ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 99-269

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Telecom Order


Ottawa, 23 March 1999


Telecom Order CRTC 99-269


TELUS Communications Inc. (TCI) and TELUS Communications (Edmonton) Inc. (TCEI) filed for approval, under Tariff Notices (TNs) TCI 1090 dated 24 September 1998 and TCEI 88 dated 6 October 1998 respectively, tariff revisions for the introduction of Internet Call Manager (ICM) Service.


File Nos.: TCI TN 1090; TCEI TN 88 and TCI TN 34


1.On 1 January 1999, the two companies and three other affiliates amalgamated. In an application dated 22 January 1999, TCI (the amalgamated entity) filed TN 34, streamlining and combining the Calling Features and other related tariffs of the two formerly separate companies.


2.The Commission considers that the foregoing filings raise three issues:


a) whether Enhanced Call Forwarding (ECF) is in the nature of an essential service;


b) the availability of ECF service to all customers; and


c) the impact of TCI TN 34 on the ICM filings.


Whether ECF is in the nature of an essential service


3.TCI submitted arguments on whether the call forward on busy function is an essential service. Having considered those arguments, the Commission finds, consistent with its finding in Telecom Order CRTC 98-784, that the call forward on busy function is in the nature of an essential service in the provision of ICM, and therefore the ECF tariff rates should be used in the costing of ICM.


Availability of ECF service to all customers


4.TCI submitted that the requirement to make ECF service available to Internet service providers is a requirement consistent with Enhanced Services, Telecom Decision CRTC 84-18, 12 July 1984, that required bottleneck components of any enhanced or optional services provided by the telephone companies to be unbundled. According to TCI, with local competition, those enhanced service rules are outdated. The company also submitted that it has requested the Commission to initiate a proceeding to rationalize all interconnection and unbundling requirements. TCI argued that until that proceeding has been completed, it should not be required to unbundle ECF.


5.The Commission notes that other telephone companies' call forward on busy tariffs are available to any customer. As the Commission considers call forward on busy as being in the nature of an essential service, the requirement that it be made available to competitors remains.


Imputation Test Considerations


6.In TN 34, the amalgamated company is proposing to replace the former TCI's SmartTouch tariffs and the former TCEI's Calling Features and voice messaging service tariffs with amalgamated Calling Features tariffs.


7.The Commission notes that the proposed increase in the ECF tariff impacts on the imputation test results for TCI TN 1090 and TCEI TN 88, as ECF is in the nature of an essential service and must be costed at tariffed rates.


8.In addition, the decrease in the Call Answer rate, accompanied by the increase in the ECF rates, would adversely impact competitors of Call Answer service. This would be more pronounced in the former TCEI territory, because the ECF rates are going up more than in the former TCI territory.


9.The Commission considers that TCI TN 1090 and TCEI TN 88 would fail the imputation test if the rates for ECF proposed in TN 34 were used.


10.In light of the foregoing, the Commission requests TCI to review the ECF rates proposed in TN 34, in light of the Commission's findings that ECF is in the nature of an essential service, supporting any further proposed rates with costs. Should the company propose new rates, it should submit a standalone imputation test for Call Answer service, costing the use of ECF at the proposed rates.


11.The Commission also requests the company to review the ICM rates proposed in TCI TN 1090 and TCEI TN 88, costing the use of ECF at the proposed rates.


Secretary General


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