income levels and in all regions of the country, including those with disabilities, have access to good quality, reliable and functional telecommunications services at affordable and reasonable prices; Sector-specific regulatory intervention is needed to ensure that Canadians have access to effective enforcement and redress mechanisms, and are not held responsible for telecommunications fraud that they cannot control; Regulatory intervention should be designed to prevent the degradation of telecommunications service quality, affordability, availability and reliability, rather than to respond to such policy failures only after they have developed. "The declaration affirms grassroots support for these principles – which are under direct attack by large telecommunications companies. The declaration is a direct response to the government’s telecommunications policy review presently underway," added John Lawford, PIAC’s counsel.  The declaration can be found at www.piac.ca/tprp_declaration_signed.pdf.