ARCHIVED -  Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-26

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Telecom Public Notice

Ottawa, 8 July 1997
Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-26
1. The Commission has addressed the provision of pay telephone service in past decisions, including: Resale to Provide Primary Exchange Voice Services, Telecom Decision CRTC 87-1, 12 February 1987 (Decision 87-1); Alternate Operator Services, Telecom Letter Decision CRTC 91-7, 6 August 1991 (Letter Decision 91-7); Competition in the Provision of Public Long Distance Voice Telephone Services and Related Resale and Sharing Issues, Telecom Decision CRTC 92-12, 12 June 1992 (Decision 92-12); Trunk-Side Access by Resellers to the Public Switched Telephone Network, Telecom Decision CRTC 93-8, 23 July 1993 (Decision 93-8); Bravo Technologies Switzerland - Provision of Alternate Pay Telephone Service, Telecom Decision CRTC 94-16, 22 August 1994 (Decision 94-16); York University - Provision of Competitive Local Pay Telephone Service, Telecom Decision CRTC 95-20, 18 September 1995 (Decision 95-20); and Telecom Order CRTC 96-583, 14 June 1996.
2. In Decision 87-1, the Commission concluded that in order to ensure that access by the public to pay telephone service did not deteriorate, similar standards would have to apply to both the telephone companies and competitors with respect to, for example, coinless access to emergency services, access by the hearing impaired and physically disabled, and the provision of clear operating instructions, including instructions for handling complaints. In addition, the need for safeguards with respect to pay telephones was discussed in Letter Decision 91-7 in the context of alternate operator services, such as the charging of excessive rates for operator services by competitive service providers. These concerns led the Commission, in Decision 92-12, to place restrictions on the provision of pay telephones used to access competitive long distance networks.
3. In Decision 93-8, the Commission found that in order to protect consumers, no service provider whose rates were not subject to regulation should be permitted to connect pay telephones.
4. In Decision 94-16, the Commission determined that many of its previous concerns with respect to access to pay telephone service and the need for consumer safeguards remained relevant and that competition in the provision of local pay telephone service could only be permitted if mechanisms could be devised to enforce standards related to, for example, adequate signage as to rates and the provision of operator services. The Commission stated that in its view, practical mechanisms could not be devised to permit the enforcement of such standards with respect to unregulated service providers.
5. In Decision 95-20, the Commission expressed the preliminary view that the resolution of certification issues for competing local exchanges carriers, in the context of the proceeding announced in Implementation of Regulatory Framework - Local Interconnection and Network Component Unbundling, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 95-36, 11 July 1995, would be sufficient to address concerns that the Commission has identified with respect to local pay telephone service. In addition, the Commission indicated that it expected to initiate a proceeding, following the establishment of general certification requirements, to consider permitting local pay telephone competition and to seek comment on whether additional safeguards would be required and what would be an appropriate mechanism to ensure their enforceability.
6. In Telecom Order CRTC 96-583, 14 June 1996, the Commission denied Canada Payphone Corporation's (CPC) application dated 21 December 1995 to conduct a market trial of competitive pay telephone service in Vancouver as it did not provide proposals sufficient to meet the fundamental test regarding enforceability of consumer safeguards. In Telecom Order CRTC 97-326, 7 March 1997, the Commission approved CPC's application dated 1 November 1996 to conduct a six-month technical trial of its pay telephone equipment.
7. On 1 May 1997, the Commission issued Local Competition, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-8, which establishes the framework for local exchange competition. The Commission found that resellers of local exchange services will meet certain of the service requirements that the Commission imposes on local exchange carriers (LECs), such as 9-1-1 and Message Relay Service, by virtue of the underlying LEC's obligations.
8. In light of the above, the Commission requests comments on the following:
(i) Is it appropriate at this time to permit competition in the local pay telephone market?
(ii) If so, what consumer safeguards should be met by service providers?
(iii) What is the appropriate mechanism to ensure the enforceability of the consumer safeguards identified in (ii) above?
9. BC TEL, Bell Canada, The Island Telephone Company Limited, MTS NetCom Inc., Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, TELUS Communications Inc., TELUS Communications (Edmonton) Inc., The New Brunswick Telephone Company, Limited and NewTel Communications Inc. are made parties to this proceeding.
10. Other parties wishing to participate in this proceeding must notify the Commission of their intention to do so by writing to Laura M. Talbot-Allan, Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, fax: 819-953-0795, by 17 July 1997. Parties are to indicate in the notice their Internet email address, if available. If parties do not have access to the Internet, they are to indicate in their notice whether they wish to receive disk version of hard copy filings. The Commission will issue a complete list of parties and their mailing addresses (including Internet email addresses if available), identifying those parties who wish to receive disk version.
11. Interested parties may file comments with the Commission on the issues raised in this Public Notice, serving copies on other interested parties, by 4 August 1997.
12. Interested parties may file reply comments with the Commission, serving copies on all other parties, by 4 September 1997.
13. 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.
14. In addition to hard copy filings, parties are encouraged to file with the Commission electronic versions of their submissions in accordance with the Commission's Interim Telecom Guidelines for the Handling of Machine-Readable Files, dated 30 november 1995. The Commission's Internet email address for electronically filed documents is Electronically filed documents can be accessed at the Commission's Internet site at
This document is available in alternative format upon request.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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