ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 98-744

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Telecom Order

Ottawa, 30 July 1998
Telecom Order CRTC 98-744
Review and Vary Application for Space and Power Special Facility Tariff Filings
File No.: 8662-S1-02/98
1.Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor) requested that the Commission review and vary orders that denied proposed central office space and power Special Facility Tariff (SFT) arrangements. Stentor, on behalf of BC TEL, Bell Canada (Bell) and The New Brunswick Telephone Company, Limited (now called NBTel Inc.) (NBTel), requested that the Commission rescind its denial of Bell Tariff Notice (TN) 6102, NBTel TNs 662, 663 and 664, and, in part, BC TEL TN 3752.
2.Stentor further requested that the Commission find that rates established for central office co-location of equipment by Canadian carriers in Co-location, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-15, 16 June 1997 (Decision 97-15), and Telecom Order CRTC 97-1926 do not apply to special facility arrangements for the co-location of customer provided equipment.
3.Finally, Stentor requested that the Commission approve the originally proposed tariffs.
4.Stentor argued that the basic principle that Decision 97-15 and the related General Tariff items apply to interconnecting Canadian carriers only, and not to other parties, was not respected by the Commission in the orders that denied the space and power SFTs. Stentor alleged that the Commission misunderstood the intent of Decision 97-15 in this respect. Stentor submitted that the floor space and electric power tariffed rates were determined on a Commission mandated "essential facilities" basis and that these rates are not consistent with rates for market-based competitive services.
5.Stentor further argued that the determination in the orders that rates set for competitors are to be offered to retail customers is a new principle that is incorrect. In Stentor's view, the requirement to provide space and power to retail customers at rates determined on an "essential facilities" basis could be considered to be anti-competitive.
6.Stentor also contended that, by requiring information to be provided concerning the derivation of other charges included in SFT arrangements, the Commission was altering earlier directives concerning the filing of economic studies.
7.Finally, Stentor alleged that there was substantial doubt as to the correctness of the Commission's orders since the co-location rates to be used were not designed to reflect market conditions for retail space and power arrangements. Stentor argued that rates for services that are offered on a retail basis should be responsive to local cost conditions and to demand for the service.
8.AT&T Canada Long Distance Services Company (AT&T Canada LDS) supported the use of General Tariff co-location rates for floor space and electric power components of SFTs to ensure that carriers using the co-location tariffs are charged fair and equitable rates in relation to other retail SFT space and power customers. AT&T Canada LDS argued that it would not be fair for non-carriers to get preferred rates, particularly affiliates of the telephone company. AT&T Canada LDS noted that, normally, SFTs use General Tariff rates where available. This prevents the telephone companies from providing special rates to preferred customers.
9.Rogers Telecom Inc. (Rogers) argued that Stentor was incorrect when it stated that the Commission's orders required the complete co-location General Tariff to be applied to retail space and power SFTs. Rogers noted that only the floor space and electric power rates were prescribed, not the other terms and conditions of co-location. Rogers submitted that the tariffed rates were appropriate to provide for the recovery of costs and to ensure competitive equity for access to central offices. Rogers urged the Commission to deny Stentor's review and vary application.
10.MetroNet Communications Group Inc. (MetroNet) did not oppose the Stentor application on condition that it could be assured that the space and power SFT rates would always be at or above General Tariff co-location rates. MetroNet noted that retail space and power SFT customers could become "quasi-carriers" using their central office access.
11.Fundy Communications Corporation (Fundy) noted that the Commission determined co-location to be a telecommunications service. Fundy argued that co-location is therefore subject to section 27(2) of the Telecommunications Act (the Act) that addresses unjust discrimination. Fundy indicated its concerns that co-location access provided by SFTs could provide an undue preference if the General Tariff rates are not used.
12.The Commission is of the view that space and power SFT arrangements for access to central offices are a substitute for co-location which enable SFT users to compete with co-located Canadian carriers. Telephone company affiliates are among the users that obtain co-location through SFTs. The Commission considers that provision of essentially the same services at different rates to different customers could lead to unjust discrimination contrary to the provisions of the Act.
13.The Commission considers the current Competitor Services price cap classification for space and power SFT arrangements to be appropriate. The Commission is of the view that competitive equity among parties with access to central offices requires a consistent approach between SFTs and the General Tariff.
14.The Commission concludes that in directing the Stentor member companies to use certain General Tariff rates, the Commission has not failed to consider or misunderstand a basic principle raised in the original proceeding, nor has a new principle arisen which would justify a variance. While Decision 97-15 applies only to Canadian carriers, this fact does not remove the requirement that similar services be provided in a manner that is not unjustly discriminatory. The Commission considers that the requirement to use General Tariff rates recognizes that these SFTs provide access to the central office for parties who may be competing with Canadian carriers who use the General Tariff rates.
15.The Commission further concludes that substantial doubt as to the correctness of the orders has not been demonstrated. The Commission considers that the need for competitive equity for access to central offices outweighs the specific rating arguments raised by Stentor in this application.
16.The Commission, therefore, denies the Stentor application to review and vary Telecom Orders CRTC 98-121, 98-124 and 98-167.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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