ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 98-190

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Archived Decisions, Notices and Orders (DNOs) remain in effect except to the extent they are amended or reversed by the Commission, a court, or the government. The text of archived information has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Changes to DNOs are published as “dashes” to the original DNO number. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.

Telecom Order

Ottawa, 23 February 1998
Telecom Order CRTC 98-190
On 29 October 1997, Téléphone Guèvremont (Guèvremont) filed an application pursuant to Part VII of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules) for extension of local service between the Ste-Rosalie exchange, situated in Guèvremont's serving territory and the St-Aimé exchange, situated in Télébec ltée's (Télébec) territory.
File No.: 8632-G1-01/97
1. The Ste-Rosalie exchange includes part of the City of St-Hyacinthe (St-Hyacinthe). The remainder of St-Hyacinthe is served by Bell Canada (Bell) (St-Hyacinthe exchange). On 14 October 1997, in Telecom Order CRTC 97-1469, the Commission approved an extension of local service between the St-Hyacinthe exchange and the St-Aimé exchange. Guèvremont's Ste-Rosalie exchange customers living in St-Hyacinthe do not have an Extended Area Service (EAS) link with the St-Aimé exchange. The Ste-Rosalie and the St-Hyacinthe exchanges have the same EAS links, with the exception of the EAS link between the St-Hyacinthe and the St-Aimé exchanges.
2. Guèvremont submitted that the Commission should extend local service between the Ste-Rosalie and St-Aimé exchanges, even if the criteria established by the Commission for extension of local service are not met, for the following reasons:
a) extension of local service between the Ste-Rosalie and St-Aimé exchanges would ensure that customers situated in the Ste-Rosalie exchange, particularly those living in St-Hyacinthe, continue to have the same EAS links as customers in the St-Hyacinthe exchange;
b) the Commission should favour parity between customers in the Ste-Rosalie exchange and those in the St-Hyacinthe exchange;
c) there is a symbolic Community of Interest (COI) between the Ste-Rosalie and St-Aimé exchanges;
d) with the advent of local competition, Guèvremont should be able to provide the same service to its customers residing in St-Hyacinthe as Bell's customers in St-Hyacinthe; and
e) both Guèvremont and Télébec can provide the EAS link at low cost.
3. In its comments on Guèvremont's application, Télébec noted that the COI between the Ste-Rosalie and St-Aimé exchanges was only 17% during the month of August 1997. On that basis, Télébec submitted that Guèvremont's application should be rejected.
4. Although Guèvremont filed its application pursuant to Part VII of the Rules, the Commission considers that Guèvremont's request is more appropriately addressed as an application for approval of new or amended tariff pages pursuant to Part II of the Rules.
5. The Commission notes that in Telecom Decision CRTC 96-5, Regulatory Framework for Québec-Téléphone and Télébec ltée, 7 August 1996 (Decision 96-5) and in Telecom Decision CRTC 96-6, Regulatory Framework for the Independent Telephone Companies in Québec and Ontario (Except Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, Québec-Téléphone and Télébec ltée), 7 August 1996 (Decision 96-6), the Commission approved the criteria for EAS between exchanges situated in the territories of Québec's smaller independent telephone companies and Télébec. The criteria are as follows:
a) there must be a distance not greater than 40 miles between the exchanges;
b) the COI level between the exchanges must be 50% for one-way EAS links and 60% for two-way EAS links; and
c) where the COI criterion is met two months out of 12, a simple majority of subscribers experiencing a rate increase as a result of a new EAS link must agree to the implementation of EAS; if the associated individual-line residential rate increase is one dollar or less per month, no vote is required.
6. Furthermore, in Telecom Decision CRTC 92-22, Bell Canada - Neighbourhood Calling Plan, 9 December 1992 (Decision 92-22), the Commission indicated the circumstances in which it was prepared to consider departures from the EAS criteria for the creation of toll-free calling areas. The Commission stated that the incremental costs of any such departures should be borne primarily by subscribers within the affected regions. Furthermore, subscribers faced with a local rate increase should have the opportunity, through some form of vote, to express their views on the proposal in question. In addition, the Commission found that it may be appropriate for the region or municipality affected by the proposal, rather than the general body of subscribers, to bear some of the costs of such a vote.
7. Guèvremont has submitted that the Commission should depart from the EAS criteria approved in Decisions 96-5 and 96-6 because of the special circumstances that exist between the Ste-Rosalie and the St-Aimé exchanges. The Commission notes that Guèvremont has not filed any evidence to indicate that any of the EAS criteria have been met. Furthermore, the Commission notes that the evidence adduced by Télébec to that effect suggests that the criteria to extend local service have not been met in this case.
8. Furthermore, regardless of whether or not Guèvremont has satisfied the EAS criteria approved in Decisions 96-5 and 96-6, the Commission notes that, in Decision 92-22, it has established specific criteria for those circumstances where departure from EAS criteria may be warranted. The Commission considers that Guèvremont has not provided any evidence to demonstrate that the circumstances in this case justify departure from the EAS criteria for the creation of a toll-free calling area, pursuant to Decision 92-22.
9. In light of the foregoing, the Commission denies Guèvremont's application for extension of local service between the Ste-Rosalie and St-Aimé exchanges on the basis that Guèvremont has failed to satisfy the EAS criteria approved by the Commission in Decisions 96-5 and 96-6 for the extension of local service and has not demonstrated that the circumstances of this case justify departure from the EAS criteria for the creation of toll-free calling areas.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
This document is available in alternative format upon request.

Date modified: