ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 98-497

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Telecom Order

Ottawa, 22 May 1998
Telecom Order CRTC 98-497
In a letter dated 30 June 1997, InfoInterActive Inc. (IIA) requested the Commission to direct Bell Canada (Bell) to modify its Integrated Voice Messaging Services (IVMS) tariff, to allow IIA to offer a service called Internet Call Manager (ICM) to certain customers in Ontario and Quebec, to whom IIA could not yet offer service. In particular, IIA requested changes to Bell Tariff Item 2025.6 (IVMS voice mailboxes) and Item 2025.7 (Call forwarding arrangements). IIA is seeking to provide ICM service to Bell's Call Answer subscribers. IIA is also seeking changes permitting other customers who want to use IIA's ICM service to subscribe to Bell's Partially integrated mailbox service and Call forwarding arrangements. Bell provided its reply to IIA's application.
File Nos.: Bell Tariff Notices 6127 and 6133
1. In Tariff Notice (TN) 6127 dated 27 October 1997, Bell proposed changes to its IVMS tariff. In TN 6133 dated 29 October 1997, Bell proposed to offer a service called Internet Call Display (ICD).
2. IIA's ICM and Bell's ICD are Internet display services that indicate to a subscriber logged on to the Internet that a telephone call has come in, and allow the subscriber to deal with the call.
3. IIA provided comments on TNs 6127 and 6133. The Commission has since received over 600 submissions commenting on Bell TNs 6127 and 6133, mostly from Internet subscribers using electronic form letters supporting IIA's position.
Sending the Call Forward Busy (CFB) and Call Forward No Answer (CFNA) to Separate Destination Numbers
4. IIA submitted that Bell should be directed to allow the CFB and the CFNA to be sent to different telephone numbers. IIA submitted that it does not want the CFNA, or the Call Forward Busy No Answer (CFBNA) as required by a competitive voice mailbox service providers, because it does not wish to be a voice mailbox service provider. IIA wishes to provide ICM to customers, regardless of whether those customers take their voice mailboxes from Bell or any other company.
5. In TN 6127, Bell proposed wording changes to the IVMS tariff that in effect allow the CFB and the CFNA to be sent to two separate numbers.
6. The Commission hereby approves on an interim basis Bell's proposal under TN 6127 to allow the sending of the call forwarding arrangements to two different numbers, as this will allow Internet display and voice mailbox services to be offered jointly or independently by companies. IIA's concerns with respect to the rates for these services are addressed below.
(a) Allowing IIA to Provide Service to Bell's Call Answer Subscribers
7. IIA submitted that Bell should be directed to immediately provide its Call Answer customers with the capability to call forward their busy calls to the Internet incoming call notification service provider of their choice. IIA claimed that Bell is abusing its dominant position. Bell indicated that its tariffs are in order, and it has no obligation under the tariffs to do what IIA is demanding.
8. Bell, in its submissions, indicated that (1) CFB could be sent to IIA and the CFNA to another voice mailbox provider, or (2) CFB could be retained by Bell, while CFNA will be sent to another voice mailbox provider. However, Bell does not want to allow busy calls (CFB) to its Call Answer subscribers to be routed to IIA or another supplier, while the no answer calls (CFNA) will be retained by Bell.
9. IIA submitted that under the conditions proposed, Bell can offer its ICD service to customers of other mailbox providers, but Bell will not allow other Internet call display suppliers to offer ICD-like services to Bell's own voice mailbox customers. IIA submitted that Bell's refusal to allow IIA to provide its Internet display service to Bell's Call Answer subscribers, gives Bell an undue preference in the provision of its ICD service.
10. The Commission notes that Bell's Call Answer service has been available in its current form for some time, the components are unbundled, and competitors can duplicate it. The Commission is of the view that there is no requirement to modify a service where the bottleneck components are available under tariff and competitors can duplicate the service. The Commission also agrees with Bell that Bell has no obligation to allow IIA to provide Internet display services in tandem with Bell's Call Answer service.
