Decision CRTC 2001-327

Ottawa, 7 June 2001

Our file number: 8621-C12-01/00

To: Registered ILECs

CLG participants list

PNs 2000-17 and 2000-27 distribution list

Registered resellers of high speed retail internet services

Registered CLECs

Re: Implementation of Decision CRTC 2001-204 - Modification of the co-location regime

Dear Sir or Madam:

1.  On 30 March 2001, the Commission directed the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) to issue revised tariffs and central office licence agreements (COLAs), within 30 days of the date of Decision 2001-204 to implement the following:

The Co-location Sub-working Group (CLG) was directed to address any implementation issues that arose from the decision.

2.  In Decision 2001-204, the Commission stated its view that the application to IC personnel in the ILEC central office (CO) "of security measures that the ILECs apply to their own personnel and contractors, should be sufficient for their security requirements". While the Commission listed a number of other security provisions that the ILECs could reasonably take, it did not make unescorted access dependant on the implementation of such measures.

3.  Based on the record of this proceeding, the ILECs are directed to:

Issues that led to this determination

4.  On 18 April 2001, Aliant Telecom Inc., Bell Canada, MTS Communications Inc. and Saskatchewan Telecommunications (collectively, the companies) requested that the Commission issue a directive deferring the effective date of Decision 2001-204 until 30 September 2001, in short, a six-month delay. The postponement was requested to allow for the necessary access procedures to be put in place, and to allow parties to address the associated implementation issues through the CLG. The companies proposed that, during the six-month implementation interval, the current escort service arrangements would continue to apply, but at no charge. In addition, as changes at the individual building locations were completed, the co-located competitors would be advised that escorts would no longer be required. The companies would also be prepared to establish, in conjunction with the co-locators, a list of priority locations and, as required, negotiate changes with respect to the availability of escort services.

5.  The Coalition for Better Co-Location (CBC) responded to the companies' letter on 23 April 2001, stating that it was prepared to accept a modification to the implementation schedule, provided that the date was not extended for a six-month period and that the following interim measures were adopted:

6.  Following a discussion at the CLG meeting of 23 April 2001, parties agreed to hold a conference call on 25 April 2001 to discuss CBC's concerns about the delay in implementing Decision 2001-204.

7.  Decision 2001-204 directed the ILECs to issue tariff pages, effective 30 April 2001, removing the requirement for escorted access to co-location sites. Subsequently, on 2 May 2001, as a result of CBC's express agreement in its letter of 23 April 2001, the Commission issued Order CRTC 2001-348, approving the ILECs' proposal that escorted access would continue with no charge to give the ILECs time to implement security measures at their various COs. No timelines were indicated in the order as there was no agreement on deadlines.

8.  In a letter on 26 April 2001, TELUS confirmed the phased approach it had proposed during the conference call. It proposed a transition period to end on 31 July 2001 (four months as opposed to six), whereby it would file its co-location tariff indicating that escorted access would be provided at no cost to the IC. Also, as COs are converted to a secure access arrangement, these offices would be removed from the list of offices requiring escorted services. Once all offices have been converted to a secure access arrangement, or no later than 31 July 2001, TELUS would file further changes to its co-location tariff to remove the requirement for escorted access services. TELUS proposed to provide escorts at staffed offices within 30 minutes of a request from an IC. For unstaffed offices and for all offices outside normal business hours, escorts would be provided in less than two hours from a request from an IC. Among other things, TELUS attached a list of its COs to identify which ones are staffed or unstaffed. To improve IC access, TELUS agreed to prioritize the unstaffed locations for secure access arrangements before arrangements are made for the staffed locations. TELUS also undertook to implement, by 30 April 2001, a process to follow to arrange for an escort.

9.  CBC responded to TELUS on 26 April 2001 and agreed in general with the TELUS proposal, with the exception of the following matters. CBC determined that it would prefer to prioritize COs and the implementation of Decision 2001-204 on the basis of its own priorities, rather than on the basis of whether the CO is staffed or unstaffed. CBC believed that TELUS should make unescorted access available to all Type 1B (caged with common CO access) co-location sites by 30 April 2001, noting that there are only a couple of such sites. By 15 May 2001, unescorted access should be made available at all of the priority COs listed in an attachment to CBC's letter. With respect to the remaining co-location sites, the members were prepared to accept the timeframes proposed by TELUS to the extent that they apply to escort arrangements for routine maintenance and repair activities. However, CBC did not believe that the timeframes associated with service-affecting outages were acceptable.

