ARCHIVED -  Telecom Decision CRTC 89-14

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Telecom Decision

Ottawa, 14 November 1989
Telecom Decision CRTC 89-14
976 Service permits Bell Canada (Bell) customers to dial recorded or live announcements provided by 976 Service sponsors. The sponsors lease facilities from Bell that permit the completion of calls to the 976 announcements. Telephone users who dial 976 numbers within their own Numbering Plan Area (NPA) are billed non-tariffed charges determined by the sponsors. Users who dial 976 numbers in other NPAs are billed the applicable message toll service charges, rather than the non-tariffed charges set by the sponsors.
Bell and each 976 Service sponsor enter into an Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) Agreement whereby Bell purchases the sponsor's accounts receivable on an on-going basis. Bell then acts as the sponsor's billing agent and bills customers for all charges related to the calls, including the sponsor's non-tariffed charges. Under the ARM Agreement, Bell absorbs any losses associated with uncollectible charges for calls to 976 numbers.
In a letter to Bell dated 22 April 1988, the Commission initiated a proceeding to deal with issues raised by complaints about charges that appear on customers' bills due to unauthorized use of 976 Service. In Telecom Letter Decision CRTC 88-4, 7 July 1988 (Letter Decision 88-4), the Commission concluded that Bell should offer call blocking, which would ensure that calls could not be placed from the customer's telephone to 976 numbers within his or her NPA. A further proceeding was initiated in CRTC Telecom Public Notice 1988-29, 7 July 1988 (Public Notice 1988-29). As a result of that proceeding, the Commission wrote to Bell on 8 September 1988 directing it to implement the following by 7 December 1988:
(1) a scheme whereby customers would automatically be notified by mail whenever their total charges for 976 Service during a single billing period exceeded $50, and one attempt would be made to notify such customers by telephone; and
(2) a twenty second grace period for non-long distance calls to 976 numbers, during which applicable charges would be identified and customers would not be charged if they disconnected.
In Bell Canada - 976 Service, Telecom Decision CRTC 88-20, 17 November 1988 (Decision 88-20), the Commission found, among other things, that the costs of call blocking should be borne primarily by the 976 Service and not by customers who wish to protect themselves from unforeseen 976 charges. However, the Commission was concerned that there might be frivolous requests for call blocking if customers could obtain it at no charge. The Commission therefore concluded that Bell should offer call blocking at a nominal one-time charge to customers of $10.
Bell was directed to file, proposed tariff revisions to implement the Commission's findings.
Under Tariff Notice 2942, dated 1 December 1988, Bell filed an application to discontinue 976 Service effective 13 February 1989. Bell stated that significant cost increases and an anticipated decline in revenues indicated that the Service is no longer economically viable. Bell added that the reaction of its customers, particularly during 1988, suggested that a significant portion of the general public is not satisfied with the nature of 976 Service or with the manner in which it is offered.
Bell filed an economic assessment in support of its application. Bell estimated that, at a one-time rate for call blocking of $10, the combined revenues from 976 Service and from call blocking would not recover the costs of call blocking alone.
Bell proposed that the Commission stay implementation of its rulings with respect to customer notification, the grace period and the introduction of call blocking. Bell also proposed to waive reasonably disputed 976 charges, pending the termination of 976 Service. Bell stated that, under the circumstances, it would not be reasonable or in the public interest to incur the costs necessary to implement the Commission's rulings.
In light of Bell's application and of the company's undertaking to waive charges that were disputed on a reasonable basis, the Commission approved the stay in a letter to Bell dated 6 December 1988. In addition, the Commission required Bell to file information with respect to (1) alternate methods of enabling sponsors to offer 976-like services, should its application be approved, and (2) in the event that the application was denied, possible changes to the ARM agreement that would reduce the costs incurred by Bell with respect to uncollectible charges.
In its response, dated 14 December 1988, Bell described two network options that would permit sponsors to offer services similar to those based on 976 Service. In each of these options, sponsors would be required to handle their own billing and collection, or else obtain revenues by alternate means, such as subscription or credit card billing.
In the event that Tariff Notice 2942 was denied, Bell suggested two solutions to the problems related to uncollectible charges. One solution was to increase its ARM rate to recover related costs. The other was to introduce "chargebacks", whereby bad debts would be assumed by the sponsor rather than by Bell.
