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Bell Canada Calls on CRTC to Lift Ban on Local Service Promotions

OTTAWA,March 11 2005 --Bell Canada today called on the Canadian
Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to lift its
suspension of promotional offers linked to local phone service, a move that
would deliver to Canadians the benefits of lower prices and more competition.
    In its submission to the CRTC, Bell highlights a November 2004
broadcasting decision that acknowledges promotions are in the public interest.
As part of that decision, the Commission reaffirmed an earlier view that
promotional offers are a legitimate business practice regardless of how
competitive a particular cable television market is.
    "Lifting the suspension of phone company local service promotions would
be in the best interests of Canadian consumers and businesses," said Mirko
Bibic, Chief, Regulatory Affairs, Bell Canada. "Competitors, including cable
companies, are free to offer promotions as they see fit. Lifting the
suspension would allow Bell to offer promotions on the same basis as
competitors, and the result would be lower prices and increased competition
for customers."
    The CRTC prohibited local service promotions and special winback offers
from Bell and Canada's other incumbent phone companies over two years ago,
announcing at that time that it was "temporarily" suspending consideration of
any such applications.
    Bell's submission also raises a number of legal concerns. In particular,
it questions whether the CRTC has the authority to let a temporary measure
become permanent without affected parties - including service providers and
customers - having the right to comment on the appropriateness of such a step
in advance.
    "The CRTC's justifications for imposing the suspension are simply not
appropriate," added Mr. Bibic. "What started over two years ago as a temporary
measure by the CRTC is now effectively operating as an outright ban on
promotions that Bell can offer local service customers. This ban is
unnecessary and customers should not be denied the benefits of competition and
lower prices."

    About Bell Canada

    Bell Canada, Canada's national leader in communications, provides
connectivity to residential and business customers through wired and wireless
voice and data communications, local and long distance phone services, high
speed and wireless Internet access, IP-broadband services, e-business
solutions and satellite television services. Bell Canada is wholly owned by
BCE Inc. For more information please visit .

For further information: Daniela Pizzuto, Bell Canada, Media Relations,
(514) 391-2007, 1-877 391-2007,

SOURCE Digital Voice / VoIP

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