10.  TELUS responded to the CBC on 27 April 2001. TELUS found that the list provided in the CBC's 26 April 2001 letter was acceptable. TELUS advised that it was not possible to meet the schedule for the CBC priority list by 15 May 2001 due to restrictions under the Canadian Labour Code. In order to comply with the Code, TELUS indicated it needed to develop a program to educate IC personnel on health and safety requirements and that such a program would not be available until early June. TELUS suggested a meeting with the members of CBC during the following week to develop a schedule to begin the process of converting the CBC priority locations to unescorted access.

11. The companies also responded to CBC on 26 April 2001 to propose escort-without-charge until their COs are suitably set up for unescorted access. The companies did not anticipate being able to complete the required preparatory changes for all the COs identified in the list provided by CBC (23 April 2001 letter). However, the agreement reached in the CLG teleconference regarding the availability of escorts at no charge and the provision of those escorts within the identified service intervals should, according to the companies, obviate the IC concerns. This would also provide the companies with the time to implement the operational procedures and to conduct the required physical changes at various CO premises. The companies indicated that CBC's request for full implementation of the decision for all remaining COs by 31 July 2001 was completely unsubstantiated and without merit. With respect to unstaffed COs and staffed COs outside normal business hours, the companies committed to make a best-effort attempt to respond to requests for escorts associated with unscheduled service outages within two hours. The companies would make a best-effort attempt to respond to requests for escorts associated with unscheduled service-affecting outages, during normal business hours, within 30 minutes for staffed COs. The companies indicated that it was never their intent to suggest that escorts would be required at a co-located space after a CO was ready for unescorted access.

12.  On 30 April 2001, in response to the companies' 26 April 2001 letter, CBC stated that it was clear that in Decision 2001-204, the Commission had intended that all ICs be provided with unescorted access to their co-located equipment in ILEC COs as of 30 April 2001. The CBC noted that several of the alleged operational difficulties cited by the companies were rejected by the Commission in Decision 2001-204 on the basis that it was unnecessary to maintain the levels of security that the ILECs perceived to be necessary within their COs. CBC expressed disappointment that the companies had not even made an attempt to reach a reasonable compromise regarding the implementation of the decision. According to CBC, Bell et al.'s refusal to provide unescorted access to the priority sites by a certain date reflects a strategy to delay a level playing field in the market. CBC indicated that, as a result of discussions at the CLG, both sides had agreed to call-out intervals (for escorts for scheduled maintenance and repair activities) of 30 minutes for staffed COs and two hours for unstaffed COs, until unescorted access is available. CBC submitted that the companies' proposed two-hour best-effort call-out interval for service-affecting outages was completely unacceptable. CBC found the companies' position of treating IC service outages in equal status to service outages affecting customers of the companies entirely inconsistent with the Commission's determination in its local competition decision (97-8) to accord co-carrier status on CLECs. In CBC's view, a service-affecting outage for a CLEC should be treated no differently in terms of emergency response times than a network outage that is experienced by the ILECs in their own networks. In CBC's view, a 15-minute call-out interval in these circumstances is reasonable. Given the companies' intransigence and refusal to even compromise on implementation dates, the members of the CBC requested that the Commission enforce its original decision by directing the companies to fully implement Decision 2001-204 forthwith.

13.  On 3 May 2001, CBC wrote the Commission requesting that the CRTC render a determination with respect to the three outstanding matters that have not been resolved in the ongoing correspondence between the CBC and TELUS:

The Commission directs the ILECs to meet shorter implementation timeframes

14.  In Decision 2001-204, the Commission determined that the ILECs could take reasonable security measures for CO access. As noted above, however, unescorted access was not made dependent on implementation of these measures. The Commission agrees with CBC that "…these activities are solely the initiative of the ILECs.these changes should be made by Bell et al. on their own time and not at the expense of the competitive industry."