A. Interveners
Many interveners, including the Consumers' Association of Canada (CAC), supported Bell's application to discontinue 976 Service. A number of them objected to the content of 976 announcements. CAC argued that 976 Service is not an essential service and that it would not be viable with call blocking in place.
Three other interveners, all 976 sponsors, opposed the withdrawal of 976 Service. The Association of Canadian Telephone Information Providers (CTIP), which is a group of six 976 sponsors, Telephun International Inc. (Telephun), and Telephone Information Service (Canada) Ltd. (Healthcall) noted that they had invested considerable sums in the development of 976 services and that, collectively, they employ over 135 persons.
CTIP, Telephun and Healthcall expressed dissatisfaction with the alternative services described in Bell's submission of 14 December 1988. For various reasons, including increased costs, they submitted that these alternatives were impractical. Both CTIP and Healthcall noted the importance of the ARM agreement. CTIP pointed out that Bell's alternatives did not include such an arrangement. CTIP described certain difficulties associated with credit card billing and with the establishing of subscription lists for 976 services.
Both Telephun and CTIP questioned the assertion that demand for 976 services would not increase. Telephun argued that Bell had not substantiated its claim that call blocking would lead to a 15% decline in demand.
CTIP and Telephun stated that they were not aware of large numbers of complaints concerning 976 services. CTIP and Healthcall argued that there are major costs associated with call blocking, the grace period and the $50 notification rule. They contended that more cost effective measures exist for protecting customers' interests, such as the waiving of disputed charges and the education of customers. CTIP argued that the measures proposed by the Commission would not be required if charges were waived.
CTIP proposed modifications that, it submitted, would permit 976 Service to continue and, at the same time, address consumer concerns. These modifications are described below.
(1) Complaints and Refunds
Sponsors would replace Bell in handling complaints and providing refunds. Unsatisfied customers, including customers whose dependents had made unauthorized use of 976 services, would receive refunds. Bell's uncollectible 976 charges could be charged back to the 976 sponsor whose service had been called. Bell's charges under the ARM Agreement for billing and administration would be reduced from 5% of revenues to a possible 2.5%.
(2) Blocking
In those cases where a customer makes more than one complaint, the customer should be offered the option of having blocking equipment installed on his or her premises.
(3) Education
In order to limit abuses, both customers and sponsors should be educated on the use of 976 services.
(4) Trial Period
CTIP proposed a one or two year trial of its suggested regime. The trial would give the Commission an opportunity to monitor and assess the success of the program in reducing complaints and in keeping Bell's costs in line. It would also provide the Commission with additional time to determine the demand for 976 Service.
CTIP submitted that the implementation of its proposals would eliminate the need for notification of charges over $50 and for a grace period, since the former would be covered by refund provisions and the latter by education.
CTIP proposed that, if the Commission should decide not to require the continuation of 976 Service, it should require that Bell phase the service out over eighteen months, in order to give sponsors time to recoup their investment and withdraw from long term contracts and commitments.
B. Bell's Reply
Bell repeated its earlier submission that sizeable increases in its 976 Service revenues would be required to cover the costs of implementing the Commission's directives and to recover increasing costs of administration. Bell stated that increases in its rates would require sponsors to increase their own rates substantially. This, in turn, would significantly reduce demand.
Bell stated that the various consumer safeguards required by the Commission were the result of lengthy public proceedings. Bell noted that, during those proceedings, it had advanced arguments similar to those now suggested by the sponsors. The company submitted that the Commission had considered these arguments and rejected them in Letter Decision 88-4.
Bell questioned whether all sponsors would agree to the refund policy supported by CTIP and Healthcall. Bell submitted that there were no details as to the terms and conditions governing such a refund policy. Furthermore, the policy would probably not be applied equally by the sponsors.
The company noted that, during 1988, it wrote off more than 10% of billed revenues for 976 Service. Furthermore, it estimated that its business offices received over 70,000 calls from customers complaining about 976 Service. Bell argued that the number of complaints will not decline if 976 Service is continued with CTIP's proposed refund policy. Bell also submitted that sponsors would have great difficulty administering and absorbing the costs of any reasonable refund policy.
Bell advanced further arguments in support of the alternatives described in its submission of 14 December 1988. Bell pointed out that 976 Service rates could increase as much as threefold in order to recover the costs of consumer protection measures. Bell contended that, even without call blocking, the service management and administration costs related to 976 Service would be sufficiently large as to require rate increases, thus making the alternatives viable.
