ARCHIVED -  Telecom Public Notice CRTC 98-17

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Telecom Public Notice CRTC 98-17

  Ottawa, 22 July 1998


  File No : 8640-C12-01/98
  1. In several recent orders the Commission found that, in the service territories of a number of telephone companies, there is sufficient competition in markets for end-user access to Internet services (IS) to protect user interests. Consequently, pursuant to section 34 of the Telecommunications Act (the Act), the Commission, conditionally or unconditionally, forbore from regulation of the provision of IS by those telephone companies.
  2. In these rulings, the Commission found that there were no significant barriers to entry, that numerous IS providers had entered the market, that all the underlying transmission facilities were available at tariffed, non-discriminatory rates from the telephone companies, and that a supply of alternate facilities was emerging.
  3. At the same time, the Commission expressed concerns about the ability of the telephone companies to cross-subsidize IS from utility revenues.
  4. Generally, the Commission forbore unconditionally if a telephone company had implemented the split rate base regime set out in Implementation of Regulatory Framework - Splitting of the Rate Base and Related Issues, Telecom Decision CRTC 95-21, 31 October 1995, (Decision 95-21). If a telephone company had not implemented the split rate base regime, the Commission forbore from regulating IS on the condition that the company separate the financial results of the company's Internet operations from the company's utility operations, through accounting separations.
  5. In Telecom Order CRTC 97-471, 8 April 1997, the Commission forbore from the regulation of IS provided by TELUS Communications Inc. and by the New Brunswick Telephone Company, Limited. In Telecom Order CRTC 97-928, 30 June 1997, the Commission forbore from the regulation of IS provided by TELUS Communications (Edmonton) Inc. In Telecom Order CRTC 97-1667, 14 November 1997, the Commission forbore from regulating specified IS offered by NewTel Communications Inc. All of these companies have implemented Decision 95-21, and accordingly, the Commission forbore unconditionally.
  6. In Telecom Order CRTC 97-1666, 14 November 1997, the Commission disposed of an application for forbearance from regulation of IS provided by certain Ontario Telephone Association (OTA) member companies which had not implemented a split rate base regime. The Commission forbore from regulation of IS provided by these OTA member companies conditional upon the implementation of accounting separations.
  7. In Telecom Order CRTC 98-619, 23 June 1998, the Commission forbore unconditionally from the regulation of IS provided by Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, which has implemented the split rate base regime, and from the regulation of IS provided by Northwestel Inc. and Sogetel inc., conditional upon these companies implementing the appropriate accounting separations for IS.
  8. In all of the above IS forbearance orders, the Commission continued to exercise its powers and duties under subsections 27(2), 27(3) and 27(4) of the Act. The Commission also retained some of its powers under section 24 of the Act, in order to impose, among other things, conditions on the offering and provision of IS as may be necessary in the future.
  9. The Commission is of the preliminary view that the IS market is generally competitive, and that pursuant to section 34 of the Act, it would be appropriate to forbear from regulating IS provided by all Canadian carriers in respect of which the Commission has not already forborne. The Commission is also of the preliminary view that, consistent with previous Commission rulings, it would be appropriate to forbear conditionally or unconditionally, depending on whether the carrier in question, if necessary, has the appropriate accounting separations in place.
  10. The Commission invites comments on the preliminary view expressed above. Parties should also address in their comments any other issues that they believe should be considered in determining whether the companies that are parties to this proceeding should be permitted to provide IS on a forborne basis.
  11. The Commission notes that it recently received applications for forbearance from regulation of IS by Bruce Municipal Telephone System, Co-op de téléphone de Valcourt, North Renfrew Telephone Company Limited, Northern Telephone Limited and The Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay - Telephone Division. These applications will be dealt with in this proceeding.
  12. Canadian carriers that are not already subject to a forbearance decision of the Commission with respect to, or that includes, IS are made parties to this proceeding.
  13. Other persons wishing to participate in this proceeding must notify the Commission of their intention to do so by writing to Mrs. Laura M. Talbot-Allan, Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, fax: 819-953-0795, by 21 August 1998. Parties are to indicate in the notice their Internet email address, if available. If parties do not have access to the Internet, they are to indicate in their notice whether they wish to receive disk versions of hard copy filings. The Commission will issue a complete list of parties (including Internet email addresses if available), identifying those parties who wish to receive disk versions.
  14. Parties are to file comments, serving copies on all other parties, by 31 August 1998.
  15. Parties may file reply comments, serving copies on all other parties, by 14 September 1998.
  16. The record of this proceeding may be examined at the CRTC offices at the following addresses:
  Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière 1 Promenade du Portage
Room 201
Hull, Quebec
  530-580 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
  Bank of Commerce Building
1809 Barrington Street
Suite 1007
Halifax, Nova Scotia
  Place Montréal Trust
1800 McGill College Avenue
Suite 1920
Montréal, Quebec
  275 Portage Avenue
Suite 1810
Winnipeg, Manitoba
  17. Other documents forming part of the record of this proceeding may, as noted above, be examined at the Commission office in Hull, or will be made available in the above Regional Office(s) promptly upon request.
  18. In addition to hard copy filings, parties are encouraged to file with the Commission electronic versions of their submissions in accordance with the Commission's Interim Telecom Guidelines for the Handling of Machine-Readable Files, dated 30 November 1995. The Commission's Internet email address for electronically filed documents is Electronically filed documents can be accessed at the Commission's Internet site at
  19. When a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely mailed, by that date.
  Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
  This document is available in alternative format upon request.
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