WHEREAS all Albertans, whether urban or rural, are entitled to receive telecommunication services upon request within a reasonable amount of time;AND WHEREAS it has become evident that rural requests for telecommunication services are not always being provided in a timely manner;AND WHEREAS the lack of adequate telecommunication services can leave those waiting for service without acceptable means to access emergency services;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Government of Canada to enact legislation to require that telecommunication services be provided to all Canadians, whether urban or rural, within sixty (60) calendar days of a request for service being received by the company;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC seek the support and assistance of the Government of Alberta in encouraging federal action on this matter.
Vulcan County has been made aware of a rural resident who has been denied installation of a phone line within a reasonable amount of time by being advised that the installation of the line is not within Telus 2002 budget and the request would be placed on a waiting list for possible installation in 2003. The resident was advised to use a cell phone, however cell phones are not always a reliable source of communication in all rural areas.The involvement of small children or elderly citizens makes it imperative that good communication services are available at all times if only for the purposes of accessing emergency services.The citizens involved in this instance have written to the CRTC to register a complaint, however the CRTC simply forwarded the concern to Telus and directed Telus to respond to the citizen within 20 days. Telus response merely reiterates their comments regarding budgetary constraints, and states that CRTC guidelines allow up to 3.3% of all residential installation requests to be kept in held status, meaning that Telus will revisit the request as resources become available.
The AAMDC has no resolutions currently in effect with respect to this issue. However, the AAMDC has routinely raised concerns about rural access to telecommunications services in meetings with federal officials and submissions to various federal committees (e.g. National Liberal Caucus Tour, House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance).