ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8622-C12-10/00 - Follow-up toImplementation of toll competition and related matters, Decision CRTC 2001-583dated 13 September 2001

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Ottawa, 28 November 2001

File number : 8622-C12-10/00

Brian Wheeler
O.N. Telcom
555 Oak Street East
North Bay, ON P1B 8L3

Re: Follow-up to Implementation of toll competition and related matters, Decision CRTC 2001-583 dated 13 September 2001

In a letter dated 15 October 2001, O.N. Telcom requested that the Commission: 1) establish a process for the filing and approval of tariffs by all incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) for the various services that each will be required to offer upon the implementation of toll competition; and 2) review and vary that portion of Decision 2001-583 that dealt with the filing of PIC/CARE manuals by both Cochrane Public Utility Commission and Northern Telephone Limited.

On 19 October 2001, staff issued a letter requesting comments with regards to the above from all ILECs in O.N. Telcom's toll operating territory.

Comments were received on 2 November 2001 from Bell Canada and Northern Telephone Limited on behalf of itself and the Cochrane Public Utility Commission. Reply comments from O.N. Telcom were received on 9 November 2001.

As indicated in previous correspondence and in Decision 2001-583, the Commission considered that toll competition in O.N. Telcom's toll operating territory should, as much as possible, follow the terms and conditions for toll competition in the rest of Canada (except in the territory of Northwestel).

Below is the staff view of these two matters set out above.

Filing of "fuller Access Tariffs" by ILECs:

O.N. Telcom filed various access rates and tariffs on 15 October 2001, as directed by Decision 2001-583. In addition, O.N. Telcom requested a delay to file its "fuller Access Tariff" until at least 30 November 2001. O.N. Telcom submitted that all ILECs in its toll operating territory would have to submit tariffs for various services that each would be required to offer as a result of the directive that interconnection of toll carriers could occur at either O.N. Telcom's Access Tandem or at any Direct Connections available.

O.N. Telcom requested that the Commission establish an expedited process for the filing and approval of these tariffs by all the ILECs so that all parties may review and comment on the others' tariffs on a timely fashion.

Northern commented that it and Cochrane were not aware of any tariffs that were required that they did not already have in order for them to offer access to potential toll competitors to their networks. Northern indicated that it has gone through Bell Canada's Access tariffs and was not aware of anything that was not already included in its tariff pages. Northern added that if O.N. Telcom were to provide a list of tariffs O.N. Telcom thought were necessary, and the Commission endorsed this list, they would be prepared to respond within 7 working days by adopting the Bell Canada rates and tariffs already approved by the Commission in order to ensure that toll competition is available in their serving territories on 1 January 2002.

O.N. Telcom replied that it was not up to it to list the services that Northern must offer in order to be in compliance with the toll regime that the Commission established in Decision 2001-583. In addition, although O.N. Telcom agreed that using approved Bell rates and tariffs were a good interim measure, Northern's final rates and tariffs would have to be based on its own Phase II costs.

Commission staff notes that the Commission often uses Bell Canada rates and tariffs on an interim basis, and in some cases on a final basis, for another Canadian carrier, on a proxy basis, in order to facilitate the transition to a new regime. Lacking any specific demand for any competitive service at this time, staff is of the view that it would be reasonable for Northern, Cochrane and O.N. Telcom to propose to use Bell Canada's rates and tariffs as required. Northern and Cochrane have agreed to respond to requests for services that are not currently offered in their tariffs within 7 days. Parties could comment at the time of any filing. Staff considers this a reasonable approach to make the transition into a regime of toll competition (rather than requiring the carriers to attempt to make a comprehensive list of all services that may be lacking in their tariffs).

Review and vary of 2001-583 - filing of PIC/CARE manuals:

O.N. Telcom indicated its concern that all ILECs in its toll operating territory should have their PIC/CARE procedures in place by the commencement date of competition wherever a party is offering equal access interconnection at one of its switches.

Staff notes that Cochrane filed its PIC/CARE manual on 22 October 2001 while Northern provided its PIC/CARE manual for Commission approval on 31 October 2001. Staff also notes that O.N. Telcom did not file its PIC/CARE manual on 15 October 2001, as directed in Decision 2001-583. O.N. Telcom undertook to file its manual no earlier than 19 November 2001.

In reply comments, O.N. Telcom suggested that the Commission delay the approval of filed PIC/CARE manuals by Northern and Cochrane and establish a process to jointly consider all PIC/CARE manuals at the same time.

Staff considers that the Commission will be able to deal with the Northern and Cochrane PIC/CARE manuals without undue delay. Staff also considers that the current procedures ensure that parties have an appropriate opportunity to provide their comments and that manuals be consistent with industry norms and be applicable to each Canadian carrier's specific situations.

Staff notes that it is O.N Telcom's PIC/CARE manual that might necessitate an expedited process in order to be dealt with by the start of competition on 1 January 2002.

Staff considers that due to the fact that Bell Canada already has approved PIC/CARE procedures and that Northern and Cochrane have filed their PIC/CARE manuals for Commission approval, there is no need to dispose of O.N. Telcom's review and vary request.

Other items:

In its reply comments, O.N. Telcom noted that the Commission determined in Decision 2001-583 that various matters needed to be addressed on a follow-up basis by the various ILECs in the territory. O.N. Telcom submitted that all these matters are follow-ups to Decision 2001-583 and therefore, all parties should be required to copy the Interested Parties list from the proceeding that led to Decision 2001-583, on all filings.

Staff notes that this request was made in reply comments and therefore, parties did not have an opportunity to comment. Staff notes that all applications are available for examination in the Commission's public examination room and are also posted on the CRTC web site. Parties have 30 days to comment on most applications.

Staff is of the view that this is sufficient notification to interested parties. Staff is also concerned that to request further comment from parties and reply comment from O.N. Telcom on this issue could lead to further delays in filings necessary to initiate toll competition in O.N. Telcom's toll operating territory. Nevertheless, in the circumstances, staff would encourage the parties making proposed tariff filings in order to implement toll competition in O.N. Telcom's serving territory, to serve copies of such applications on the other interested parties.

Staff is willing to work with the Company to resolve any further concerns it might have with regards to the implementation of toll competition in its toll operating territory.

Yours Sincerely,

Shirley Soehn
Executive Director

c.c. Interested parties to Decision 2001-583
Steve Delaney CRTC 997-4677

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