11. The Commission also notes that IIA can become both an Internet display provider and voice mail service provider, on its own or in partnership with a voice mailbox service provider, and can compete against Bell's mailbox and Internet display services. In the circumstances, the Commission is of the view that any preference conferred by Bell on itself is not undue.
12. The Commission is also of the view that a competitive voice mailbox supplier who provides an Internet display service would be in a position to deny access to Bell's ICD service to its customers. A combined competitive voice mailbox-Internet display provider can subscribe to CFBNA for its customer, but it is not required to send the CFB to an alternate Internet notification provider while retaining CFNA for itself.
13. Accordingly, the Commission is of the view that Bell should not be directed to modify its Call Answer service tariff such that other Internet display providers can provide service to Bell's Call Answer subscribers.
(b) Modifying the Partially Integrated Voice Mailbox Tariff
14. Bell's Partially Integrated Mailbox service includes a mailbox plus the associated access components. Unlike the fully integrated mailbox service, the partially integrated service does not include the call forwarding arrangements.
15. IIA submitted that Bell should be directed to revise its IVMS tariff to make clear that its Partially Integrated Mailbox service and each of the various IVMS call forwarding services specified in Item 2025.7(a) are available to customers on a fully unbundled basis.
16. According to IIA, Bell refuses to allow customers to subscribe to the partially integrated mailbox and call forwarding arrangements separately, although these services are tariffed separately. According to IIA, in the past, there were provisions in Bell's IVMS tariff that indicated that partially integrated mailboxes could be purchased with call forwarding arrangements.
17. The Commission notes that Bell's IVMS tariff states that partially integrated mailboxes also require the call forwarding feature specified in Tariff Item 2165 - Calling Features. Bell interprets this to mean that partially integrated mailboxes cannot be obtained for combination with CFB, CFNA, or CFBNA. IIA submitted that there is nothing wrong with the tariff, it is just how Bell chooses to interpret its tariff that is in question.
18. As the Partially Integrated Mailbox service is also competitive and the components are available to competitors, the Commission considers that the Partially Integrated Mailbox service tariff need not be modified.
(c) Whether the Rates for the Call Forwarding Arrangements are Appropriate
19. In TN 6127, Bell proposed that the rates for sending the CFB and the CFNA to two different numbers should be $1.50 per arrangement per number per month ($3.50 for business). IIA submitted that it is clear that the separate availability of the call forwarding arrangements in the existing tariffs indicates that no development work to provide for separate routing is required because the capability to do so already exists. Accordingly, since the DMS 100 switch already has the capability to handle two separate routings in providing this functionality, IIA submitted that there would be no incremental cost to Bell. IIA argued that the CFBNA should be directed to the same or different destinations at the same rate. Bell noted that IIA's argument, in effect, would result in the CFB and the CFNA arrangements being provided at $1.50 together, when directed to two separate numbers, or at $0.75 per feature. Bell submitted that although the switch is capable of two routings, modifications to the systems and processes would still be required. As a result, the cost of sending the CFB and the CFNA to two different numbers would be higher.
20. The Commission notes that Bell has not quantified the cost of any such modifications nor shown a mark-up appropriate for bottleneck facilities (which call forwarding arrangements are), and has not justified the prices where the arrangements are sent to different destinations. The Commission is of the view that appropriate rates for call forwarding arrangements are necessary for competition in Internet display services.
21. Accordingly, the Commission directs Bell to provide the costs of the forwarding arrangements, whether sent to the same destination or to different destinations, within 30 days. Until such time as the Commission can establish final rates for these call forwarding arrangements, the Commission approves on an interim basis the proposed rates for forwarding arrangements set out in TN 6127.
22. IIA's request to modify Bell's Call Answer service to allow IIA to provide its ICM service to Bell's Call Answer subscribers is denied. Similarly, IIA's request to modify Bell's Partially Integrated Mailbox service is also denied.
23. Bell TN 6127 is approved, on an interim basis. Bell is directed to submit updated costs for each call forwarding arrangement, for sending to the same or different destinations, within 30 days.
24. Bell TN 6133 is approved on a final basis.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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