Bell stated that, even if it had not chosen to withdraw 976 Service, it could not have continued to perform the billing and collection function of behalf of sponsors, owing to the costs of administering the scheme. Bell indicated that sponsors have not sufficiently investigated alternate billing methods.
Bell opposed a phase-out period. The company stated that 976 Service costs currently exceed revenues, and that these losses are borne by the general body of subscribers. Therefore, it is not reasonable or in the public interest to continue 976 Service.
Bell argued that CTIP had not put forward any practical or satisfactory measures to address the issue of unauthorized calling or public dissatisfaction with 976 Service.
C. Further Process
By letter dated 7 February 1989, the Commission addressed further interrogatories to Bell, seeking information as to whether 976 Service would be viable if offered under conditions similar to those proposed by CTIP. The Commission asked Bell to produce an economic assessment for 976 Service for a one-year period starting 1 June 1989, based on the assumptions that:
(1) 6.5 million calls would be made to the 976 numbers;
(2) existing 976 rates would be maintained;
(3) sponsors would handle complaints, refund disputed charges, and absorb the costs of bad debts and of any call blocking that they deemed necessary;
(4) Bell would absorb the cost of billing inserts to redirect complaints to sponsors;
(5) the Commission's directives would not be implemented (i.e., $50 bill notification, grace period, call blocking at the nominal $10 rate); and
(6) Bell's billing and administration charges pursuant to the ARM Agreement would be reduced from 5% to 2.5% of revenues.
Bell filed its responses to the Commission's interrogatories on 9 March 1989. Bell provided further details in response to interrogatories from Telephun.
Bell expressed reservations with respect to some of the assumptions underlying the Commission's interrogatories. Specifically, it questioned the assumption that 6.5 million calls would be made to 976 numbers. It also objected to the assumption that sponsors would absorb the costs of call blocking. Bell argued that such costs would be prohibitive and that call blocking should be offered to customers at compensatory rates.
In providing a revised economic assessment, Bell amended those of the Commission's assumptions that it considered unworkable. First, the company assumed that it would continue to field complaints related to billing disputes. Second, it proposed a chargeback process whereby Bell would credit a customer's account and charge the write-off to the sponsor's account.
Bell stated that, based on the assumptions as amended, the net present value (NPV) of the service was minus $300,000. If billing and administration charges were increased to 6.3%, the NPV would equal zero.
Bell also explained the estimate of 70,000 complaints that it had used in calculating the costs associated with handling customer complaints. Bell stated that the estimate was based on the day-to-day calls received and handled by business office personnel. The company had taken a sample of calls in one business office over a period of twenty days. These results were then extrapolated to arrive at an estimate for the entire company.
The sponsors who commented on Bell's responses to the Commission's and Telephun's interrogatories were critical of Bell's demand estimates for 1989. They questioned the use of 1988 call volumes for estimating 1989 demand. CTIP submitted that, for various reasons, the volume of calls to 976 numbers was artificially low in 1988. Telephun and CTIP argued that increases in the number of calls in the early months of 1989, in relation to the same period in 1988, indicated that Bell's estimate of 5.7 million calls is low. Telephun added that 1988 volume grew by 27% over 1987 volume. Telephun suggested that revenues would be 12% to 25% higher than in Bell's forecast.
Telephun stated that the bulk of 976 calls are off-peak, therefore no further network capacity is needed. As a result, network costs are minimal. Telephun argued further that Bell's method of assessing variable common costs was inconsistent with a causal cost approach.
CTIP submitted that, even if all of Bell's cost and revenue projections are accepted, an ARM rate of 4.5% would result in an NPV of zero for 1989. In CTIP's view, more reasonable demand and cost estimates would lead to a positive NPV if the ARM rate was set at 2.5%.
Telephun and CTIP criticized the way in which Bell had estimated the number of complaints in 1988. They submitted that the sample used was small and unrepresentative. CTIP contended that the public is becoming more aware of 976 Service. It argued that this awareness will bring greater control of unwanted and unauthorized use of 976 Service and a reduction in complaints and billing inquiries. CTIP and Healthcall were willing to let Bell handle complaints. However, they were of the view that the costs of this function had been exaggerated.
Both CTIP and Healthcall were willing to accept Bell's proposed chargeback system. However, Telephun objected to the proposal on the grounds that Bell is too lax in granting refunds. In Telephun's view, consumers should bear the primary responsibility for controlling their children's access to toll services, including 976 Service. Telephun argued that, if a chargeback system is implemented, refunds should be limited to a fixed amount. Beyond that amount, consumers should be required to implement call blocking at their own expense or pay all 976 charges forthwith. Further, if Bell charges a refund back to a sponsor, Bell should credit the sponsor when it manages to collect.