15. The Commission notes that CBC agreed to an extension of the implementation dates on the condition that the companies meet the proposed deadlines. The record indicates that TELUS is more or less on board with the CBC's conditions except for the delays caused by the need to meet the Canadian Labour Code restrictions. In the Commission's opinion, TELUS should have realized and brought forward the need to meet these restrictions within 30 days of the date of Decision 2001-204. In fact, TELUS didn't raise this issue until after CBC agreed to extend the timeframes. The Commission notes that unlike TELUS, the companies did not raise any concerns with respect to meeting Canadian Labour Code restrictions. On the other hand, the companies have completely ignored the Commission's determination that rejected the ILECs' claim for the need to implement in-house CO security measures as valid arguments to deny unescorted access. They maintain the need for a six-month interval based on the significant uncertainty associated with implementation requirements. The companies have not committed to a shorter implementation timeframe of four months as proposed by CBC, stating that a 31 July 2001 completion date is completely unsubstantiated and without merit. In the Commission's view, the companies have missed the point: they were directed to provide unescorted access by 30 April 2001 and were granted an extension on the basis that they would meet CBC's concerns.

16.  The Commission was of the view in its 2001-204 decision that "…ILEC application to IC personnel in the ILEC CO of security measures that they apply to their own personnel and contractors, should be sufficient for their security requirements." The Commission pointed out the consensus reached at CLG with respect to security clearance. With such procedures in place, the Commission was of the view that "…unescorted access by IC personnel that are subjected to the same security restrictions and checks as ILEC personnel, is reasonable", and the Commission thus directed the ILECs to provide unescorted access.

17.  In its decision, the Commission expressed the view that there wasn't a compelling public policy reason that outweighed the public interest in permitting unescorted access. The Commission also considered that implementation issues resulting from the decision should be discussed at the CLG. The Commission did not say that the implementation of the ruling was dependent upon those discussions. In the Commission's view, the ILECs have not presented compelling arguments that justify delaying the implementation of Decision 2001-204 until 30 September 2001.

18.  The Commission notes that, for various reasons, the companies have not been able to meet CBC's request to make priority-list sites ready by 15 May 2001. In the Commission's view, 15 June 2001 should be set as the date for all priority sites and 31 July 2001 for the completion of all sites.

19.  One of the competitors' main complaints is the length of time it takes for the ILECs to dispatch an escort to their COs in order to meet and escort competitor personnel into the CO. In Decision 2001-204, the Commission recognized this problem (paragraph 25), and determined that the requirement to escort competitors to their equipment was in violation of section 27(2) of the Telecommunications Act. With this in mind, the Commission considers it unacceptable that ICs should be subjected to delays to get to their equipment during service-outage delays. As pointed out by CBC, if the companies "wish to hire security guards or escorts to accompany competitor personnel to their co-location spaces . they can choose to do so".

20.  CBC and TELUS have agreed to a 30-minute time frame for escort service when the CO is staffed during regular business hours. Where the CO is unstaffed, or staffed outside business hours, a two-hour period has been agreed to.

21.  However, the companies have proposed 30-minute and two-hour best-effort call-out intervals.

22.  The Commission considers that the following time frames are appropriate:

Yours sincerely,

Ursula Menke
Secretary General

cc: B. Jolicoeur


[1] The members of the CBC comprise the following companies: AT&T Canada Inc., Inc., Call-Net Enterprises Inc., Covad Canada Communications Inc., Gateway Telephone Limited, GT Group Telecom Services Corp., Northpoint Canada Inc., Axxent Corp., PSINet Limited, Riptide Networks Inc., UUNET Canada Inc., and Wispra Networks Inc.

[2] Type 1B is a physical co-location arrangement that has a common entranceway to the CO, but a segregated space for competitor equipment within the CO.

[3] Type 2 physical co-location (sometimes referred to as "cageless co-location") provides the IC with unsegregated floor space within the CO. Access is only allowed with an escort.

[4] Virtual co-location allows ICs to exchange traffic at a point outside the CO, but provides for dedicated facilities of the IC's choice to be located in the CO to complete the IC's transmission system. Under a virtual co-location arrangement, the ILEC is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the co-located equipment.

Date modified: