Canadian telecoms regulator the CRTC has turned down requests from Bell Canada, Bell Aliant and Telus to make across-the-board changes to local telephone rates for residential customers. The companies had proposed to eliminate the connection charges for new customers and existing customers who move in exchange for approval to increase rates for all residential customers. Richard French, CRTC’s Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications said that ‘We did not feel it was appropriate to approve a rate increase for all residential customers to compensate for the elimination of connection charges. The government’s recent direction on forbearance removed the CRTC’s restrictions over promotions and winbacks [marketing calls to former customers]…Telephone companies are free to apply at any time to reduce or eliminate their connection charges, and the CRTC will deal with their requests expeditiously.’ In their submissions, Bell Canada and Bell Aliant proposed to increase the monthly rates for each residential customer by CAD0.80, while Telus proposed increases ranging from CAD0.58 to CAD1.
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