ARCHIVED -  Telecom Public Notice CRTC 1994-50

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Telecom Public Notice

Ottawa, 21 October 1994
Telecom Public Notice CRTC 94-50
In Review of Regulatory Framework, Telecom Decision CRTC 94-19, 16 September 1994 (Decision 94-19), the Commission determined, among other things, that the rate bases of AGT Limited (AGT), BC TEL, Bell Canada (Bell), The Island Telephone Company Limited (Island Tel), Maritime Tel & Tel Limited (MT&T), The New Brunswick Telephone Company Limited (NBTel) and Newfoundland Telephone Company Limited (Newfoundland Tel) would be split into Competitive and Utility segments, effective 1 January 1995. In addition, the Commission established a three-year transitional regime whereby it will move towards the implementation of price cap regulation for the Utility segment. In Decision 94-19, the Commission stated that, under the new regulatory framework:
(1) a proper determination of just and reasonable telephone rates will continue to involve an assessment of the service quality provided by telephone companies to their subscribers;
(2) it will continue to monitor the quality of service of all telephone companies under its jurisdiction, with respect to essential Utility services, bottleneck facilities, and toll service in regions where the telephone company is the sole provider actively marketing such service;
(3) in regions where the telephone company is the sole provider actively marketing toll service, the Commission will continue to take into account the dependence of remote and rural communities on long distance service due to population dispersal and distance from essential services; and
(4) it will ensure that carriers continue to maintain the quality of the above-noted services.
In Decision 94-19, the Commission also stated its intention to initiate a general proceeding on quality of service regulation. The Commission stated that it would use the four points noted above as guidelines, taking into account the particular circumstances of individual companies, in considering quality of service indicators, standards and other related matters.
Consistent with the above, the Commission initiates a proceeding to consider issues related to the quality of service of the telephone companies noted above. The Commission will also include in this proceeding consideration of appropriate quality of service regulation for Manitoba Telephone System (Manitoba Tel), Northwestel Inc. (Northwestel) and the largest of the independent telephone companies that came under its jurisdiction as a result of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Attorney-General of Quebec et al. v. Téléphone Guèvremont (the Guèvremont decision), specifically, Edmonton Telephones Corporation (Ed Tel), Northern Telephone Limited (Northern Tel), Québec-Téléphone (Québec-Tel), Télébec Limitée (Télébec) and Thunder Bay Telecommunications (Thunder Bay Tel). The Commission intends to issue a public notice in the near future initiating a proceeding to consider the appropriate method of regulation for all of the telephone companies that came under its jurisdiction as a result of the Guèvremont decision. In that proceeding, it will examine the issue of quality of service regulation for the other independent telephone companies, i.e., those with less than 25,000 Network Access Services.
The Commission has identified below particular issues with respect to which it is inviting proposals and comment. In light of Decision 94-19, the Commission requests that parties making submissions bear in mind that the quality of service regime established as a result of this proceeding should be appropriate for both price cap and rate of return regulation.
In particular, the Commission invites comment on:
(1) whether there should be different approaches to quality of service regulation to reflect any differing circumstances of the various telephone companies;
(2) whether there should be separate reporting of rural and urban quality of service indicator performance;
(3) whether the eight service interfaces (i.e., provision of service, repair service, local service, long distance service, operator service, directory service, billing and complaints) set out in Quality of Service Indicators for Use in Telephone Company Regulation, Telecom Decision CRTC 82-13, 9 November 1982 (Decision 82-13), are still appropriate, and whether new service interfaces such as network reliability should now be included in the new regulatory framework;
(4) any changes to quality of service indicators required to respond to any incentives to sacrifice quality of service in the pursuit of productivity improvements or operational efficiencies under price cap regulation;
(5) what regulatory responses should be considered when actual measured performance falls below the standard performance level;
(6) as a means to ensure that rates to subscribers appropriately reflect the service quality provided to them, whether rebates or rate reductions are appropriate when actual measured performance for certain specified indicators (e.g., dial tone delay, repair, operator answer) falls below a pre-set threshold lower than the standard performance level;
(7) whether certain quality of service indicators should be provided as a sub-set of other quality of service indicators, for example:
(a) Provisioning of Bottleneck Facilities for competitors as a sub-set of customer provisioning or of business customer provisioning;
(b) Message Relay Service as a sub-set of operator services quality;
(c) Average Installation Interval (in days) from receipt of order to available for service as a sub-set of held orders; and
(d) Average Repair Interval (in hours) from receipt of trouble report to available for service as a sub-set of repair.
(8) whether the current requirement for a telephone company to report below-standard service quality, where it occurs over three consecutive months or over seven months in a 12-month period, should remain the same. In particular, the Commission seeks comment on, or proposed alternatives to, the following possible reporting requirements:
(a) where service quality falls below standard for three consecutive months, the affected indicator should be reported to the Commission monthly until its performance level is at or above standard; and
(b) where service quality falls below standard for seven out of 12 consecutive months, the affected indicator should be reported immediately to the Commission, rather than on the regularly scheduled quarterly report due date.
(9) whether the 90% customer satisfaction objective stated in Decision 82-13 is still appropriate, or whether an alternative objective should be considered;
(10) whether all telephone companies should employ network measurements and adjust, on a periodic basis, their respective service quality standards based on their impact upon customer satisfaction and if so, for which service quality standards;
(11) whether a "Customer Service Guarantee Policy" for essential utility service subscribers should be considered, for example, one similar to that offered by the Georgia Power Company, shown in Attachment 1;
(12) whether quality management programs such as the International Standards Organization ISO 9000, or certain aspects thereof, should be considered in developing quality of service indicators to be reported to the Commission;
