ARCHIVED - Order CRTC 2001-780

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Order CRTC 2001-780

Ottawa, 26 October 2001

The Coalition for Better Co-location - Part VII application for general relief with respect to the co-location regime

Reference: 8622-C74-02/00


The Commission lifts the prohibition on switching and routing functions from equipment co-located by interconnecting carriers that is necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network components. Equipment can be co-located unless it is on a list of ineligible equipment. Adjacent co-location should be negotiated as an alternative to the current types of co-location, where feasible where central office space is exhausted. Certain information relevant to co-location space in central offices shall be made publicly available.



On 17 July 2000, the Commission received a Part VII application from Inc., on behalf of the Coalition for Better Co-location (the coalition), which comprises a group of 12 competitive telecommunications service providers. The application requested changes to the existing rules on co-locating equipment in central offices (COs). The coalition stated that its changes will ensure that competition is fair and that co-location arrangements are both efficient and effective as envisioned by the Commission in Telecom Decision CRTC 97-15, Co-location, dated 16 June 1997.


The members of the coalition consist of 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.


Bell Canada, on behalf of itself, Island Telecom Inc., MTS Communications Inc., Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, NBTel Inc., NewTel Communications Inc., and Saskatchewan Telecommunications, (Bell Canada et al.) filed comments. In addition TELUS Communications Inc. and TELUS Communications (B.C.) Inc. (collectively, TELUS), filed comments. Bell Canada et al. and TELUS (the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) or the companies) generally opposed the coalition's application.


Specifically, the coalition sought changes in two major areas - equipment and space allocation:


· Competitors be allowed to co-locate equipment of their choice as long as it is not a host switch and meets all applicable certification and safety standards. (Part A)
· Revoke the National Co-location Equipment List (NCEL) and eliminate the requirement for prior approval from the ILEC to co-locate equipment in COs. (Part B)

Space issues:

· Establish rules for providing co-location space where there are space constraints within a CO (Part C):
a) any non-co-location space must be reallocated for co-location purposes;
b) if no space is available in the CO, co-location must be provided in controlled environmental vaults or similar structures in locations adjacent to the CO, such as a vault in a CO parking lot (adjacent co-location);
c) disputes regarding the use of ILEC CO space are to be referred to the CRTC for adjudication; (Part D)
d) option of Type 2 physical or virtual, and when Type 2 isn't possible, the ILEC must provide virtual. (Note: The Commission has issued Decision CRTC 2001-204, Re: The Commission, by majority decision, approves the Coalition for Better Co-location - Part VII application for expedited relief with respect to the current co-location regime, dated 17 July 2000, dated 30 March 2001, which addresses this issue).

While ILEC power rates and charges were part of the coalition's initial application, they are not considered in this order. On 29 November 2000, the Commission released Order CRTC 2000-1073, CRTC approves interim co-location power rates and charges, directing that the ILEC power rates and charges be made interim. The Co-location Working Group (CLG) is discussing the issue.


The coalition submitted that the Commission, in rendering its decision, and in formulating any future rules on co-location in Canada, should rely on the following set of principles:

· co-location space and facilities are essential facilities;
· co-location arrangements must be designed to ensure that competitive equity exists between the ILECs and new entrants;
· co-location arrangements must be designed to ensure the most cost-effective form of co-location possible;
· co-location arrangements must be designed to ensure the most efficient use of space and facilities;
· co-location arrangements must take priority over all other uses of a CO;
· parties should be permitted to use co-located equipment in a technically efficient manner; and
· competitor access to copper facilities must be promoted and ensured.

Summary of Commission determinations


The Commission makes the following determinations:

a) competitors and other interconnecting carriers (ICs) are permitted to co-locate any equipment necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network components, regardless of whether such equipment includes a switching or routing functionality, and permits the use of all the functions of their co-located equipment, provided the equipment meets Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Bellcore standards, and is not a host switch;
b) keep the NCEL, but add a second list of equipment that cannot be co-located. Equipment can be co-located unless it is on the ineligible list. Disputes concerning equipment that is co-located can be referred to the Commission;
c) the coalition's request to mandate the reallocation of floor space and ILEC personnel is denied;
d) adjacent co-location is to be negotiated between ILECs and ICs on a case-by-case basis as an alternative to the current types of co-location, where feasible and where CO space is exhausted; and
e) the ILECs are to make specific CO building information publicly available within 90 days, and that information is to be updated semi-annually.