D. Bell's Reply
In reply, Bell argued that there is no evidence that demand for 976 services in 1988 had been distorted by factors such as the strike by certain of its employees from June to October of 1988. Bell argued further that a comparison between the first quarter of 1988 and the first quarter of 1989 is inappropriate, since market conditions were not the same in both periods. Bell noted the fairly flat growth in calls during 1989. Bell argued that this essentially flat calling pattern will continue throughout 1989, most likely resulting in demand of less than 6.5 million calls, and possibly of less than the 5.7 million calls it had previously projected. Moreover, Bell pointed out that, based on actuals for the period from 1 June 1988 to 30 April 1989, calls to 976 numbers averaged 446,358 per month. Assuming a 10% growth and no other changes, Bell anticipated handling 5.9 million calls, rather than the 6.5 million calls used in its economic assessment.
Bell repeated that an NPV of zero would require a billing and collection rate of 6.3%. Bell stated that a rate of 6.3% would result in a negative NPV if demand fell below 6.5 million calls. Bell submitted that the rate should be set at 12% in order to recover costs and provide a reasonable rate of return for 976 Service. The company added that, even at 12%, the NPV at 6.5 million calls would be only $400,000.
Bell submitted that 976 Service network costs were estimated based on the methodology described in Bell's Phase II Procedures Manual. Bell stated that network costs are, in fact, minimal, particularly in relation to the total cost of providing 976 Service. Further, Bell submitted that the use of the variable common cost factor is consistent with the causal cost approach and complies with the directives established in Phase II of the Cost Inquiry.
Bell argued that, in the absence of tracked data, the method it had used to estimate the number of complaints in 1988 was appropriate. Bell submitted that its estimates were conservative. Bell rejected CTIP's argument that increased customer awareness could lead to a reduction in complaints. In Bell's view, new types of customers and the introduction of new types of programmes create a need for constant educational efforts.
Bell also replied to Telephun's submission that the proposed chargeback system is unacceptable because it could be abused by unscrupulous consumers. The company reiterated that it would maintain its current investigative procedures and guidelines in an initial attempt to collect 976 charges. Only when the company could not collect the charges from the customer would a chargeback be processed. Bell stated that, once a chargeback had been processed, it would take no further action to collect the charges.
Bell advanced two main arguments in support of its application to discontinue 976 Service. First, the company submitted that 976 Service is not economically viable. Second, the company argued that customer reaction suggests that a significant portion of the public is not satisfied with the nature of 976 Service, or with the manner in which it is offered.
Much of the record of this proceeding relates to the economic viability of 976 Service. Bell indicated that measures such as the twenty second grace period, customer notification of charges, and call blocking increase costs substantially. Bell further indicated that write-offs of reasonably disputed charges are increasing. The company stated that the costs of introducing call blocking, even if customer response is modest, could reach several million dollars.
Bell estimated that, based on a demand forecast of 6.5 million calls, the revenues derived from 976 Service would be insufficient to recover all of the causal costs of the 976 Service, if call blocking is implemented at a one-time charge of $10, as prescribed in Decision 88-20.
In response to the Commission's interrogatories of 7 February 1989, Bell provided an economic study of the viability of 976 Service if offered under modified conditions. Bell estimated an NPV of minus $300,000, assuming a demand of 6.5 million calls over a one-year study period and an ARM rate of 2.5% of revenues. Bell indicated that, holding other assumptions constant, the ARM rate would have to be increased to 6.3% in order to achieve an NPV of zero.
Bell regards the estimate of 6.5 million calls, and therefore the economic assessment, as optimistic. Bell forecasts a total of 5.9 million calls for the same period.
In the Commission's view, the estimate of 6.5 million calls is not unrealistic given the effect of the strike at Bell from June to late October of 1988 and of the uncertainty that has existed since last December as to the future of 976 Service. Bell indicated, for example, that some sponsors whose applications for service were not accepted by Bell following 1 December 1988 expressed a desire to wait for a determination as to the future of 976 Service before renewing their applications.
In addition, the Commission is of the view that the sampling approach used to estimate the number of 976-related calls to Bell's business offices may have overestimated the number of such complaints. Therefore, the costs associated with the handling of complaints may also be overestimated.
