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The Economic Impact of The New Telecommunications LegislationBy David Lister Canada has been transformed in recent years into aninformation based society Nearly half of the labour force in Canada worksin occupations involving the collection and processing of information Ina society in which information has become a commodity communications providea vital link that can mean the difference between success or failureTelecommunications is a fundamental infrastructure of the Canadian economyand society For these reasons an efficient and dynamic telecommunicationsindustry is necessary to ensure economic prosperity Deregulating the LongDistance Industry is the only sure way to ensure that prosperity Telecommunications in Canada which include services andmanufacturing employ more than 125000 people and generate over 21 billionin revenues Dept of Communications 1992 p7 Telecommunications helpsto overcome the obstacles of distance in a vast country such as Canadapermitting remote communities to benefit from services taken for grantedin large urban centres More than 98 percent of Canadian households havea telephone and there are more than 15 million telephone lines for a populationof nearly 27 millionDept of Communications 1992 p7 It is thereforenot surprising that Canadians are among the biggest users of telecommunicationsin the world For example in 1990 Canadians made more than three billionlong-distance calls Dept of Communications 1992 p8 Innovations made possible through telecommunications havealso contributed significantly to the phenomenal growth of the Canadiantelecommunications industry For example the total value of the major telephonecompanies investment in their facilities rose from 178 billion in 1979to 403 billion in 1990 In the same year Canadian telecommunications companiesreported more than 15 billion in revenues accounting for an estimated 27percent of the Gross Domestic Product GDP In addition in 1990 the telecomindustry achieved a real growth rate after inflation of 86 percent comparedto 03 percent for the Canadian economy as a whole Telecommunications isalso Canadas leading high-technology industry its Research and Developmentcosts of 14 billion in 1990 represent about 24 percent of total expendituresin this area This shows how telecommunications has come to play
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