ARCHIVED -  Telecom Public Notice CRTC 95-48

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Telecom Public Notice

Ottawa, 10 November 1995
Telecom Public Notice CRTC 95-48
In Review of Regulatory Framework, Telecom Decision CRTC 94-19, 16 September 1994 (Decision 94-19), the Commission established procedures to implement tariffs to unbundle the network components of the telephone companies. In particular, interested parties were encouraged to make their unbundling requirements known to the telephone companies within 90 days, and the telephone companies were directed to file proposed tariffs within 180 days.
In response to the direction in Decision 94-19, Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor), on behalf of AGT Limited, BC TEL, Bell Canada, The Island Telephone Company Limited, Manitoba Telephone System, Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, The New Brunswick Telephone Company, Limited and Newfoundland Telephone Company Limited, collectively, the "companies" filed a model tariff and other submissions related to the unbundling of the companies' networks. Stentor commented on the issue of number portability, but did not provide for it in its model tariff. Stentor noted that, in their submissions pursuant to Decision 94-19, virtually all parties referred to the desirability of having number portability available within the local calling area. Stentor stated that an industry-wide solution is not yet available, but that the companies are prepared to work with competitors to develop interim solutions. Stentor stated that proposed interim solutions would have to be examined in the context of customer and network impacts and costs.
In Implementation of Regulatory Framework - Local Interconnection and Network Component Unbundling, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 95-36, 11 July 1995, the Commission stated that issues related to number portability would be best addressed in a separate proceeding because of the likely need for an element of negotiation between the parties and for intervention by the Commission or its staff at an intermediate stage. The Commission also stated that number portability and the question of the transfer of number administration functions from the telephone companies to another body should be considered together.
In the Commission's report entitled Competition and Culture on Canada's Information Highway: Managing the Realities of Transition (Information Highway Report), submitted to the Government of Canada on 19 May 1995, the Commission stated that:
 "... telephone companies should be allowed to apply for broadcasting distribution licences as soon as rules have been established to remove barriers to effective competition in the local telephone business."
Local number portability (LNP) was also discussed and the Commission stated that:
 "Number portability must be addressed in proceedings on local competition, and solutions must be sought to facilitate competition. However, the Commission recognizes that technical issues surrounding number portability require clarification, and that interim solutions may be necessary to facilitate an acceptable measure of portability at an early date."
The Commission also stated that it did not expect that the processes to resolve the issues related to local telephone competition and to address rate restructuring would take more than 12 to 18 months.
In Connection Community Content: The Challenge of the Information Highway, Final Report of the Information Highway Advisory Council (IHAC report) issued in September 1995, the Council, in Recommendation 2.17, stated: "The CRTC in its report set a target of 12 to 18 months to establish the rules to remove the regulatory barriers. The Council recommends that the government urge the CRTC to make every effort to meet this target."
In order to more clearly define the scope of the LNP proceeding, on 26 July 1995 the Commission issued Implementation of Regulatory Framework - Local Number Portability and Related Issues, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 95-37 wherein the Commission stated that it considered it appropriate to make initial determinations as to the issues associated with number portability. Parties were invited to provide initial comments and to participate in a meeting with Commission staff. Approximately 15 submissions were received from parties. A meeting between participants and Commission staff (the Industry/Staff meeting) was held on 20 and 21 September 1995. At the end of the meeting, Commission staff prepared a document outlining its view regarding the results of the discussions and parties were invited to provide comments on the staff document.
In arriving at the determinations set out in this Public Notice, the Commission has considered the submissions filed by the parties on 1 September 1995, as well as the document prepared by Commission staff and the comments and replies filed in response thereto by the parties. With a view to reducing the scope of the issues to be resolved by the parties, the Commission considers that:
1. it would be desirable that customers be in a position to obtain some form of local number portability by early 1997. The Commission notes that the local interconnection and network component unbundling proceeding is expected to be completed by that time.
2. the implementation of a long term portability solution will likely require three to five years. Accordingly, an interim arrangement will be required to meet the above-noted target date. It is the Commission's view that with the co-operation and commitment of all interested parties, this target for an interim arrangement is feasible.