Having reviewed the economic analysis submitted by Bell, as well as the submissions of the other parties, the Commission concludes that, if 976 Service is to be continued, it is unlikely to be compensatory if offered under the conditions established to date. At the same time, the Commission also concludes that there is a reasonable expectation that 976 Service would be viable if offered under conditions similar to those assumed in the economic study submitted in response to the Commission's interrogatories of 7 February 1989. This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that the economic study results relate to a one-year period, rather than to a multi-year test period. In general, it is not uncommon for a new network service to be unprofitable in its initial years, and to become profitable thereafter.
The Commission regards cancellation as an extreme response to problems that a carrier may be experiencing with a service, especially if there is a demonstrated demand for that service. In the absence of other compelling reasons, if there is a reasonable likelihood that the problems can be corrected, the Commission would prefer that an attempt be made to do so.
Based on the record of this proceeding, particularly the willingness expressed by CTIP members to accept material changes to the conditions under which 976 Service is offered, the Commission finds that a realistic opportunity exists for Bell to make 976 Service economically viable.
As noted above, Bell also based its application for withdrawal on its view that a significant portion of the general public is not satisfied with the nature of 976 Service or with the manner in which it is offered. Bell provided some evidence that there are customers who are not satisfied with 976 Service. Bell estimated that, in 1988, its business offices received over 70,000 calls from customers complaining about 976 Service. This estimate was based on a twenty day study of calls received at its business office in Scarborough, Ontario. Of 50,737 calls to the business office, 789 related to 976 Service. These 789 calls provided the basis for an estimate for the entire company.
In the Commission's view, the sampling process used by the company does not provide a reliable estimate of the total number of complaints related to 976 Service. The company's sample consists of data from only one business office. Moreover, the company has provided no persuasive evidence that this office is representative of business offices in all parts of Bell's territory.
Bell also submitted that the fact that a large number of customers are aware of 976 Service, but choose not to access it, may indicate dissatisfaction with the Service or with the manner in which it is offered. The Commission has doubts as to the validity of this submission, since the failure to use 976 Service may simply show a lack of interest in it.
In light of the above, the Commission finds that Bell has failed to provide adequate evidence in support of its view on the public's dissatisfaction with 976 Service.
As noted above, the Commission has previously addressed the need for consumer protection by means of orders relating to call blocking, a twenty second grace period and the notification of customers. However, these orders were made in the absence of other viable proposals for the protection of consumers from excessive 976 bills and from unauthorized use of their telephones to call 976 numbers. Since the Commission's directions were issued, however, several 976 sponsors have indicated a willingness to waive disputed charges. As noted in Decision 88-20, the Commission considers the waiving of disputed charges a reasonable alternative to the consumer protection measures established in Decision 88-20 and in Letter Decision 88-4. The Commission therefore considers the sponsors' willingness to waive disputed charges a fundamental change in circumstances since its original determinations. Accordingly, the Commission has decided to review, of its own motion, the determinations in Decision 88-20 and Letter Decision 88-4.
Specifically, the Commission concludes that consumers would be adequately protected by the waiving of charges that (1) are disputed on a reasonable basis, and (2) pertain to calls made before a customer has had sufficient time to take steps to prevent the unauthorized use of his or her telephone for 976 calls, as disclosed in the first bill received by the customer containing charges for unauthorized 976 calls. Under such a consumer protection scheme, Bell would charge the waived 976 charges back to the sponsor, who would absorb them.
Once a customer had had sufficient time to react to the receipt of a bill for unauthorized 976 calls, Bell could offer the customer the option of having all calls to 976 numbers within the NPA blocked. If the customer opted for call blocking, Bell would charge the customer a compensatory rate. Bell would continue to waive reasonably disputed charges until such time as blocking was in place. These charges would also be charged back to the sponsor, who would absorb them.
However, if a customer did not opt for call blocking, the customer would be liable for any further unauthorized 976 charges that that customer would, by then, have been in a position to prevent. In the Commission's view, it is appropriate that such charges be charged back to the sponsor who, rather than absorbing them, would assume responsibility for their collection.
The arrangement set out immediately above is similar to that for which Bell, in response to the Commission's interrogatories of 7 February 1989, furnished its economic study. With the exception of Telephun, the 976 sponsors who filed comments in this proceeding indicated a general willingness to accept the arrangement upon which the economic study was based.