The Commission notes that parties can file a request with the Commission to settle unresolved disputes.


These determinations are to be reflected in the ILECs' tariffs or co-location licence agreements, wherever applicable, within 30 days of the date of this decision.

Part A - Co-located equipment


The coalition requested that competitors be allowed to co-locate equipment of their choice as long as it is not a host switch and meets all applicable certification and safety standards. In Decision 97-15, the Commission determined that ICs could co-locate "transmission equipment" in ILEC COs but that co-location requirements would not extend to accommodating ICs' switching and processing equipment. In the coalition's view, this determination has been interpreted in a manner that prevents ICs from "turning on" or making use of certain features and functions of their co-located equipment. These features and functions include the packet-switching capabilities of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) equipment as well as certain intra-network switching capabilities. These capabilities are integrated within an IC's co-located digital loop carrier equipment, the purpose of which is to allow the service provider to switch traffic that originates and terminates exclusively on the service provider's network. The coalition argues that under the current regime, in the case of this latter type of traffic, it must be hauled out of the CO by the IC, switched at an external location, and then, frequently, delivered back to the same CO for termination to the end-user customer.


The coalition stated that the current limitations have had a number of unfortunate side-effects. For example, there have been delays in launching the next generation of data services because ICs asked manufacturers to modify (i.e. dumb down) the telecommunications equipment to satisfy the restrictions. Although the ILECs now permit the co-location of such equipment in their COs, competitors are still prohibited from using the packet switching functionalities of this equipment.


The coalition considered that, without the ability to turn on each of the capabilities inherent in this new generation of equipment, competitors cannot achieve optimal network efficiencies or offer the full range of services of the equipment in question. This is particularly troublesome to the coalition given that the ILECs regularly use their own COs to house fully functional ATM equipment with packet switching capabilities. The coalition stated that typically, the ILEC operates this ATM equipment for the benefit of an unregulated or non-dominant affiliate that competes head-to-head with the coalition's members.


In the coalition's view, there are serious competitive inequities when a set of rules allows both the ILECs and their competitors to co-locate similar or even identical equipment in the CO, but only allows the ILECs to turn on all of the enhanced switching functionalities of the equipment. The coalition also argued that this also discriminates against new market entrants.


By way of resolving this problem, the coalition pointed to a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States. According to the coalition, the FCC concluded that the incumbent LECs must permit competitors to co-locate all equipment used for interconnection and/or access to unbundled network elements regardless of whether it includes a "switching" or enhanced services function, and that incumbent LECs cannot require that the switching or enhanced services functionality of equipment be disengaged.


In response to the coalition's application, Bell Canada et al. indicated that the concept of co-location put forward by the applicants is very different from that set out by the Commission in a number of rulings beginning with Decision 97-15. Bell Canada et al. added that, in recognition of its objective to promote competitive entry, the Commission has already made a number of changes to the original concept. For example, co-located carriers can exchange a limited amount of traffic, service providers can connect to a telephone company via a co-located third party, and co-locators can use their co-location areas to transport flow-through traffic. Bell Canada et al. submitted that after nearly four years, dozens of service providers have successfully established interconnection arrangements through co-location, and the application discloses no requirement for a change to the current co-location regime. Moreover, Bell Canada et al. added that CLG discussions are producing several consensus resolutions.


According to Bell Canada et al., the co-locators themselves are the source of most delays. Immature and unstable business plans, changing "flavour of the week" network architectures, while not characteristic of all service providers, have often resulted in unnecessary complexity and delays. Several companies have noted that they have had to devote considerable time and effort to help co-locators and their equipment manufacturers to meet basic co-locator responsibilities such as complying with industry standards certification requirements. The efforts in such cases resulted in considerable savings in time, cost and effort for the co-locators and the equipment manufacturers, but at a cost in time and resources for all parties concerned, compared to what should have happened if the co-locators had met their standards certification responsibilities on a timely basis before announcing the launch of their services.


Bell Canada et al. was concerned that if the applicants are permitted to co-locate anything other than "a host switch" without prior company approval, equipment which has not been properly certified could be installed in the companies' COs since the companies would no longer have any control over the types of equipment co-locators install. Problems could arise as a result of the operation of such equipment such that the companies, the other co-locators and, most importantly, their respective end-users would be seriously affected. Under the applicants' proposed regime, the companies would lose control over the co-location process and would be left with the task of remedying problems after the fact. This could consume considerable time and resources.


