ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 99-606

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Telecom Order CRTC 99-606


Ottawa, 30 June 1999


On 1 March 1999, The Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay - Telephone Division (Thunder Bay) filed revised telephone number rates for its cellular access service along with proposed rates for the provision of trunk-side wireless interconnection service, inclusive of CCS7 signalling arrangements.


File No.: Tariff Notice 78


1. The tariff application includes the following: (a) a reduction in the seven-digit telephone number rate from $0.80 to $0.40 per number; (b) proposed rates for CCS7 signalling interconnection; (c) proposed rates for geographic central office codes; (d) proposed rates for 1000 number block routing; (e) the inclusion of a per-circuit interexchange (IX) contribution surcharge; (f) proposed rates for trunk-side interconnection trunks; and (g) proposed local transit charges.


2. Comments were received from Rogers Cantel Inc. (Cantel), Clearnet Communications Inc. (Clearnet) and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA).


3. Thunder Bay proposed the application of a per-circuit IX contribution surcharge of $56.50 per activated access channel for both line-side and trunk-side wireless access arrangements.


4. The interveners objected to the inclusion of a per-circuit IX contribution surcharge at this time, noting that the appropriateness of such a charge within the territories of independent telephone companies is being examined in the process initiated by Review of the Contribution Regime of Independent Telephone Companies in Ontario and Quebec, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-41, 18 December 1997 (PN 97-41).


5. The Commission notes that the PN 97-41 proceeding has been concluded and that in its decision (Review of Contribution Regime of Independent Telephone Companies in Ontario and Quebec, Telecom Decision CRTC 99-5, 21 April 1999), it has determined that the base of contribution paying services for the independent territories is not to be expanded to include Wireless Service Providers (WSPs).


6. The Commission therefore considers it inappropriate to include a per-circuit IX contribution surcharge.


7. The interveners disagreed with the inclusion of local transit charges in the tariff for the wireless access service.


8. Cantel noted that proposed local transit charges have not been given interim approval in connection with the former Stentor companies’ trunk-side access tariffs for WSPs and that this issue is currently under consideration in the proceeding initiated by Final Terms and Conditions for Provision of Trunk-side Access and Common Channel Signalling #7 to Wireless Service Providers, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 98-15, 9 July 1998 (PN 98-15).


9. In view of the foregoing, the Commission hereby defers consideration of the proposed transit charges.


10. Cantel and Clearnet submitted that Thunder Bay’s proposed number and access channel rates have not been supported by costing information and do not comply with the directives of Telecom Order CRTC 97-1960, 30 December 1997 (Order 97-1960), or the broader principle of cost justified pricing for essential/bottleneck facilities, and that the Commission should further direct Thunder Bay to provide revised cost-based rates with supporting justification.


11. CWTA recommended that, with the exception of the proposed contribution charges and local transit charges, the remaining charges for trunk-side interconnection be given expeditious interim approval.


12. Cantel submitted that it is appropriate to grant interim approval to those tariff Items in Tariff Notice (TN) 78 to implement trunk-side access with CCS7 signalling interconnection. This includes the proposed rate Items 1(a) to (f), 6.01 to 6.04, 7, 8 and 9.


13. Clearnet submitted that, pending the final disposition of the issues associated with the network access and number elements of TN 78 and PN 98-15, the Commission should direct Thunder Bay to adopt, on an interim basis, the network and number element rate structures that were approved for Bell Canada (Bell) in Telecom Orders CRTC 96-687, 97-83 and 97-1765.


14. Clearnet further recommended the following modifications to the wireless interconnection regime proposed in TN 78: (a) Item 6.05 should be removed; (b) the reference to the network component Item 5 in Item 6.01 should be deleted as the rates for the trunk-side network access component, including a tandeming and transiting capability should be capped at the network access rates associated with a line-side interconnection regime; (c) Items 5a and 6.06 should be removed; (d) Item 9 should be removed; and (e) Item 8 should be discontinued once the administration of assignment codes is transferred to the Canadian number administrator.


15. The Commission is of the view that a regime similar to the interim regime approved for Bell’s trunk-side wireless interconnection arrangements in Telecom Order CRTC 96-687 is appropriate to adopt for Thunder Bay on an interim basis.


16. The Commission notes that a separate proceeding pursuant to Order 97-1960 is currently underway to finalize rates for line-side wireless number and access channel rates within independent telephone company territory.


17. Clearnet submitted that Thunder Bay did not provide justification for the proposed 1000 Block Number Routing capability and that the application of any recurring charges associated with this rate element specified under Item 9 is unwarranted and should be dismissed.


18. In light of the above, the Commission grants interim approval to the wireless access service rates proposed in TN 78, with the following changes: (a) the removal of Items 5A and 6.06 and any associated references; (b) the removal of Item 6.05 and any associated references; (c) the last sentence in Item 6.01 is to be changed to read: "Number and link charges as shown in TB230-2 and TB230-4 also apply."; and d) the removal of the monthly recurring rate within Item 9.


19. Thunder Bay submitted that the filing of TN 78 was precipitated by a request from Cantel for trunk-side wireless interconnection service.


20. At the time of the application, Thunder Bay submitted that, due to a planned reconfiguration of its network in the spring, the requested trunking arrangements could not be ready until 30 June 1999.


21. Thunder Bay further submitted that to deviate from the established capital initiatives and redeploy resources to accommodate Cantel’s request would cause the company to incur additional expenditures.


22. Cantel requested the Commission to appoint a staff member to mediate the issue of implementing the requested trunk-side wireless access arrangements prior to 30 June 1999.


23. The Commission considers Thunder Bay’s rationale and proposed implementation date for its trunk-side wireless interconnection service to be reasonable.


24. Clearnet and CWTA recommended that Thunder Bay be added to the PN 98-15 proceeding in order to determine final rates, terms and conditions for Thunder Bay’s trunk-side interconnection tariffs.


25. The Commission considers that given the current stage of the PN 98-15 proceeding, it would not be appropriate to include Thunder Bay in this proceeding.


26. Cantel submitted that final rates should be set retrospectively to the date of interim approval with billing adjustments based on the final rates.


27. Thunder Bay submitted that it will revise its application for the provision of wireless access service inclusive of trunk-side interconnection in accordance with the determinations from the currently open review proceedings for Order 97-1960 and PN 98-15, and will take into account any necessary retroactive adjustments to reflect final rates.


28. Thunder Bay is directed to issue revised tariff pages forthwith reflecting the approval granted in this Order.


Secretary General


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