ARCHIVED - Order CRTC 2000-211

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Order CRTC 2000-211

Ottawa, 23 March 2000
Final approval granted to Special Facilities Tariff for the location of customer provided ADSL-related equipment in Bell Canada's central offices
Tariff Notice 6278
The Commission grants Bell Canada final approval for the rates and the Central Office License Agreement (COLA) filed in Tariff Notice 6278.
The Commission finds that no change in the proposed service charge is required.
It also finds that Bell's proposed wording for the Letter of Authorization (LOA) provides it with too much discretion. This order provides new wording that Bell will use in future LOAs.
It is not necessary for Bell Canada to provide personnel to accompany the technicians of customers of the Special Facilities Tariff, as no interest was expressed in this type of service. Furthermore, no changes are required to the COLA with regard to access to the co-located equipment.


In Telecom Order CRTC 98-999 dated 13 October 1998, the Commission granted approval for a special facilities tariff (SFT) application, Tariff Notice 6278, filed by Bell Canada. As well as the rates applicable to the specific customer, the application also included a generalized asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) service provider Central Office License Agreement (COLA) and a customer LOA to be used by Internet service providers (ISPs).


Comments were received from Netcom Canada Inc., Interlog Internet Services Inc and T.M. Denton Consultants representing the Responsible Internet Service Companies (RISC). The comments addressed issues related to the level of the service charge for the equipment cabinet and space, the LOA and access to the co-located equipment by customers of the SFT.


After de novo consideration of the comments, the Commission issued Telecom Order CRTC 99-355 dated 15 April 1999, changing the disposition of the application to interim approval.


Order 99-355 also provided interveners additional time to comment on:
  • the appropriateness of the equipment cabinet and space service charge.
  • the wording of the LOA with respect to the ability of the company to meet its terms of service; and
  • whether Bell should make an escort service available to ADSL service provider (ASPs) that co-locate equipment in the company’s central office;


Netcom Canada Inc. and Interlog Internet Services Inc. (the interveners) provided comments.
The service charge


A number of the parties submitted that Bell’s proposed service charge for the equipment cabinet and space was excessive and that they had received quotes from other Stentor member companies for similar equipment that were considerably less than that proposed in the tariff notice. In Order 99-355, parties were invited to provide examples of such quotes in confidence.


The Commission notes that the quotes provided by the interveners for equipment cabinets and space covered a range up to $26,000. The information provided represented quotes for co-location in smaller central offices. Bell also submitted that the $26,000 service charge in the SFT was the total charge and includes recovery of the pre-sales expenses. Considering the larger offices in Bell's territory, the Commission is of the view that the rates are appropriate and reflect the underlying cost plus a reasonable mark-up.


With regard to the interveners’ statement that the service charge for the equipment and space should reflect a 25% mark-up, the Commission has previously concluded that high-speed access is not in the nature of an essential service provided by both telecommunication carriers and cable network operators. Accordingly, the Commission finds that this SFT does not involve services or components, which are in the nature of essential services.


The Commission concludes that no modification to the proposed rates is required. However, the Commission notes that it considers co-location to provide ADSL to be important to the development of high-speed Internet competition. The Commission expects that rates for this service will be cost-based and reflect levels of mark-up that will not preclude access to central offices for ADSL deployment.
Changes to the letters of authorization


In Tariff Notice 6278 Bell proposed the following wording for the LOA:

In so doing, I understand that the ADSL equipment associated with the ADSL service must be positioned between my telephone and the public switched telephone network services provided by the local exchange telephone company. As a consequence, I understand that the local exchange telephone company will be unable to fulfil its Terms of Service regarding maintenance and repair of my telephone service to the same extent as stipulated in that company’s Terms of Service.


The Commission notes that in response to the interveners' comments to its application, Bell stated that it would be prepared to entertain changes to the specific wording that the Commission deems more appropriate to achieve the same intent without being perceived as a roadblock.


The interveners stated that the only time that Bell would not be able to carry out its normal maintenance is when the ADSL equipment located in the customer’s home is the source of disruption. The interveners suggested the following wording:

I understand that the ADSL equipment associated with my ADSL service must be positioned between my telephone and the public switched telephone network services provided by my local telephone company. In the event of a disruption in my local telephone service, I understand that my local telephone company may not be able to restore my telephone service if the service disruption is caused by the ADSL equipment.


The Commission is of the view that Bell’s wording provides the company with too much discretion. Bell did not indicate which articles of its Terms of Service it would be unable to fulfil regarding maintenance and repair of telephone service.


The Commission finds that Bell should be able to fulfil its Terms of Service.


However, the Commission and the interveners agree that some warning to ISP customers is appropriate because repair to telephone service may become more complex when an ISP and Bell have to jointly resolve problems.


The most significant impact of the use of ADSL equipment would be the amount of time it takes to carry out any repairs because of the coordination between Bell and an ISP to isolate the source of the trouble.


On the basis of the foregoing, the Commission directs Bell to use the following wording in its LOA:

I understand that the ADSL equipment associated with my ADSL service must be positioned between my telephone and the public switched telephone network services provided by my local telephone company. In the event of a disruption in my local telephone service, I understand that it may take longer to restore my service if the disruption is caused by the ADSL equipment.

Interveners want access without an escort service


Interlog and Netcom had objected to the provisions in the COLA that prevented ASPs from installing and maintaining their own equipment in Bell’s central offices. To address this issue, Order 99-355 stated that there was merit in considering a service whereby Bell would make an escort service available to ASPs that co-locate in the company’s central office.


Interveners provided comments as to why they should be allowed access to the co-located equipment. However, none addressed the issue as to the appropriateness of Bell having to provide an escort service for the type of co-location provided under the special assembly. As none of the interveners expressed interest in an escort service, the Commission finds there is no need for Bell to provide it.


The Commission notes that the SFT provides for virtual co-location whereby the installation and maintenance must be contracted out to Bell. With regard to the interveners' request for access to the co-located equipment, the Commission is satisfied that Bell has a number of alternative co-location arrangements available that would allow ISPs to service their own equipment. Moreover, if they are ready to enter into these alternative arrangements, ISPs would be able to do their own installation and maintenance like any other customer and make use of the appropriate tariffed services if necessary.


The Commission, therefore, finds that no change is required to the provision in the COLA regarding access by ASPs to their co-located equipment.


The Commission grants final approval to the rates and the COLA effective the date of this order. The wording of the LOA is to be changed as in this order.
Secretary General
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