Bell Canada et al. argued that the removal of restrictions on the eligibility of equipment for co-location requested by the coalition would allow co-locators to replicate service arrangements in their COs that they could obtain elsewhere in the marketplace at market-based rates. Bell Canada et al. estimated that a vigorous and growing marketplace for the provision of space to install carrier switching, network management, transmission and other equipment has developed. This trend is also described as carrier hotels or free standing co-location. Bell Canada et al. indicated that their COs should not be confused with carrier hotels. In their view, space obtained by competitors in the marketplace provides a much more appropriate means for competitors to locate the equipment of their choice than the limited space available in the companies' COs. According to Bell Canada et al., the expansion of mandated co-location proposed by the applicants would only exacerbate the space problem as well as other operational problems.


TELUS stated that the equipment restrictions established by the Commission exist to give effect to its vision of facilities-based local service competition. Thus, eliminating these restrictions would be contrary to the Commission's determination in Decision 97-15 and Telecom Decision CRTC 94-19, Review of regulatory framework, dated 16 September 1994. Due to the far-reaching effect these requests may have, TELUS is of the view that a broader policy proceeding is necessary to ensure that serious conflicts with the Commission's planned concept of facilities-based competition are not inadvertently injected into the regulatory regime.

Commission determination on Part A


The Commission notes that the ILEC co-location tariffs, filed in 1995, largely reflected the co-location requirements of interexchange carriers (IXCs). Today, co-location is required not only for the purposes of providing competitive switched local telephony services, it is also required for the next generation of data services, many of which are based on the Internet protocol (IP).


The Commission agrees with Bell Canada et al. that since the inception of the co-location regime in 1997, a number of changes have been made, and continue to be made to the original regime. For example, in Decision 97-15, the Commission concluded that co-location requirements should not extend to accommodating ICs' switching and processing equipment. Examples of equipment considered unacceptable included transcoders with processing capability, ATM switches, Frame Relay nodes and Local Area Network/Wide Area Network routers and bridges. The Commission also found that co-location should only pertain to ICs' transmission equipment. However, since Decision 97-15 was issued, consensus was reached at the CLG in January 2000 (CLRE008) to include digital subscriber line-access multiplexers, IP routers, ethernet switches, ATM switches, digital cross connects and optical cross connects on the NCEL, with the condition that the equipment would not be used to route traffic from one end-user's line to the line of any other end-user without first leaving the co-locator's designated co-location space.


The changes that have been made to the co-location regime since Decision 97-15, were introduced after several years of experience, and with the benefits of a public record reflecting this experience. In the Commission's view, changes should continue to be made.


In Decision 94-19, the Commission held that it was important that regulation encourage the provision of efficient, innovative and affordable services.


The Commission agrees with the coalition that "turning down" technology to meet switching restrictions creates inefficiencies in the market. In some cases, equipment can be limited or "turned down", but at a cost to the competitor. In other cases, efficient equipment that may be more economical but can't be "turned down", will be avoided by competitors who may have to opt for a more expensive alternative. In the Commission's view, the efficiencies gained by reducing the co-location equipment restrictions would benefit consumers by, among other things, promoting affordable, innovative and high quality telecommunications services. In addition, there is no compelling reason not to lift the restrictions.


The Commissionconsiders that the inefficiencies related to the current restrictions on co-location equipment (e.g. duplication of equipment, cost of modifying equipment, and the inability to use the switching and routing functions available in newer equipment that has faster routing capabilities packet-switching protocol offers) have arisen as a result of technological change and the general evolution of telecommunications networks from circuit-switched to packet-switched protocols. Since Decision 97-15, new generations of equipment have become available. Given current trends, it is likely that this evolution will continue. Furthermore, Decision 97-15 was primarily directed at promoting long distance voice services and did not fully consider the roll out of local competition. As the Commission noted in a recent decision, Decision CRTC 2001-204, dated 30 March 2001, the co-location regime is over three years old and there has been a significant shift in technologies and industry players during this time frame. Notwithstanding the above, the Commissionnotes that the fundamental purpose for co-location remains the same - to foster effective telecommunications markets through interconnection and access to unbundled network elements.


The Commission disagrees that allowing competitors to co-locate equipment that performs switching and routing functions would contradict or represent a departure from the Commission's vision of facilities-based competition. Since the inception of local competition, competitors have invested in telecommunications equipment and infrastructures. However, the existing rules are not conducive to the efficient use of today's technology. Currently, competitors are required to purchase equipment to co-locate in the CO, perhaps turn down certain functionalities or attest by affidavit that routing and switching functions will not be used, then procure separate (stand-alone switch) equipment to switch traffic that originates and terminates exclusively on the service provider's network.


In the Commission's view, duplicating equipment in order to perform the same function - that of providing a telecommunications service - does not meet the goal of providing co-location to foster effective telecommunications markets. The Commission notes that co-location of equipment is permitted to allow ICs to interconnect to the ILECs network and to gain access to unbundled network components. The Commission is of the view that in order for an IC to access all the features, functions and capabilities of a local loop, it must be permitted to use the switching and routing functionality of its equipment, which in turn will provide for greater efficiencies in the provision of telecommunications services.


The Commission notes that there is no evidence in this proceeding that carrier hotels are a viable option to co-locating in ILEC COs. If such ventures were lucrative, or feasible, carrier hotels would have opened up across Canada. Also, co-locating at any distance from the CO building carries with it the problems of signal degradation.


The Commission notes that in this proceeding, the ILECs were unable to confirm if all non-ILEC equipment, including affiliate company equipment, co-located in their COs meet the NCEL requirements, or if said equipment is used for switching. For example, Bell Canada et al. indicated that it did not maintain detailed records with respect to the type of equipment and related configurations beyond that needed for filing and installation purposes. Bell Canada et al. stated that site visits and detailed audits would be required to determine whether or not the configurations comply with the existing co-location rules. In a further response, Bell Canada et al. reiterated that it was unable to provide the Commission an assurance that all customer provided equipment in their central offices is operated by the customers consistently with the companies' policy, (which does not permit the co-location of equipment that performs switching functions).


TELUSstated that without the benefit of an extensive audit, it is unable to accurately determine the incidence of routing. However, combining data from a number of sources and making assumptions of instances in which it is likely that routing is occurring, TELUS listed 36 instances from November 1996 to November 2000.


In the Commission's opinion, the record of this proceeding demonstrates that the ILECs are unable to confirm that their customers, including their affiliates, are not using the switching and processing functions of equipment co-located in their COs. It may well be that ILEC serviced equipment is in violation of the restrictions established in Decision 97-15. The Commission agrees with the coalition that a differential treatment by the ILECs of themselves and their affiliates in this respect would be unjustly discriminatory and contrary to section 27(2) of the Telecommunications Act.


In light of the above, the Commission considers that ILECs should not be allowed to place any limitations on the ability of competitors and other ICs to use all the features, functions and capabilities of co-located equipment, including, but not limited to, switching features and functions. However, the Commission notes that removing the current limitations does not mean that any type of equipment can be co-located in the ILECs' COs. The IC's equipment would need to be "necessary" to allow ICs to interconnect or obtain access to unbundled network components, and not be a host switch.


The Commission notes that in addition to the above requirements, currently, all ICs must provide written assurance that all co-located equipment complies with CSA and Bellcore standards, as necessary, to ensure a safe and reliable environment within the CO.


In view of the above, the Commission directs that competitors and other ICs be permitted to:

a) co-locate any equipment necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network components, regardless of whether such equipment includes a switching or routing functionality; and

b) use all the functions of their co-located equipment, provided the equipment meets CSA and Bellcore standards as currently required and is not a host switch.

Part B - The NCEL and prior ILEC approval to co-locate equipment


The coalition requested that the National Co-location Equipment List be revoked and the requirement for prior ILEC approval to co-locate equipment in COs be eliminated. It submitted that the existing co-location rules are an administrative burden. The rules deter the launch of new and innovative services. For example, the current application and approval process to list new equipment on the NCEL creates unnecessary delays in the co-location of new equipment in ILEC COs. This provides the ILECs with a discretionary and questionable gatekeeper function.


With respect to the arguments by TELUS and Bell Canada et al. that the competitive industry has agreed to the co-location restrictions relating to switching and processing equipment, the coalition stated that those who participated in the CLG negotiations, had to accept the restrictions to avoid further delays in the deployment of services that require co-located equipment.


