Canada's telecom regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), has put forth a new proposal to hasten incumbent service providers' migration from TDM-based voice to IP.
"We have established basic principles to ensure this (IP) technology becomes the industry standard for voice networks as quickly as possible," said Konrad von Finckenstein, chairman of the CRTC.
All of Canada's incumbent telcos, including Bell Canada (NYSE: BCE) and Telus (Toronto: T.TO), are at various stages of migrating their respective wireline TDM voice network to IP, while competitive carriers (cable operators) and wireless operators have already built out IP-based networks.
Under the new rule structure, the CRTC said that in areas where a traditional service provider already uses IP to transfer calls to another service provider it will have give the same option to other service providers that ask for it within six months.
In addition, the CRTC simplified the rules for wireless and wireline carriers to transfer calls, with a particular emphasis on freeing independent wireless operators from having to pay the entire cost unless they allow alternative long-distance providers access to their networks. The CRTC said in its ruling that they won't be required to offer access to other operators "since they already offer a variety of plans and Canadians can choose from other long-distance options, such as prepaid cards and local access numbers."
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