Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and TELUS Communications have all applied to the telecoms regulator, the CRTC, for the right to offer deregulated local telephony services in key cities across Canada, ahead of the introduction of new rules on 18 April allowing local incumbents to set their own tariffs. Bell Canada has applied for so-called ‘forbearance’ in the six largest markets in Ontario and Quebec: Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa-Gatineau, London, Hamilton and Quebec City, whilst its subsidiary Bell Aliant has applied in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Meanwhile, TELUS has applied in Vancouver and Edmonton and plans to seek permission for other markets including Calgary, Victoria and Rimouski, Quebec. The new rules enable the wireline operators to request deregulation wherever business customers have a choice between at least two phone providers with their own networks, and wherever residential users have a selection of at least three providers, including cellular network operators.
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