Federal government Fights Over Telco Surplus

A few months ago, you may have heard of the "Deferral Accout". For the past few years, there has been an extra bit of change on your phone bill, the gov't of Canada got wind of it, and told the incumbent telcos that taking extra bits of change frome people was off side, and that if they wanted to say on the right side of the law, theny needed to use that money to help improve the communications incrastructure in remote areas of Canada.(Read: areas that don't have access to high speed internet).

The telcos were thrilled, but the little companies who were already doing their own thing to boost the bandwidth (Barrett Explorer) fought back and said it was unfair for the Bells and TELUSs of the world to get this *free money* and they have temporarily blocked the usa. Now, it looks like the federal government was looking to get it's hands on that cash, just for kicks.

Michael Geist has the pointer, and here's the story from the Globe.

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