(13) where telephone companies employ internal management systems (e.g., total quality management) or tie Commission- reported quality of service indicator performance to compensation plans for management, whether the quality-versus-compensation results of such systems should be provided to the Commission on an annual basis;
(14) whether the quality of service periodic reports filed by the companies should have a uniform format and, if so, what format would be appropriate;
(15) whether procedures should be developed that would eventually enable telephone companies to file the periodic quality of service reports in electronic media format (e.g., initially, information could be filed in a machine-readable format with a paper copy, with a view to eventually permitting direct electronic filing); and
(16) any other quality of service issues considered important by interested parties.
In the Commission's view, this proceeding will be much facilitated if the material filed by parties is also made available in machine-readable form. Accordingly, while the paper copy will constitute the official record of the proceeding, parties are requested, where possible, to provide a disk version of any filings. Disk versions, if provided, are to be filed with the Commission and served on parties requesting them at the same time as the hard copy, or, in any event, no later than within one week of the filing of the hard copy.
Parties are requested to provide all text material in Wordperfect 5.1 format, on IBM compatible 1.44 Megabyte 3.5 inch disks. Where it is not possible to provide the material in Wordperfect, ASCII or the original machine-readable format could be provided as an alternative. An IBM-compatible MS-DOS format would be preferable. It is requested that, where applicable, spread sheets be provided in Lotus 1-2-3 WK1 or a compatible format. Electronic copies of graphs and diagrams should be provided in the default format of the software used to create them.
1. AGT, Bell, BC TEL, Ed Tel, Island Tel, Manitoba Tel, MT&T, NBTel, Newfoundland Tel, Northern Tel, Northwestel, Québec-Tel, Télébec and Thunder Bay Tel (the telephone companies) are made party to this proceeding.
2. Other persons wishing to participate in this proceeding must file a notice of intention to participate by writing to Mr. Allan J. Darling, Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, fax: 819-953-0795, by 16 December 1994. Parties are to indicate in the notice whether or not they wish to receive disk versions of hard copy filings. The Commission will issue a complete list of parties and their mailing addresses, identifying those parties who wish to receive disk versions.
3. The telephone companies are directed to file with the Commission, serving copies on all parties, their positions on the issues raised in this Public Notice, including any specific proposals they may have. Included in each telephone company's submission should be an Appendix, listing any proposed quality of service indicators, covering the major interfaces and their sub-components, that should be used in quality of service regulation, including:
(a) the definition, measurement method and standard for each indicator;
(b) where applicable to specific indicators, the rebate or rate reduction threshold levels; and
(c) any specific indicators that are being used, or will be used, in the company's management bonus or team award system.
Proposals should also include, for each indicator, the first proposed review date and the appropriate time interval between future reviews to ensure that the telephone company stays within acceptable customer satisfaction levels. The guidelines enunciated in Decision 94-19 should be reflected in developing the indicators, as well as the following additional items, as applicable:
(a) for each existing indicator currently reported to the Commission on a quarterly basis, identify those that are still applicable and should be retained, including the justification for retaining them;
(b) identify existing indicators that should be dropped, including the proposed replacement indicators, if any, and the justification for dropping or replacing these indicators;
(c) identify indicators for which changes are proposed, including changes in standards, stating the change and the justification for the change; and
(d) identify those proposed new indicators that are not presently reported to the Commission, including the justification for their adoption.
All such submissions are to be filed with the Commission and served on all parties by 7 April 1995.
4. Parties may file comments with the Commission, serving copies on all other parties, by 2 June 1995.
5. Parties may file reply comments with the Commission, serving copies on all other parties, by 28 July 1995.
6. Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely mailed, by that date.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
Attachment 1 / Pièce jointe 1
Customer Service Guarantee Policy Georgia Power Company
. We will provide timely, courteous customer service.
We are committed to giving you extraordinary, world-class customer service. If we are ever discourteous or if your inquiry was not handled in a timely manner, please take time to let us know. Your comments will help us serve you better. Our customer service guarantee number is 321-7714* in the metropolitan Atlanta area, and 1-800-321-7714* elsewhere in the state.
We will connect your service by the date promised.
We will do everything in our power to connect your service on the date promised. If we fail, our customer service representatives are authorized to credit your account $100 per day for every day late (maximum of $500) or pay reasonable expenses up to $500.
. We will install your outdoor light or street light by the date promised. We will repair a broken light within three calendar days.
We will do everything possible to install or repair your outdoor light as promised. If we fail, our customer service representatives are authorized to credit your account an amount equal to one month's service, on the light, plus prorate the bill on a broken light. If we fail to provide service on a street light as promised, a credit of $5 per lamp will be provided to the appropriate governmental account.
. We will provide you with an accurate bill.
We always strive to give our customers 100 percent accurate bills. If you are ever over billed, we will correct it plus credit your account an amount equal to 10 percent of the corrected bill. If you are ever under billed, we will correct it plus credit your account an amount equal to 10 percent of the corrected bill, up to 6 months. Any credit will be a minimum of $5 and a maximum of $500, not to exceed the amount of the error.
. We will respect your property.
We know how important it is to have respect for the property of others. If our employees damage your property, they are expected to initiate prompt resolution of the problem. They are authorized to repair or replace damaged property up to $1,000.
* Please do not use these numbers to report power failures. Doing so will delay in restoring your service. Refer to your local telephone directory.

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