ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 99-759

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Telecom Order


Ottawa, 5 August 1999


Telecom Order CRTC 99-759


MTS Communications Inc. (MTS) Inside Wire Diagnostic Charge and Wire Watch Insurance Plan


File No.: Tariff Notice 351


Inside Wire Diagnostic Charge


1.MTS currently has tariffed rates that apply when a customer requests a diagnostic service for the assessment of problems related to single line inside wire and customer provided terminal equipment. These rates were put in place prior to the Commission assuming regulatory authority over MTS.


2.In other territories, the Commission has required telephone companies either to provide a self-test jack at the service entrance demarcation point, or to provide a diagnostic service for single line inside wire problems at no charge. Many companies install demarcation jacks for all new service connections and for existing connections where there is an inside wire problem or the customer requests a test jack. MTS does not provide a demarcation jack for either new or existing service connections.


3.The Commission continues to be of the view that customers require the ability to diagnose inside wire problems in order to foster the development of a competitive market for inside wire service.


4.Following the receipt of customer complaints, the Commission asked MTS to show cause as to why MTS should continue to charge for inside wire diagnostic service where the customer does not have a self-test capability by means of a demarcation jack.


5.In reply MTS, indicated that subscribers now have the ability to self-test for inside wire problems by disconnecting the inside wiring at the demarcation device.


6.The Commission is of the view that disconnecting inside wiring at the demarcation device does not provide an adequate diagnostic option for most single line customers.


7.The Commission directs MTS to issue revised tariff pages for diagnostic service, within 10 days of the date of this Order, to only apply the inside wire diagnostic service charge for single line inside wire diagnostic service where the subscriber is equipped with a demarcation jack and, nonetheless, requests inside wire diagnostic service.


8.The Commission directs MTS to develop and file with the Commission, within 60 days of the date of this Order, procedures to provide a self-test jack at the demarcation point for single line service. The procedures should address, for example, the location of the demarcation jack for most types of installation and the differences in demarcation jack installation between new and existing connections.


9.The Commission directs MTS to file a proposed tariff page, concurrent with filing the above procedures, which applies a service charge for the provision of a demarcation jack for existing single line connections where the customer requests such installation.


10.The Commission further directs MTS to provide a billing insert to all single line subscribers, which is to be reviewed in advance by the Commission, within five months of the date of this Order. The insert is to summarize the nature of a single line subscriber's responsibility and competitive options for inside wire installation and maintenance, and to describe the diagnostic service and demarcation jacks that are available, in light of the revised and new tariffs discussed above.


Inside Wire Insurance Plan


11.Following a customer complaint, the Commission requested MTS to reinstate its inside wire insurance plan tariffs which had been deleted by MTS at the time of the Commission's forbearance from the regulation of customer provided terminal equipment. MTS filed Tariff Notice 351, 11 February 1999, to reinstate its Wire Watch insurance plan tariffs.


12.The Commission notes that Wire Watch was introduced prior to the Commission assuming regulatory authority over MTS. The Commission has in other cases been concerned that incumbent telephone companies could use their market position to benefit inappropriately from the introduction of insurance plans at the time that responsibility for inside wire was transferred to subscribers. In the case of MTS, responsibility for inside wire was transferred to subscribers in 1993 and MTS's inside wire insurance plan has not achieved a penetration rate that would indicate that MTS has unduly benefited from its market position.


13.The Commission approves Tariff Notice 351. For the period prior to the date of this Order during which no approved tariff was in place for Wire Watch, the past charging of the rates in question, otherwise than in accordance with a CRTC approved tariff, is ratified pursuant to section 25(4)(a) of the Telecommunications Act.


Secretary General


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