Mr. Speaker, the residents of the Maskinongé RCM want the CRTC to change its decision to allow telephone competition in rural areas.
At least 150 residents shared their concerns at a recent meeting in Saint-Paulin. The Association des compagnies de téléphone du Québec is worried that service will not be maintained in remote rural areas because it will not be profitable. Customers in remote areas would then find themselves with no telephone, cable or Internet services. The association is circulating a petition.
Right now, the companies that have a monopoly in these sectors are obligated to provide telephone service. The CRTC wants to open the markets covered by small telephone companies to the major players in the industry without imposing the same regulations on them, which creates unfair competition.
We have to make the right choice in order to improve the accessibility, price and quality of telephone service in rural areas.