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ARCHIVED -  Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2003-4

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Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2003-4

Ottawa, 10 April 2003

Measures with respect to incumbent telephone company regulatory compliance

Reference: 8622-G7-03/02 and 8622-C12-200304444

1.

In GT Group Telecom Services Corp. v. Aliant Telecom Inc. - Tariff violations and contraventions of the Telecommunications Act, Telecom Decision CRTC 2003-23, 10 April 2003, the Commission found that Aliant Telecom Inc. (Aliant Telecom) had acted anti-competitively and in violation of its applicable tariff and the Telecommunications Act (the Act) with respect to the provision of Provincial Centrex Service (PCS), and set out measures to address Aliant Telecom's behaviour.

2.

The Commission has recently found that Bell Canada and TELUS Communications Inc. contravened their tariffs and the Act in the following instances:
· Large Capacity Digital Network Access Service Special Facilities Tariff, Telecom Order CRTC 2002-334, 13 August 2002;
· GT Group Telecom Services Corp. v. Bell Canada - Non-compliance with Bundling Rules, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-58, 20 September 2002; and
· Regulatory safeguards with respect to incumbent affiliates, bundling by Bell Canada and related matters, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-76, 12 December 2002.

3.

In Call-Net Enterprises Inc. v. Bell Canada - Compliance with winback rules, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-73, 4 December 2002, the Commission found that Bell Canada had violated the winback rules set out in a previous Commission decision.

4.

In Incumbent local exchange carrier service intervals for unbundled local loop orders, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-14, 8 March 2002, the Commission found that the incumbent telephone companies had ignored the plain meaning of a Commission directive with respect to service intervals for unbundled local loop orders, which had allowed them to maintain a competitive advantage over their competitors and impede the latter's entry into the local market.

5.

The Commission considers that full compliance by incumbent telephone companies with the Act and Commission decisions is essential. The Commission accordingly announces the following measures.

Inspectors

6.

The Commission notes that to date its examination of alleged regulatory non-compliance by incumbent telephone companies has been based largely on complaints filed with the Commission by competitors. The Commission notes that, given the nature of the relationship between the incumbent telephone companies and their customers, competitors often do not have the ability to provide the Commission with concrete evidence of non-compliance.

7.

The Commission notes that, under section 71 of the Act, it has the statutory power to designate inspectors for the purpose of verifying compliance with its decisions and the Act. Section 71 gives inspectors broad powers with respect to matters such as entry onto premises, the inspection of documents and information, and the copying of documents and records.

8.

The Commission considers that the designation of inspectors would permit the Commission to verify compliance and reduce its dependence on the complaints of competitors, whose ability to provide proof of non-compliance is, as noted above, limited.

9.

The Commission therefore announces that it will designate inspectors, pursuant to section 71 of the Act, for the purpose of verifying compliance with the Act and its decisions, initially focusing on sections 25(1) and 27(1) and (2) of the Act. The Commission notifies the incumbent telephone companies that inspections could begin any time following 60 days from the date of this public notice.

Prosecution

10.

The Commission notes that section 73 of the Act provides that every person who contravenes the Act or Commission decisions is guilty of an offence and can be prosecuted with the Commission's consent.

11.

The Commission's role includes enforcing compliance with the Act and its decisions. The Commission notes that, in addition to being able to consent to prosecution by a third party, it can itself take the necessary steps to commence prosecution proceedings where it considers that there has been a contravention of the Act.

Future agreements

12.

The Commission notes that in Decision 2003-23, it is directing Aliant Telecom to include a clause with respect to regulatory compliance in all future agreements with its business customers. Consistent with the Commission's direction to Aliant Telecom, the Commission directs the other incumbent telephone companies to include in all future agreements with their business customers a clause that clearly and expressly states that non-forborne services, and bundled services that include non-forborne services, are required to be provided, and shall only be provided, consistent with their tariffs as approved by the Commission. The Commission further directs the other incumbent telephone companies to provide in such agreements a list of all relevant tariffs, noting that the listed tariffs may be amended from time to time.
Secretary General
This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site: http://www.crtc.gc.ca

Date Modified: 2003-04-10