AboveNet clears regulatory hurdle to expand its Canadian operations

AboveNet (NYSE: ABVT) has cleared a major hurdle in offering services to Canadian businesses as the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ruled that it can lease dark fiber and light it to sell services.

The obvious benefit for Canadian businesses or U.S. businesses with Canadian offices is they'll have an alternative choice besides area incumbents Bell Canada and Telus for business services.

"We think it's a great decision," Rajiv Data, senior VP and CTO of AboveNet, told Computerworld about the CRTC ruling. "It's the right decision for [business] customers in Canada."

Canada may be another new growing service frontier for AboveNet, but the carrier already had a presence in the country serving both Canadian businesses with U.S. branch offices and U.S. businesses with Canadian office. With this ruling going in its favor, Datta said that AboveNet plans to launch Canadian operations in Toronto in 2011 via a Canadian subsidiary.

At issue was whether a service provider that lights leased dark fiber should be an unregulated telecom reseller or be regulated like a traditional incumbent service provider. Because the CRTC ruled that AboveNet is a reseller, it could encourage other U.S.-based service providers such as Cogent, Level 3 and Verizon to expand their business service presence in Canada.

For more:
- Computerworld via Network World Canada has this article

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