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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2006

Eastlink comments on criteria for the deregulation of local telephone service

Halifax, Nova Scotia - Eastlink believes the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made a thoughtful attempt to balance the interest of all parties and all the issues presented by both incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) in setting the criteria for deregulation of local residential telephone service.

In response to the two criteria outlined by the CRTC for deregulation to occur, Eastlink offers the following response:

  1. Competitors must have 25 per cent market share - Eastlink would have preferred the Commission establish 30 per cent market share prior to allowing local telephone service deregulation. Eastlink expresses concern over the small geographic areas considered as part of the threshold - metropolitan centres and social and economic communities of interest in rural areas. Eastlink is concerned the guidelines outlined by the CRTC will not maintain long-term sustainable competition.
  2. Incumbent must have provided competitors with well-functioning access to its network for a six month period - Eastlink supports the Commission's decision to include these components and believes ensuring this level of service is maintained will benefit all consumers.

Eastlink is pleased the Commission has outlined parameters to protect the rights of consumers and ensure basic local service is available to customers with no competitive alternative and those with disabilities.

About Eastlink
Operating from its headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Eastlink is the fifth largest cable company in Canada and was the first to offer customers local telephone service over a state-of-the-art digital network. Eastlink's employees provide a range of communications, entertainment & advertising services to business and residential customers across the Maritimes. For more information on Eastlink and its products and services, visit www.eastlink.ca.

Media Contact

Jill Laing
Public and Media Relations
(902) 446-1939
Jill.Laing@corp.eastlink.ca