ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 98-738

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Telecom Order

Ottawa, 24 July 1998
Telecom Order CRTC 98-738
On 17 April 1998, Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor) filed, on behalf of and with the concurrence of all federally regulated Stentor carriers, an application to introduce National Services Tariff Item 790, Enhanced Card Swipe Access.
File No.: Tariff Notice 657 (TN 657)
1.This application was given Commission approval on 20 May 1998 in Telecom Order CRTC 98-495 (Order 98-495). On the same day, comments were received from Call-Net Enterprises Inc. (Call-Net) which, because of their timing, were not considered in the proceeding leading to Order 98-495. Given this, the Commission has considered de novo Stentor's application filed under TN 657 in light of Call-Net's comments and Stentor's reply comments filed on 29 May 1998.
2.Call-Net stated that it was generally pleased with the proposal, but proposed revisions to Item 790 for the Commission's review.
3.First, Call-Net suggested that the tariff be modified to indicate that Enhanced Card Swipe Access service is not available to Stentor operating companies (SOCs) or their affiliates.
4.Secondly, Call-Net objected to the requirement that the entire one-time charge be paid up-front, three months before the service is supplied. Call-Net suggested that it would be more reasonable that a 10% deposit be paid upon signing the agreement and that the remainder of the charge be paid upon service activation. Call-Net further submitted that the first-come first-served basis for the availability of the three slots be timed (dated) as of Stentor receiving the signed agreement and a payment of the 10% deposit.
5.Finally, Call-Net submitted that the tariff be modified to require that for payphones that are technically capable of displaying visual prompts, the only reference to the payphone provider be followed by the term "payphone" so as to clearly indicate that it is solely providing payphone, not interexchange, service.
6.Stentor replied that it would be inappropriate for an SOC or affiliate to subscribe to the service, at this time. Stentor submitted that the Commission's determination in Telecom Order CRTC 98-281 dated 18 March 1998 is sufficient for this purpose, and that the current wording is consistent with the intent of the Commission's Order. Furthermore, such a restriction may not be appropriate in the future, should less than three competitors subscribe to the service, or should changes to the industry's current structure occur.
7.With regard to the payment plan, Stentor noted that an expenditure of the SOCs' resources will be required to implement this service and submitted that such an expenditure should not be required without a substantial commitment on behalf of a potential customer. Stentor also submitted that the SOCs would be put at undue risk of financial loss should a customer cancel its order prior to making the entire payment if Call-Net's proposal were accepted.
8.Finally, Stentor stated that the SOCs intend to reflect their role as the payphone access service provider and not as the interexchange service provider, through the visual display prompts. Stentor noted that any interexchange service provider may choose to identify its service through audible prompts provided by means of its calling card platform. Accordingly, Stentor argued that there is no need to place Call-Net's proposed restriction in the tariff.
9.The Commission agrees with Call-Net that the Enhanced Card Swipe Access service is limited to competitors and notes that Stentor agreed with this view. In the circumstances, the Commission considers that the wording proposed in TN 657 is sufficient and that no amendment is necessary.
10.The Commission considers that Stentor has adequately addressed Call-Net's concerns with respect to the issue of prompts and that, in the circumstances, no amendment to the proposed wording of TN 657 is necessary.
11.The Commission disagrees with Call-Net's submission that the one-time charge should be paid in two instalments. The Commission agrees with Stentor that the proposed wording is appropriate.
In light of the foregoing the Commission orders that TN 657 is approved on a de novo basis.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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