3. at a minimum, the interim arrangement must provide for wireline service provider portability within wire centres and must permit competitors to offer similar features to those provided by the incumbent telephone companies.
4. the most desirable interim solution is one that involves a database structure that could evolve into a long term arrangement. However, other interim arrangements that satisfy the criteria described above (in #3) and that could be developed at a lower cost and/or on a more timely basis than a database alternative could be considered.
5. with regard to the Commission's statements in the Information Highway Report noted above, the Commission considers that only those portability arrangements that satisfy the criteria in 3 above offer an acceptable measure of portability. In particular, the Commission considers that arrangements such as Direct Inward Dialling (DID) and Remote Call Forwarding (RCF) do not satisfy the criteria in either on an interim or final basis.
6. the involvement of any wireless service providers in an interim arrangement will be determined in the further working group activities as set out below.
7. a long term portability solution will most likely involve a database administered by a neutral party. Given the time frame in which interim LNP is required, it may be necessary to rely upon the telephone companies to develop and administer the interim LNP arrangement.
In order to facilitate the timely implementation of local number portability, the Commission has decided to establish and chair a working group of interested parties. This working group (or designated sub-groups) will examine the technical and administrative issues, as well as certain regulatory issues, associated with number portability. To assist in its work, it is expected that the working group could draw upon existing industry fora such as the Canadian Interconnection Liaison Committee and the Canadian Steering Committee on Numbering. The working group will focus on interim portability and, as appropriate, will shift its focus to long term solutions.
The Commission proposes the following milestones for interim portability activities:
- 7 December 1995 - First working group meeting
- May 1996 - Working group activities complete
- July 1996 - Staff report to Commission
- August 1996 - Comments on staff report
- August 1996 - Reply comments
- October 1996 - Commission decision
- Early 1997 - Tariffs proposed, trials and implementation begins
It is expected that technical items to be examined will include:
(1) identification of the mandatory and desirable requirements of the interim method;
(2) evaluation of the ability of various methods to meet the mandatory and desirable requirements;
(3) assessment of the impact on independent telephone companies and interexchange carriers;
(4) evaluation of each method's potential for evolving into the long term solution;
(5) determination of whether it is technically feasible to have each method operational in the required timeframe;
(6) development of testing plans and criteria;
(7) development of criteria for roll-out; and
(8) development of cost estimates for each method.
It is expected that regulatory issues to be addressed will include:
1. tariff structures for development and ongoing cost recovery;
2. terms and conditions for reciprocal portability requirements;
3. conditions under which wireline and wireless carriers must provide portability; and
4. administration of and access to central office codes.
In addition, the working group will be required to examine certain issues related to operational support systems and business support systems.
1. AGT, BC TEL, Bell Canada, The Island Telephone Company Limited, Manitoba Telephone System, Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, The New Brunswick Telephone Company, Limited and Newfoundland Telephone Company Limited (the Stentor companies) are made parties to this proceeding. The Commission considers that this proceeding would be assisted by the participation of Northwestel Inc. and the companies that became subject to the Commission's jurisdiction as a result of the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Attorney-General of Quebec et al. v. Téléphone Guèvremont Inc., 26 April 1994. Accordingly, these companies are also made parties to the proceeding.
2. Other persons wishing to participate in this proceeding must notify the Commission of their intention to do so by writing to Mr. Allan J. Darling, Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, fax: (819) 953-0795, by 24 November 1995. By the same date, all parties (including the Stentor companies, or Stentor on their behalf) are to identify the representative(s) who will attend the meeting with Commission staff. The Commission will issue a complete list of parties and their mailing addresses. Parties should also inform the Commission of an Internet address that could be used in the event that it is feasible to use this medium to exchange information between parties.
3. The Commission expects that a technical working group meeting will be convened as soon as possible after the December 7 meeting.
Parties are requested to prepare their views on the technical issues identified above and to be prepared to make them available to other parties before the technical working group meeting.
4. Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be received and not merely mailed, by that date.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

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