ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 98-690

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Telecom Order

Ottawa, 14 July 1998
Telecom Order CRTC 98-690
The Commission received an application from TELUS Communications Inc. (TCI) dated 8 April 1998, for approval of revisions to the company's Carrier Access Tariff (CAT) pertaining to the introduction of two wholesale Operator Services to be offered on a contractual basis to Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs). The two services are Directory Information Service (DIS) and Local Operator Assistance Service (LOAS).
File No.: Tariff Notice 1024
1.DIS enables a CLEC to provide directory assistance (DA) service to its end-users by directing the end-users' DA requests to the telephone company's DA system.
2.LOAS will allow CLECs to provide local operator assistance to their end-users who dial "0" (operator) to request assistance.
3.TCI proposed, in conjunction with the introduction of DIS and LOAS, that it be allowed to discontinue line-side access by CLECs to 411 and 1-403-555-1212 DA and operator services. TCI stated that CLECs would be given the option of routing their DA calls trunk-side to the company's operator services platform and paying the tariffed rates in the CAT. To allow CLECs time to make any necessary system changes, TCI proposed to continue to make line-side DA and operator services available to them for 60 days following the effective date of DIS and LOAS.
4.TCI requested expeditious approval of its filing to allow for expeditious introduction of these services.
5.Comments were received from DACo Telecommunications Inc. (DACo) and Clearnet Communications Inc. (Clearnet).
6.Clearnet requested that the tariff be augmented to accommodate Wireless Service Providers (WSPs) in addition to CLECs. Clearnet also requested an interrogatory process submitting that insufficient detail had been provided.
7.DACo submitted that it intends to provide national DA and operator assistance services to competitive telecommunications carriers in Canada. DACo argued that TCI's application should be denied.
8.Among the concerns raised by DACo and Clearnet were the need to maintain line-side access; the lack of flexibility in the proposed service due to the use of long term contracts; 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.
9.TCI replied that the comments of Clearnet and DACo have not raised significant issues that would support an interrogatory phase. TCI submitted that it had supplied the Commission with all the economic information necessary for the Commission to render a decision on its application.
10.TCI submitted that upon approval of Tariff Notice (TN) 1024, it would file revisions to include the provision of DIS and LOAS to WSPs.
11.The Commission notes that it granted interim approval in Telecom Orders CRTC 97-749 dated 4 June 1997 and CRTC 98-472 dated 12 May 1998 for the offering of DIS and LOAS by Bell Canada (Bell) and BC TEL to CLECs and WSPs.
12.TCI proposed a similar set of rates and conditions as Bell and BC TEL are proposing for their services.
13.The Commission also notes that TCI filed an economic study to support its proposed rates.
14.The Commission considers that DIS and LOAS should be equally available to WSPs at the same time they are introduced for CLECs. The Commission is also of the view that it is not appropriate for TCI to discontinue line-side access to DA and operator services within 60 days of approval of its application, or otherwise.
15.The Commission considers that the continued availability of non-contractual line-side access will enable WSPs to evaluate available alternatives, including any proposed by DACo.
16.The Commission agrees with Clearnet that further details are warranted and that an interrogatory process is appropriate.
17.The Commission notes that Clause 9.1 of TCI's proposed agreement states:
"Except as expressly agreed in writing, TCI shall not be liable to the Customer for any loss or damage arising from the use or provision of the Operator Services howsoever caused, except as expressly provided in this Agreement."
18.The Commission considers that this clause overly limits liability.
19.In light of the foregoing the Commission orders that:
(a) The application filed by TCI under TN 1024 is granted interim approval subject to the services being made available concurrently and with the exception of TCI's proposal to discontinue line-side access to DA and operator services.
(b) TCI 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) TCI is directed to issue forthwith tariff pages and an amended agreement reflecting the above.
20.The Commission also establishes the following further procedure with respect to the application:
(a) Parties may address interrogatories to TCI. Any such interrogatories must be filed with the Commission and served on all other parties by 28 July 1998.
(b) TCI is to file responses to interrogatories, serving copies on all other parties, by 11 August 1998.
(c) Parties may file supplemental comments, serving copies on all other parties, by 25 August 1998.
(d) TCI may file supplemental reply comments, serving copies on all other parties, by 8 September 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) 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
(g) The application may also be examined during normal business hours at any of the company's business offices.
(h) 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
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
This document is available in alternative format upon request.

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