ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 99-5

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Telecom Order


Ottawa, 8 January 1999


Telecom Order CRTC 99-5


On 31 July 1997, ACC Long Distance Inc., AT&T Canada Long Distance Services Company, Call-Net Enterprises Inc. (Call-Net), Rogers Cantel Inc., the Canadian Cable Television Association (CCTA), the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, Clearnet Communications Inc., fONOROLA Inc., MetroNet Communications Corp. (MetroNet), Microcell Telecommunications Inc., Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor) on behalf of BC TEL, Bell Canada, The Island Telephone Company Limited (now called Island Telecom Inc.), Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, MTS NetCom Inc. (now called MTS Communications Inc.), The New Brunswick Telephone Company, Limited (now called NBTel Inc.), NewTel Communications Inc. and TELUS Communications Inc., and Vidéotron Télécom ltée (Vidéotron), filed their comments on, among other matters, Porting Numbers by Non-LECs (Local Exchange Carriers), pursuant to the Commission's letter of 17 July 1997. CCTA and Stentor filed reply comments on 7 August 1997.


File No.: 96-2376


1.The issues, as described by the 17 July 1997 letter, are:


a) Would it be appropriate to allow the portability database to be used to port numbers:


i) between LECs and non-LECs (i.e.- wireless service providers or other Canadian carriers that are not LECs, but that have telephone numbers assigned to them);


ii) between non-LECs?


b) If porting is allowed from a LEC to a non-LEC, what, if any, of the obligations applicable to the Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs) as set out in Local Competition, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-8, 1 May 1997 (Decision 97-8) should apply to the non-LEC?


2.A majority of parties were of the view that non-LECs are at a competitive disadvantage if they are unable to port numbers. These parties generally submitted that non-LECs should be allowed to use the Number Portability Administration Centre/Service Management System (NPAC/SMS) database to port numbers provided they meet the following conditions:


a) they are shareholders of the Local Number Portability (LNP) Consortium and are thus subject to the same voting rights and obligations as LECs, such as contributing to the recovery of the NPAC/SMS costs and the provision of reciprocal porting; and


b) they are subject to the consumer protection requirements and customer safeguards established for CLECs in Decision 97-8.


3.Call-Net also expressed the view that it would not be reasonable to allow non-LECs to have LNP unless Interexchange Carriers were assured access to the non-LECs' interexchange customer base. To do otherwise, Call-Net argued, would provide non-LECs the opportunity to re-monopolize a segment of the toll market, to the detriment of consumer choice and welfare.


4.Stentor submitted that the right to port numbers provides a major competitive advantage that should only be available to those parties who choose to accept all the obligations that CLECs must bear. Stentor's view, also supported by MetroNet, was that any non-LEC that wishes to port numbers from LECs should be required to meet all CLEC obligations before being allowed to do so.


5.Stentor also submitted that letting non-LECs port numbers would amount to permitting service portability, the ramifications of which have not yet been examined.


6.CCTA submitted that non-LECs wishing to port numbers from LECs should be required to become CLECs and be subject to the Commission's safeguards. CCTA further suggested, however, that there should be no restrictions on the use of the NPAC/SMS by non-LECs to port numbers between themselves. Vidéotron supported this position.


7.The Commission considers that the issue of porting numbers by non-LECs is part of a complex set of issues related to number portability in particular and to competition in the local market in general. Therefore, it should be considered in the context of the policy objectives and determinations set out by the Commission in Decision 97-8 and related orders and decisions.


8.The Commission notes that under the framework established for local telecommunications services competition in Decision 97-8 it is essential, under current conditions, that the existing mechanism for rating of calls and determination of contribution be preserved and that service providers be obliged to provide reciprocal number portability. The Commission notes that in order to meet these requirements, LECs are required to use a unique set of NXXs in each exchange in which they operate. The Commission notes that permitting access to the NPAC/SMS by a non-LEC could result in the provision of LNP by a service provider that does not have a unique set of NXXs, and therefore, does not meet the essential requirements of its framework for local competition.


9.More generally, the Commission notes that the framework for local competition, established in Decision 97-8, defined a comprehensive set of privileges and obligations that would apply to LECs. The Commission found that the obligations imposed upon LECs are appropriate in light of the privileges that are in turn accorded to those service providers. The Commission found that the balance thus achieved would best promote efficient and fair competition in the local telecommunications service market. The Commission considers that extending the privilege of access to the NPAC/SMS to non-LECs to provide, among other things, portability between LECs and non-LECs, in the absence of the corresponding obligations of a LEC would alter the terms of the framework established for local competition in Decision 97-8 in a manner contrary to the public interest.


10.In light of the above, and based on the record of this proceeding, the Commission concludes that, at this time, access to the NPAC/SMS to port numbers should continue to be restricted to LECs.


Secretary General


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