The Commission recognizes that the study differs from the approach described in this decision. In the latter, the sponsors would collect 976 charges in the event that a 976 customer rejects call blocking but continues to dispute 976 charges. The Commission recognizes further that the economic study did not include the costs arising from the interface required between Bell and the sponsors when sponsors collect 976 charges. However, the Commission is of the view that such costs would not be so significant as to affect the viability of the Service.
The Commission also acknowledges that the alternative approach described in this decision differs from previous consumer protection measures in that the costs of call blocking would be absorbed by the customer. When the Commission made its earlier determinations with respect to consumer protection, call blocking was necessary as a means of protecting customers from unforeseen charges for 976 calls made from their telephones without their knowledge. However, if 976 Service were offered on a basis similar to that described in this decision, customers would be protected from unforeseen charges by the waiving of such charges the first time they occur. Customers would thus be aware of the fact that their telephones are being used for unauthorized calls to 976 numbers before they would be held liable for such calls. In these circumstances, the Commission finds it appropriate that the costs of call blocking be borne by those customers who choose to rely upon it, rather than upon other methods of controlling the use of their telephones.
In light of its findings on Bell's main arguments in support of the withdrawal of 976 Service, the Commission concludes that the company should consider the possibility of continuing the Service on an alternate basis such as that described in this decision. Accordingly, the Commission denies Tariff Notice 2942. Bell may, of course, reapply for the discontinuation of 976 Service if it does not wish to continue providing the Service on a basis such as that described by the Commission.
Provided that Bell continues to waive reasonably disputed 976 charges, the Commission rescinds its previous orders directing that Bell:
(1) implement a system of automatic notification for subscribers whose bills exceed $50 in one billing period;
(2) establish a twenty second grace period; and
(3) submit tariff revisions providing for call blocking at a one-time charge of $10.
The continuation of 976 Service on the basis of an arrangement similar to that described by the Commission would require the filing of tariffs providing for call blocking. Should Bell wish to continue to offer 976 Service on such a basis, the Commission directs that a compensatory tariff for call blocking be filed for approval. For the purposes of establishing a compensatory rate for call blocking, the same rate per line should apply to the blocking of programs at both electronic and non-electronic offices. The rate should be based on the average per-line costs for blocking of all 976 programs at electronic and non-electronic offices at locations where 976 Service is offered.
Should Bell choose to modify 976 Service along the lines described above, it is to submit, on a quarterly basis, a report specifying the number and total dollar amount of disputed 976 charges that have been credited to 976 customers and the number and total dollar amount that have not been credited to 976 customers, by type of disputed charge.
In order to collect disputed charges, sponsors would require that Bell provide them with more detailed information than the customer's name, address and listed telephone number. Bell submitted that the release of such information might contravene Article 11 of the Terms of Service, thereby exposing the company to liability. Having reviewed Article 11, the Commission concludes that no violation would occur if Bell provided sponsors, on a confidential basis, with information sufficient to permit the collection of 976 charges that are charged back to 976 sponsors.
On 25 November 1988, Telephun filed an application pursuant to section 66 of the National Telecommunications Powers and Procedures Act (NTPPA) requesting that the Commission review and vary its decision with respect to the waiving of charges during the grace period. The Commission stayed Telephun's application pending a decision with respect to Tariff Notice 2942. The issues raised in Telephun's application have now been addressed in this decision. In disposing of Tariff Notice 2942, the Commission has also disposed of Telephun's application and has, in effect, granted the relief sought.
On 20 April 1988, the Commission issued a decision with respect to a request from Telephun that Bell respond to further interrogatories. On 5 May 1989, Telephun requested that the Commission review and vary that decision pursuant to section 66 of the NTPPA. In its request, Telephun did not address the criteria used by the Commission in determining whether or not to review and vary its telecommunications decisions. After reviewing the arguments advanced by Telephun, as well as Bell's reply, the Commission concludes that no grounds have been established that would persuade it to review its decision. In particular, Telephun has not identified an error of law or fact, nor has it provided grounds for a conclusion that there is substantial doubt as to the correctness of the decision. Accordingly, Telephun's request of 5 May 1989 is denied.
Finally, both CTIP and Telephun have asked the Commission to hold an oral hearing in connection with Tariff Notice 2942. In the Commission's view, this written proceeding has provided interveners with a full opportunity to question Bell's submissions and to develop and submit their arguments. The Commission therefore denies the applications for an oral hearing.
Fernand Bélisle
Secretary General
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