ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 98-472

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Archived Decisions, Notices and Orders (DNOs) remain in effect except to the extent they are amended or reversed by the Commission, a court, or the government. The text of archived information has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Changes to DNOs are published as “dashes” to the original DNO number. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.


Telecom Order CRTC 98-472


Ottawa, 12 May 1998


The Commission received an application from BC TEL under Tariff Notice (TN) 3761 dated 30 January 1998, amended by TN 3761A dated 20 March 1998, for approval of revisions to the company’s General Tariff pertaining to the introduction of two wholesale Operator Services to be offered on a contractual basis to Wireless Service Providers (WSPs) and Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs). The two services are Directory Information Service and Local Operator Assistance Service;


The Commission received an application from Bell Canada (Bell) under TN 6190 dated 18 February 1998, for proposed additions to the company’s General Tariff providing for the introduction of Directory Information Service and Local Operator Assistance Service for CLECs.


File Nos.: BC TEL TNs 3761/A and Bell TN 6190


Directory Information Service (DIS) enables a WSP or CLEC to provide directory assistance (DA) service to its end-users by directing the end-users’ directory assistance requests to the telephone company’s directory assistance system.


Local Operator Assistance Service (LOAS) will allow WSPs and CLECs to provide local operator assistance to their end-users who dial "0" (operator) to request assistance.


BC TEL proposed, in conjunction with the introduction of the proposed services, that it be allowed to discontinue line-side access by telecommunications service providers to 411 and 1-HOME NPA-555-1212 directory assistance and operator services. BC TEL stated that WSPs and CLECs would be given the option of routing their DA calls trunk-side to the operator services platform and paying the tariffed rates as described in the Interexchange Carrier Access Tariff. To allow WSPs and CLECs time to make any necessary system changes, BC TEL proposed to continue to make line-side DA and operator services access available to them for 60 days following the effective date of DIS and LOAS.


Bell noted that its proposed rates and charges for DIS for CLECs are the same as those for WSPs which the Commission granted interim approval to in Telecom Order CRTC 97-749 dated 4 June 1997 (Order 97-749).


Both BC TEL and Bell requested expedited approval of their filings to allow for expeditious introduction of these services.


Comments were received from DACo Telecommunications Inc. (DACo), Clearnet Communications Inc. (Clearnet), MetroNet Communications Group Inc. (MetroNet), and Rogers Cantel Inc. (Cantel) with respect to BC TEL TN 3761, and from MetroNet, Clearnet and Vidéotron Télécom ltée (Videotron) with respect to Bell TN 6190.


MetroNet submitted that it has signed Operator Service agreements with both Bell and BC TEL relative to Bell TN 6190 and BC TEL TN 3761 respectively. MetroNet submitted that it has an immediate need for the provision of Operator Services, and as such, requested that the two tariff filings be approved by the Commission as quickly as possible.


Clearnet, Cantel and Vidéotron asked for interrogatory processes submitting that insufficient detail had been provided. Cantel requested that the Commission not approve BC TEL’s application, even on an interim basis, until all of the issues have been resolved.


DACo submitted that it intends to offer national DA service and operator assistance services to competitive telecommunications carriers in Canada. DACo argued that BC TEL’s application should be denied.


Among the concerns raised by the interveners were the need to maintain line-side access; the lack of flexibility in the proposed service due to the use of long term contracts; routing issues; the level of rates and the mark-ups included therein; and the unresolved status of competitive alternatives to DIS, including Mediated Real-Time Access and Directory File Service.


BC TEL and Bell filed reply comments. Both companies stated that parties had not raised substantive issues that would support a denial of their respective tariff applications. Bell stated that it has provided sufficient costing information to support the proposed rates, and consequently an interrogatory phase is not required and should not be permitted to delay the approval of the proposed tariffs.


The Commission notes that it granted interim approval in Order 97-749 to Bell’s DIS for WSPs in which Bell proposed many of the same rates and conditions as BC TEL is proposing for its services.


The Commission also notes that BC TEL filed an economic study to support its proposed rates.


The Commission notes that Bell’s DIS allows WSPs to use line-side access to 1-HOME NPA-555-1212. The Commission is of the view that it is not appropriate for BC TEL to discontinue line-side access to DA and operator services within 60 days of approval of its application, or otherwise.


The Commission considers that the continued availability of non-contractual line-side access will enable DA and operator service customers to evaluate available alternatives, including any proposed by DACo.


The Commission agrees with Clearnet, Cantel and Vidéotron that further details are warranted and that an interrogatory process is appropriate.


The Commission notes that Clause 9.1 of BC TEL’s proposed agreement states:


"Except as expressly agreed in writing, BC TEL shall not be liable to the Customer for any loss or damage arising from the use of the Operator Services howsoever caused, except as expressly provided in this Agreement."


The Commission considers that this clause overly limits liability.


In light of the foregoing the Commission orders that:


(a) The application filed by BC TEL under TNs 3761 and 3761A is granted interim approval with the exception of BC TEL’s proposal to discontinue line-side access to directory assistance and operator services.


(b) BC TEL is directed to amend Clause 9.1 of its proposed agreement such that the limitation of liability is as set out in its Terms of Service, as amended from time to time.


(c) BC TEL is directed to issue forthwith tariff pages and an amended agreement reflecting the above.


(d) The application filed by Bell under TN 6190 is granted interim approval.


The Commission also establishes the following further procedure with respect to the applications:


(a) Parties may address interrogatories to BC TEL and/or Bell. Any such interrogatories must be filed with the Commission and served on the relevant parties by 26 May 1998.


(b) BC TEL and Bell are to file responses to interrogatories, serving copies on all other parties, by 9 June 1998.


(c) Parties may file supplemental comments, serving copies on all other parties, by 23 June 1998.


(d) BC TEL and Bell may file supplemental reply comments, serving copies on all other parties, by 9 July 1998.


(e) All material to be filed or served pursuant to this determination by a specific date must be received, and not merely sent, by the dates indicated.


(f) 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 e-mail address for electronically filed documents is filed documents can be accessed at the Commission’s Internet site at


Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General


This document is available in alternative format upon request.

Date modified: