ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 98-617

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Telecom Order

Ottawa, 22 June 1998
Telecom Order CRTC 98-617
On 13 June 1997, BC TEL filed proposed revisions to General Tariff Item 146, to apply the Local Directory Assistance (LDA) charge to the provision of new listings, i.e., those which are not listed in the current edition of the telephone directory.
File No.: Tariff Notice 3641
1. On 14 October 1997, the Commission issued Telecom Order CRTC 97-1464 (Order 97-1464) which approved the proposed tariff revisions on an interim basis effective 1 January 1998.
2. Order 97-1464 required that BC TEL notify its customers of the proposed tariff revisions and allow them 30 days to provide any comments on the application to the Commission.
3. The Commission received 182 letters of comments from subscribers. Most of these comments were against the tariff revisions.
4. In its application, BC TEL stated that its 1996 data on customer usage of LDA to obtain new listing information indicates that the proposed tariff revisions are expected to have an insignificant impact at the individual customer level.
5. BC TEL also stated that the majority of customers use LDA infrequently or not at all, but there is a small percentage of customers who take advantage of the free-of-charge provision of LDA.
6. BC TEL submitted that its proposal appropriately reflects the principle that those who use the service should bear the costs of providing it.
7. BC TEL stated that it is the company's policy to provide a free intercept service so that when a customer calls an old telephone number, a recorded message provides the new number free of charge for approximately two months for residential listings and for up to one year for business listings.
8. BC TEL submitted that in order for the company to participate in the new competitive environment and to justify the investment in software that will be necessary to continue to provide the service that customers expect, the subsidization currently required by LDA service must be reduced.
9. The Commission considers that by providing LDA at no charge for new listings, there is no incentive for subscribers to reasonably limit their use of the service, for example, by retaining a number once it has been provided, thereby imposing a greater cost on the general body of subscribers.
10. The Commission is of the view that while the proposal by BC TEL does not eliminate the shortfall associated with the provision of LDA, it will bring rates closer to costs and will facilitate the growth of competition in the provision of Directory Assistance.
11. The Commission notes BC TEL's policy of offering a free intercept service and considers that the BC TEL proposal will not have a significant impact at the individual customer level.
12. In light of the foregoing, the Commission orders that the application filed by BC TEL under Tariff Notice 3641 be approved on a final basis effective the date of this Order.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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