ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 98-624

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Telecom Order

Ottawa, 26 June 1998
Telecom Order CRTC 98-624
On 26 September 1997, Rogers Cantel Inc. (Cantel) filed an application pursuant to section 62 of the Telecommunications Act and Part VII of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedures requesting that the Commission review and vary that part of Order 97-1028 requiring Wireless Service Providers (WSPs) to use TELUS Communications (Edmonton) Inc.'s (TCEI) Edmonton Signal Transfer Point (STP) for their Common Channel Signaling #7 (CCS7) point of interconnection with TCEI.
File No.: 8662-C7-01/97
1. On 4 April 1997, TCEI filed for approval Tariff Notice (TN) 50 proposing revisions to the company's Cellular Radio-Telephone System Access Tariff for the provision of trunk-side access and CCS7 to Cellular Service Operators. Clearnet Communications Inc. and Cantel intervened, raising a number of issues. The main points of contention were the limits placed by TCEI on the size of the local calling area and the requirement that CCS7 interconnection must take place at Edmonton's CCS7 STP.
2. In Telecom Order CRTC 97-1028, dated 22 July 1997, the Commission:
(1) directed TCEI to (a) issue revised tariff pages extending the availability of the tariff to all WSPs, and (b) extend the tandem functionality to include all of the existing extended flat rate calling area of the Edmonton exchange;
(2) granted interim approval to the remainder of TN 50, including the requirement for CCS7 interconnection at the Edmonton STP. In its Order the Commission noted that Interexchange Carriers (IXCs) that exchange toll traffic with TCEI are also required to interconnect for the associated CCS7 traffic at the Edmonton STP.
3. In its review and vary application, Cantel submitted that there is substantial doubt as to the correctness of Order 97-1028 because it "contravenes the Commission's overriding policy objective of ensuring that the regulatory framework fosters efficient interconnection arrangements", and furthermore, "the separate and distinct corporate personalities which Telus Communications Inc. ("TCI") and TCEI assert in order to support their claims for separate points of interconnection is fundamentally at odds with the strategy of integration which is currently being pursued by Telus Corporation, the sole owner and the directing mind of both TCI and TCEI."
4. Cantel requested that the Commission vary Order 97-1028 so as to remove the requirement for WSPs to interconnect at TCEI's STP in Edmonton. In the alternative, Cantel requested that the Commission indicate that, at a minimum, wireless carriers are not required to interconnect at separate STPs in TCI and TCEI territory, and that a single point of interconnection at either TCI's Calgary STP or TCEI's Edmonton STP will be sufficient.
5. Cantel stated that it had negotiated a Joint Planning Agreement (JPA) with Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor) allowing it to interconnect with Stentor's CCS7 network at a single Stentor gateway STP, and that TCI's predecessor, AGT Limited, was a party to the JPA.
6. Cantel also submitted that TCI's insistence that WSPs interconnect for CCS7 signaling at TCI's Calgary STP, together with the Commission's ruling that WSPs must interconnect for CCS7 signaling at TCEI's Edmonton STP for exchange of traffic in Edmonton, leads to the bizarre result that WSPs are required to have two points of CCS7 interconnection in Alberta alone, and only one other point of CCS7 interconnection for all the territories served by the remaining Stentor companies. Cantel submitted that by contrast, IXCs only require a single point of interconnection in Alberta.
7. Comments in support of Cantel's application were received from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, Clearnet Communications Inc. and Microcell Telecommunications Inc.
8. In its answer, TCEI submitted that the Commission's policy of fostering efficient interconnection arrangements did not include mandating TCEI to facilitate interconnection with another company through the facilities of a third party and cited examples where the Commission had required both IXCs and resellers to interconnect directly with TCEI.
9. With respect to Cantel's claim that because TCI and TCEI are effectively one integrated company and that only one CCS7 point of interconnection is required, TCEI submitted that there are no set plans to merge the two companies into a single entity.
10. In its reply, Cantel submitted that TCEI should be treated like the Stentor member companies which offer trunk-side interconnection with CCS7 to WSPs. Further, Cantel cited Stentor's position in the proceeding leading to Local Competition, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-8, 1 May 1997 (Decision 97-8) to support its request for a single point of interconnection. In support of its request, Cantel submitted that IXCs are permitted to operate with one point of signaling interconnection in Alberta, and that WSPs should be treated similarly.
11. The Commission is not persuaded by Cantel's argument that TCI and TCEI should be treated as one integrated company. While TCI and TCEI have a common ownership and share some management functions, they are nontheless two separate legal entities.
12. Consistent with previous Commission determinations, the Commission considers TCEI's separate legal identity should be recognized in this proceeding. Given this, the Commission disagrees with Cantel that TCEI should be treated as though it were a Stentor member company.
13. The Commission agrees with Cantel's statement that the IXCs are permitted to operate with one point of signaling interconnection in Alberta. However, the Commission notes that this point of interconnection in Edmonton applies solely to the exchange of traffic with TCEI. The remainder of the province (i.e., TCI's territory) is handled through a connection at a Stentor STP.
14. The Commission notes that it has previously required IXCs and resellers to interconnect in TCEI's territory in matters arising from Telecom Order CRTC 95-750 dated 4 July 1995, and in the Letter Decision dated 5 November 1997, dealing with a London Telecom complaint.
15. Consistent with the requirements imposed on IXCs, the Commission considers that WSPs should be required to interconnect their CCS7 traffic at the Edmonton STP for the exchange of signaling traffic with TCEI in accordance with TCEI's tariffs, or negotiate an alternate arrangement with TCEI.
16. With respect to Cantel's reliance on the Stentor position in the local competition proceeding to support its request for a single point of interconnection, the Commission notes that Stentor's position was not adopted in Decision 97-8. The Commission further notes that Decision 97-8 established rules for CLECs in Stentor member territories. Since TCEI is not a Stentor member and the proceeding leading to Order 97-1028 addressed interconnection for WSPs, not CLECs, the Commission considers that Cantel's reliance on Stentor's position in the local competition proceeding is not relevant to this proceeding.
17. In light of the above, the Commission considers that there was no substantial doubt as to the correctness of the Commission's determination in Order 97-1028. Accordingly, Cantel's review and vary application is denied, including the requested alternative relief.
18. The Commission notes in passing that review and vary applications filed after 20 March 1998 are considered in light of the guidelines enunciated in Guidelines for Review and Vary Applications, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 98-6, 20 March 1998.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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