By Marianne Curtis
MTS Allstream customers can expect a check in the mail after the
Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ordered the company to give back millions of dollars back to customers.
In this decision, the CRTC approved the use of deferral account funds by MTS Allstream to expand broadband services to 16 communities in Manitoba. The Commission also directs the company to rebate funds remaining in its deferral account to residential subscribers in non-high-cost serving areas.
It could take MTS a few months to process the thousands of rebates ranging from between $20 and $90 for each residential account across the province. It is expected to cost MTS $7 million to comply with the rebate order.
MTS spokesperson Greg Burch says the company is currently reviewing details of the decision but it could take customers at least four months before they receive a check. He added that the rebate only applies to residential customers and excludes internet subscribers and mobile customers.
The Commission ordered MTS Allstream to fully rebate or credit the funds within six months of the date of their decision. The rebate plan may include options for customers, such as an option to accept a promotion of greater value than the value of the rebate obligation, as long as the full value is provided within six months.
The CRTC has also ordered that MTS expand high speed internet service to several communities across Manitoba including Woodridge and Roseau River. MTS Allstream estimates that it will cost $12.8 million to provide broadband services to the approved sixteen communities.
The Commission noted that, as directed in the deferral account decisions, this service expansion should take place over no more than four years and should be completed by the end of August 2014.