Decision CRTC 2001-375
Ottawa, 29 June 2001
File No. 8660-C12-05/00
To: Decision 2001-217 Distribution List
Subject: Commission decision regarding show cause, application to review and vary and application to stay, for indicators 1.5 and 2.5 in Decision CRTC 2001-217 - CRTC creates new quality of service indicators for telephone companies
In Decision CRTC 2001-217, CRTC creates new quality of service indicators for telephone companies, dated 9 April 2001, the Commission directed:
Bell Canada, Island Telecom Inc., Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, MTS Communications Inc., NBTel Inc., NewTel Communications Inc., Northern Telephone Limited, Northwestel Inc. and Télébec ltée that consider they are not able to establish procedures for measuring total hold time duration, to show cause within 30 days of this decision, why they should not report on the new Indicator 1.5 - Access to Business Office - On Hold Duration; and
the telcos that believe the performance standard for Indicator 2.5 - Access to Repair Bureau of "90% or more" calls answered within 20 seconds may not be appropriate to show cause, within 30 days of the decision, why they should not report on this basis.
On 9 May 2001, Bell Canada filed (a) its response, (b) an application pursuant to section 62 of the Telecommunications Act to review and vary the Commission's determinations in Decision 2001-217 on Indicators 1.5 and 2.5, and (c) an application to stay the implementation of the Commission's directive to put into effect Indicator 1.5 under a 90/20 standard and the implementation of the proposed standard for Indicator 2.5, until the Commission has issued its determinations with respect to its application to review and vary. Bell Canada copied all parties to Decision 2001-217 with its application.
Aliant Telecom Inc. (formerly Island Telecom Inc., Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, NBTel Inc., NewTel Communications Inc.), TELUS Corporation, MTS Communications Inc. Northern Telephone Limited, Northwestel Inc., Thunder Bay Telephone, and Télébec ltée filed submissions on the two "show cause" processes. They generally expressed support for Bell Canada's application to review and vary and, with the exception of TELUS Corporation and Northwestel Inc., its requests for stays. No consumer groups filed submissions.
None of the companies represented by Bell Canada and Québec-Téléphone submitted that they were unable to report on new Indicator 1.5 - Access to Business Office - On Hold Duration, in their monthly quality of service reports.
Bell Canada submitted, regarding new Indicators 1.5 and 2.5, the following:
there was an error of law because the Commission made determinations on the performance standards of 90% or more that were outside the scope of the proceeding;
the determinations requiring 90% or more for the two indicators were made in the absence of reasons supporting the conclusion, which amounts to a breach of the rules of natural justice;
the performance standard of "90% or more" in Indicator 1.5, as well as in Indicator 2.5, was not appropriate;
Bell Canada submitted that a performance standard of 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds was appropriate for both Indicators 1.5 and 2.5.
The Commission finds that there was no error of law related to new Indicator 1.5 leading to the Commission's decision in Decision 2001-217. In Decision CRTC 2000-24, Final standards for quality of service indicators for use in telephone company regulation and other related matters, dated 20 January 2000, the Commission clearly indicated that it would consider the entire provision of new Indicator 1.5, including the performance standard and the parties, including the telephone companies, addressed the appropriate performance standard.
In the context of its determination on the performance standard for Indicator 1.5, the Commission was not required to give reasons and hence, there was no error of law.
In the proceeding leading to Decision 2001-217, there was little evidence submitted by the parties on the appropriateness of a performance standard of 90% or more in new Indicator 1.5. The Commission made a decision based on the record of the proceeding. The Commission has now received evidence on the cost implications of establishing the performance standard of 90% or more in new Indicator 1.5. The Commission finds that there is substantial doubt as to the correctness of the Commission's decision requiring the performance standard of 90% or more in new indicator 1.5 and varies its decision to require a performance standard of 80% or more for this indicator. In making this determination, the Commission notes the following:
a performance standard of 90% or more would be a costly use of resources;
any increased administrative costs for the telephone companies need to be weighed against the benefit to the consumer;
from a consumer's perspective, if the current standards are acceptable, any possible future rate increase to pay for higher standards would not be beneficial; and
none of the consumers groups filed submissions against the telephone companies' position regarding the appropriateness of the 80% standard.
In the context of its determination on the performance standard for Indicator 2.5, the Commission is of the view that it was not required to give reasons.
As Indicator 2.5 was outside the scope of the proceeding leading to Decision 2001-217, the Commission, through a show cause process, provided an opportunity for comment on the appropriateness of the proposed 90/20 performance standard. There was therefore no error in law related to indicator 2.5.
The Commission notes Bell Canada made the same submission on the appropriateness of the performance standard of 80% or more for Indicator 1.5 and 2.5, that the other telcos generally supported Bell Canada and that no other interested party filed submissions on Indicator 2.5. The Commission finds that, for the reasons that a performance standard of 80% or more is appropriate for Indicator 1.5, the same performance standard of 80% or more is appropriate for new Indicator 2.5.
The Commission notes that, in light of its determination on the appropriate performance standard, there is no need for the Commission to rule on the application to stay Decision 2001-217.
Date Modified: 2001-06-29