ARCHIVED -  Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-15

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 Telecom Public Notice

 Ottawa, 29 April 1997
 Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-15
 Regulation of Mobile Wireless Services Provided by Municipally Owned Telephone Companies
1.  The Commission has received applications for forbearance from regulation of cellular services, pursuant to section 34 of the Telecommunications Act (the Act) by: (1) The Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay - Telephone Division (Thunder Bay Telephone), for services offered by Thunder Bay Mobility, on 6 December 1996, and (2) Dryden Municipal Telephone System (Dryden), for services offered by Dryden Mobility, on 13 January 1997. Thunder Bay Telephone and Dryden have proposed that the Commission forbear to the same extent as in Regulation of Wireless Services, Telecom Decision CRTC 94-15, 12 August 1994 (Decision 94-15).
2.  In light of these applications, the Commission is of the view that it would be appropriate to consider at this time issues relating to the forbearance from regulation of cellular and other mobile wireless telecommunications voice services connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), provided by municipally owned telephone companies. Municipally owned telephone companies are sometimes referred to as Public Utilities Companies.
3.  In Decision 94-15, the Commission forbore from sections 25, 29 and 31, and subsections 27(1), (5) and (6), of the Act in respect of cellular services and several other mobile wireless telecommunications services, except those that are supplied by a regulated telephone company. The Commission also determined that the competitive safeguards established in Cellular Radio - Adequacy of Structural Safeguards, Telecom Decision CRTC 87-13, 23 September 1987, (Decision 87-13) and in Rogers Cantel Inc. v. Bell Canada - Marketing of Cellular Service, Telecom Decision CRTC 92-13, 29 June 1992 (Decision 92-13), would continue to apply to the conduct of the telephone companies in their relations with cellular affiliates.
4.  The costing and marketing safeguards of Decisions 87-13 and 92-13 include (1) mechanisms to ensure that no cross-subsidization from monopoly telephone to cellular revenues takes place; (2) a prohibition on joint marketing and advertising of telephone company and cellular services; (3) a requirement for neutral customer referrals by the telephone company; and (4) a prohibition on access to telephone company customer information by a cellular affiliate or by a division.
5.  Regulatory Framework for the Independent Telephone Companies in Quebec and Ontario (Except Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, Québéc-Téléphone and Télébec ltée), Telecom Decision CRTC 96-6, 7 August 1996 (Decision 96-6), extended Decision 94-15 to most of the independent telephone companies in Ontario and Quebec.
6.  In Decision 96-6, the Commission directed any independent telephone company that wishes to offer cellular services through a division of a company which provides monopoly telephone services to comply with the safeguards established in Decisions 87-13 and 92-13, and, as indicated in Decision 94-15, if it wished the Commission to forbear, to submit a proposal to the Commission, including appropriate costing and marketing safeguards.
7.  Dryden and Thunder Bay Telephone are owned by the respective municipalities, and, as noted in Decision 96-6, municipally owned telephone companies may not be in a position to establish structurally separate affiliates to supply cellular services. As part of their applications, Dryden and Thunder Bay Telephone have proposed competitive safeguards for the provision of cellular services.
8.  The Commission recently issued Regulatory Framework for Abitibi-Price Inc. and Cochrane Public Utilities Commission, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-6, 19 February 1997, (PN 97-6), and Regulatory Framework - Prince Rupert City Telephones, Telecom Public Notice 97-8, 19 February 1997, (PN 97-8), to initiate proceedings to examine the regulatory framework of Abitibi-Price Inc., Cochrane Public Utilities Commission (Cochrane), and Prince Rupert City Telephones (Prince Rupert). The Commission's preliminary view, as expressed in these public notices, is that Decision 96-6 also should apply to these companies. For Cochrane and Prince Rupert, issues related to forbearance from regulation of cellular and mobile wireless telecommunications services connected to the PSTN will be dealt with in this proceeding rather than in the proceedings initiated by PNs 97-6 and 97-8.
9.  The Commission notes that Regulation of Mobile Wireless Telecommunications Services, Telecom Decision CRTC 96-14, 23 December 1996, (Decision 96-14), which replaced Decision 94-15, does not apply to telephone companies subject to Decision 96-6. However, the Commission is of the preliminary view that one finding of Decision 96-14, namely that all mobile wireless voice services connected to the PSTN should be subject to the same regulatory framework, should also apply to municipally owned telephone companies. Accordingly, the Commission is of the preliminary view that the regulatory framework to be determined in this proceeding for cellular services provided by the municipally owned telephone companies should apply also, for example, to personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio services.
10.  The Commission invites comments on issues relating to the forbearance from regulation of cellular and mobile wireless telecommunications services provided by Thunder Bay Telephone, Dryden and the other municipally owned telephone companies. In addition to any general comments, parties are also asked to address the following issues:
 (1) the appropriateness of the safeguards proposed by Dryden and Thunder Bay Telephone for provision of cellular and mobile wireless telecommunications voice services by a division of, or otherwise within, a municipally owned telephone company;
 (2) whether, given the proposed safeguards, it would be appropriate for the Commission to forbear pursuant to section 34 of the Act from cellular and mobile wireless voice services provided by the municipally owned telephone companies, and if so, to what extent.
11.  The Commission has issued interrogatories to Thunder Bay Telephone and Dryden, requesting responses be filed by 30 May 1997.
12.  The applications by Thunder Bay Telephone and Dryden, and the Commission interrogatories may be examined at the offices of the Commission in Ottawa and Vancouver.
13.  Thunder Bay Telephone and Dryden (the applicants), Bruce Municipal Telephone System, Cochrane, Keewatin Municipal Telephone System, Kenora Municipal Telephone System, and Prince Rupert are made parties to this proceeding.
14.  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 20 May 1997. The Commission will issue a complete list of parties and their mailing addresses.
15.  Interested parties, including the applicants, may file comments with the Commission on the issues raised in this Public Notice, serving copies on all other parties, by 6 June 1997.
16.  Interested parties, including the applicants, may file reply comments with the Commission, serving copies on all other parties, by 14 July 1997.
17.  Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must actually be received, not merely mailed, by that date.
18.  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.
 Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
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