Canada opens up competition for local calls

Published on .

OTTAWA -- The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has decided to open up the market on local telephone services in Canada, effective January 1, 1998, ending a monopoly held by Bell Canada.

Two companies have already said they're ready to jump in: Sprint Canada says it will be able to provide service by mid-1998, while MetroNet of Calgary says it can be up and running by early 1998. Sprint has been providing long-distance service in Canada since 1994 when that part of the telephone industry was deregulated.

MetroNet offers local data communication services in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal. The CRTC also ruled that Bell Canada must let new carriers buy some of its services if they can't set up their own. Local phone rates are expected to rise $2 a month for an average $20 billing although the CRTC has directed all telephone companies to reduce the price of the overall phone service, a combination of local and long distance, by 4.7%. Grey Advertising of Toronto handles advertising for Sprint Canada, while Due North Communications of Toronto handles the MetroNet account.

Copyright May 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

Most Popular
In this article: