ARCHIVED -  Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-10

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Telecom Public Notice

Ottawa, 28 February 1997
Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-10
In 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), the Commission concluded that interexchange competition, subject to certain terms and conditions, was in the public interest in the territories of the respondent telephone companies. Given that Northwestel Inc. (Northwestel) was not a respondent, Decision 92-12 does not apply to it.
In an application dated 15 October 1996, Call-Net Enterprises Inc. (Call-Net), requested the Commission to order Northwestel (i) to show cause why the general framework regarding the terms and conditions of interconnection to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and resale and sharing of interexchange voice services established in Decision 92-12 should not be made applicable to Northwestel; and (ii) to implement immediately the terms and conditions of interexchange interconnections and resale and sharing based on Decision 92-12, on an interim basis, in the operating territory of Northwestel.
By letter of today's date, the Commission denied that part of Call-Net's application for interim relief.
In its application, Call-Net submitted that the absence of competition in Northwestel's territory is contrary to the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives enumerated in the Telecommunications Act. Call-Net further submitted that Canadian businesses and consumers in Northwestel's territory are being unfairly denied the benefits of competition and interexchange carriers (IXCs) are being deprived of the opportunity of extending service to Northwestel's territory.
In its answer of 15 November 1996, Northwestel stated that the company is in the early stages of looking at possible terms and conditions for introducing greater competition in its operating area. As well, Northwestel submitted, among other things, that if toll competition is introduced, it will have to be on different terms and conditions from that previously set forth with respect to any other company in order to address the unique nature of its operating territory.
The Commission notes that the interexchange competitive regime for the respondent telephone companies has evolved since Decision 92-12. In addition, a different regime to that of Decision 92-12 was established for the independent companies in Regulatory Framework for Québec-Téléphone and Télébec ltée, Telecom Decision CRTC 96-5, 7 August 1996 and Regulatory Framework for the Independent Telephone Companies in Quebec and Ontario (Except Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, Québec-Téléphone and Télébec ltée), Telecom Decision CRTC 96-6, 7 August 1996).
While the Commission agrees with Call-Net that issues associated with the interconnection of IXCs to provide public long distance services in Northwestel's territory and those related to the resale and sharing of Northwestel's services should be considered at this time, it does not consider the type of proceeding suggested by Call-Net to be appropriate.
In light of the above, the Commission hereby initiates a proceeding to consider the issues of the interconnection of IXCs to Northwestel's network and the resale and sharing of Northwestel's telecommunications services to provide interexchange voice services which access the PSTN. The Commission seeks comments associated with long distance service competition in Northwestel's territory, including (i) the advantages and disadvantages of competition, (ii) the impact on service to high cost areas, (iii) the impact on service to underserved areas, (iv) the form of competition, (v) the terms and conditions of interconnection, (vi) the appropriate contribution mechanism, (vii) equal access and recovery of start-up costs, (viii) the implementation schedule for competition and equal access, (ix) the recovery of switching and aggregation costs, (x) the method of regulation (e.g., split rate base), (xi) the need to restructure rates (except to the extent this issue will be considered in the proceeding to consider Tariff Notice 603), (xii) the rationalizing of toll rates for the eastern and western regions of Northwestel's operating territory, and (xiii) any other issues that the Commission should consider.
1. Northwestel is made a party to this proceeding. Other parties wishing to participate fully 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 2 April 1997. Parties are to indicate in the notice their Internet email address, where available. If parties do not have access to Internet, they are to indicate in their notice whether they wish to receive disk versions of hard copy filings. The Commission will issue a complete list of parties and their mailing addresses (including Internet email addresses if available), also identifying those parties who wish to receive disk versions.
2. Northwestel is directed to file a proposal for interexchange competition in its territory by 30 May 1997. Other parties may file evidence if they wish by the same date. Such evidence is to address the specific issues previously identified in this Public Notice and must be filed with the Commission, serving copies on all parties.
3. Northwestel is directed to mail, within sixty days from the date of this Public Notice, bill inserts notifying its subscribers that, (i) pursuant to the Commission's direction, Northwestel will file with the Commission, by 30 May 1997, a proposal for interexchange competition in Northwestel's territory; (ii) its proposal is available for public inspection during normal business hours at every Northwestel business office and at the offices of the Commission in Ottawa and Vancouver; (iii) subscribers may provide comments (a) by writing to the Commission and/or (b) by making representations at regional consultations. Persons wishing to participate at the regional consultations are to notify the Commission, by 19 June 1997; and (iv) subscribers may contact Northwestel or the CRTC for further information.
4. By letter of today's date, the Commission will address interrogatories to Northwestel regarding the issues set out in this Public Notice. Northwestel is directed to file responses to the interrogatories with the Commission and serve copies on all parties at the same time that it files its evidence pursuant to paragraph 2 above.
5. Any person who wishes merely to file written comments in this proceeding, without receiving copies of the various submissions, may do so by writing to the Commission at the address noted in paragraph 1 by 17 October 1997.
6. The Commission intends to conduct regional consultations in Whitehorse and Yellowknife, to seek the views of persons residing in or conducting business in Northwestel's territory. Specific times and locations are detailed below.
7. Parties may address interrogatories to Northwestel and any party who files evidence or submissions pursuant to paragraph 2. Any such interrogatories must be filed with the Commission and served on Northwestel and the parties in question by 11 July 1997.
8. Responses to interrogatories addressed pursuant to paragraph 7 are to be filed with the Commission and served on all parties by 11 August 1997.
9. Requests by parties for further responses to their interrogatories addressed pursuant to paragraph 8, specifying in each case why a further response is both relevant and necessary, and requests for public disclosure of information for which confidentiality has been claimed, setting out the reasons for disclosure, must be filed with the Commission and served on the party or parties in question by 25 August 1997.
10. Written responses to requests for further responses to interrogatories and for public disclosure must be filed with the Commission and served on the party making the request by 2 September 1997.
11. The Commission will issue a determination with respect to requests for disclosure and for further responses as soon as possible, and intends to direct that any information to be provided pursuant to that determination be filed with the Commission and served on all parties to the proceeding by 19 September 1997.
12. Northwestel and interested parties may, by 17 October 1997, file with the Commission and serve on all other parties final argument.
13. Northwestel and any interested party who filed final argument may, by 31 October 1997, file with the Commission and serve on all other parties reply argument.
14. 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.
15. 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
16. The documents made part of the record of this proceeding and submissions filed in this proceeding may be examined during normal business hours at any of the CRTC offices listed below:
Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage
Room 201
Hull, Quebec
K1A 0N2
Tel: (819) 997-2429
Fax: (819) 953-0795
TDD: (819) 994-0423
800 Burrard Street
Suite 1380, Box 1300
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6Z 2G7
Tel: (604) 666-2111
Fax: (604) 666-8322
TDD: (604) 666-0778
The Commission will conduct four regional consultations as follows:
(1) in Yellowknife, at the Explorer Hotel, 4825-49th Avenue, on 24 June 1997, commencing at 9:00 a.m., and commencing at 6:30 p.m.; and
(2) in Whitehorse, at the High Country Inn, 4051-4th Avenue, on 26 June 1997, commencing at 9:00 a.m., and commencing at 6:30 p.m.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
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