ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 99-68

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Telecom Order


Ottawa, 26 January 1999


Telecom Order CRTC 99-68


On 7 July 1998, Bell Canada (Bell) filed Tariff Notice (TN) 6249 proposing to introduce Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) Access service for Business and Centrex customers.


File No.: TN 6249


1.The Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), T.M. Denton Consultants (TMDC) representing a number of Internet service providers (Magma Communications Ltd., Interlog Internet Services Inc., Internet Direct Canada, CAM Internet, Cyberus On-line Ltd.), Netcom Canada Inc., Optel Communications Corp. (Optel), and Mlink Internet Inc. (Mlink) submitted comments.


2.CAIP requested that the scope of the proceeding be expanded by, among other things, issuing a public notice to examine the pricing practices of the Bell affiliate (Bell Global Solutions) offering High Speed Internet access service under the name "Sympatico" using Bell's tariffed ADSL service. In addition, several interveners requested that the Commission exercise its powers under Section 35(1) of the Telecommunications Act (the Act) to require that the Sympatico Internet service provided by Bell's affiliate be provided by Bell.


3.In a letter dated 9 October 1998, the Commission denied CAIP's request to broaden the scope of this proceeding, noting that the pricing practices of Bell's affiliate and the appropriateness of the Commission exercising its Section 35(1) powers had been raised as issues by CAIP in another proceeding.


4.As CAIP had not addressed the substance of TN 6249, the Commission allowed CAIP additional time to submit comments, following which Bell filed its answer, dated 4 November 1998, to the various comments received.


5.Optel generally supported the application, but expressed concern about the proposed requirement that the service provider of ADSL ensure that its customer lease residential or business service from Bell. Optel interpreted this to mean it couldn't resell Bell's ADSL service.


6.Bell stated that there is no such restriction and that the intent of the tariff was to make it clear that the service could not be provided to a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC).


7.TMDC requested changes to the proposed tariff to allow ADSL to be provided over CLEC loops.


8.Bell stated that the control of CLEC loops is the responsibility of CLECs. Bell submitted that if ADSL service were to be provided over CLEC loops, it would be necessary to work out details with CLECs in the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) process.


9.Mlink requested grooming of loops consistent with Bell's practice with respect to its High Speed Digital Subscriber Line (HDSL) service.


10.Mlink submitted that it should not have to provide a DS-3 connection to every Central Office where it wished to provide ADSL service. Mlink argued that this was too expensive given the cost of DS-3 access. Mlink was of the view that there should be a way to backhaul the data, using Asynchronous Transfer Mode or Frame Relay services, to allow Mlink to have a single point of interconnection.


11.Mlink also noted that the proposed tariff does not provide any technical specifications of the type of ADSL equipment or include reference to the pricing of customer provided equipment. Mlink further submitted that the modems Bell was offering to its customers should be made available for resale.


12.Bell acknowledged that network devices such as bridge taps that prohibit the use of ADSL equipment will not be removed. Bell noted that this is in contrast to HDSL service where the loop is being conditioned. However, in that case, Bell submitted that the rate is set to recover the cost of grooming the loops. Bell also stated that it would be willing to provide the technical specifications and pricing information of the ADSL compatible modems, despite modems being forborne equipment.


13.Bell objected to Mlink's single point of interconnection proposal, arguing that Mlink is effectively requesting that ADSL access service be redefined to include data network capability. Bell submitted that data network services already exist on both a tariffed and non-tariffed basis. With regard to the resale issue, Bell stated that the provision of ADSL modems is not part of this filing and that there are a variety of modem suppliers active in the marketplace today.


14.CAIP noted that the same issues raised by several interveners, namely, Bell Sygma's pricing practices and the appropriateness of the Commission exercising its powers under Section 35(1) of the Act, were raised in the proceeding initiated by Internet Forbearance, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 98-17, 22 July 1998 (PN 98-17). CAIP requested that no approval be granted until a decision is made in that proceeding. CAIP submitted that there is a strong relationship between the two proceedings, and that care must be taken not to prejudge the outcome of one or both proceedings by rendering a premature decision.


15.Bell submitted in reply that the two proceedings are distinct and that the proposed Business ADSL service is not at issue in the PN 98-17 proceeding. Bell also submitted that Internet service providers (ISPs) are not the only users of Business ADSL service. Other applications include business branch access, branch to branch data transfer, community of interest networks and LAN extensions.


16.The Commission is of the view that Bell has adequately addressed the various issues raised by the interveners.


17.The Commission is not persuaded by CAIP's submission that no disposition should be made on this filing prior to the Commission's determination on the various issues raised in the PN 98-17 proceeding.


18.The Commission notes that the proposed service at issue in this proceeding is an access service, and that the concerns of CAIP and other interveners relate principally to the retail Internet services provided by Bell's unregulated affiliate. Given this, the Commission disagrees with CAIP that disposition of Bell's tariff filing at this time would prejudge the disposition of the various matters raised by CAIP and other interveners in the PN 98-17 proceeding.


19.The Commission notes that the company's proposed Business ADSL access service is not confined to ISPs but is also available to any customer wishing to connect its users to a central point such as a head office location. In the Commission's view, this is a further reason why it would not be appropriate to delay disposition of this tariff filing.


20.In light of the foregoing, the Commission grants final approval to this application.


Secretary General


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