Bell Canada et al. noted that the NCEL was developed in consultation with industry participants as directed by the Commission in Decision 97-15. Bell Canada et al. stated it entered these discussions in good faith and on the understanding that the other industry participants were also participating in good faith. For a long time, Bell Canada et al. has known that the coalition members would prefer to be able to install any type of equipment they deem appropriate in the companies' COs. However, Bell Canada et al. find it entirely inappropriate for the coalition members to reach consensus regarding the NCEL in January 2000 and then return to the Commission within six months to withdraw that consensus. According to Bell Canada et al., granting the coalition's request would cast substantial doubt on the value of the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) as a mechanism to resolve disputes through negotiations among industry.


Bell Canada et al. noted that when the CLG reached consensus regarding the NCEL, it was understood that changes to the list could be made in the future. They noted that there have been no requests to add new items to the NCEL since the January 2000 consensus.


Bell Canada et al. stated that the NCEL helps co-locators by providing a convenient, publicly available list of equipment that is permitted to be co-located in the companies' COs, as well as a consistent framework for co-location. The NCEL assists potential co-locators in the following ways:

a) co-locators know the categories of equipment that can be co-located in the COs;

b) it enables co-locators to plan their equipment purchases;

c) it enables co-locators to plan their network architecture design activities with confidence;

d) where restrictions (such as a requirement for an affidavit) apply, the NCEL enables co-locators to plan accordingly; and

e) it provides a tool for the identification of special limitations on co-located equipment such as those, for example, arising from spectrum management considerations.

Commission determination of Part B


The Commission notes that the ILECs have been slow to enforce equipment configurations in their COs. In the Commission's view, Bell Canada et al. and TELUS have not expressed significant concern over the functions their affiliates' and others' co-location equipment may have been performing. Instead, TELUS suggested a broader proceeding should be held to deal with the equipment issue, and that Decision 97-15 requirements simply didn't extend to switching and processing equipment. Bell Canada et al. stated, for example, that the fundamental principle of 97-15 was to remove competitor reliance on ILEC transmission facilities for the purpose of interconnection. According to Bell Canada et al., despite changes in technology, the fundamental findings in Decision 97-15 remain unchanged.


The Commission notes that the consensus originally reached at CLG on the NCEL was based on participants' understanding that no switching functions could be accepted. This left no room to negotiate those points. As the coalition pointed out, competitors had to accept the consensus, even though they disagreed with the switching and routing prohibition if they wished to avoid further delays in the deployment of services provided using co-located equipment. Experience shows that in one instance, it took over 13 months before CLG agreed to add equipment to the NCEL (CLRE001).


The Commission disagrees with TELUS that the coalition's request to revoke the NCEL requires a broader proceeding. In the Commission's view, the record is sufficient to render a decision.


The Commission sees value in sustaining the NCEL as a useful centralized planning tool for competitors.


In the Commission's view, there is merit in incorporating a second list into the NCEL to indicate types of equipment that would be ineligible for co-location. That list would include:

· equipment that is classified as a host switch;

· any other equipment that is not necessary for interconnection or access to unbundled network components; and

· equipment that does not meet CSA and Bellcore standards.


The Commission considers that the ILECs should bear the responsibility of proposing additional equipment to the ineligible list. Disputes concerning the acceptance of equipment for co-location could be referred to the Commission.


Therefore, the Commission directs keeping the NCEL, but adding a second list of equipment that cannot be co-located. Equipment can be co-located so long as it is not on the ineligible list. Disputes concerning equipment that is co-located can be referred to the Commission.

Part C - Space issues


The coalition requested that any non-co-location space be reallocated for co-location purposes, and that adjacent space be made available where CO space has been exhausted. It expressed concern about the ILECs' claims that they have no space available in their COs particularly as they had stated in the Decision 97-15 proceeding that in the vast majority of cases, applications for co-location will be accommodated and that scarcity of CO floor space is not a concern. The coalition concurred that, in certain instances, there may be no space where the CO in question is extremely small. In other instances, however, these claims may be artificial, particularly when the ILEC has chosen to use its CO for other purposes such as accommodating administrative or technical staff that do not support any of the CO activities. In other instances, excess space within the CO may be leased to third parties for purposes that are entirely unrelated to the provision of telecommunications services, such as storefront dentistry offices.


The coalition indicated that in the United States, the FCC determined that where there has been a legitimate exhaust of available co-location space within a given CO, the ILEC must provide adjacent co-location.


The coalition disagrees with Bell Canada et al. that the best way to address space exhaust problems is through negotiation on a case-by-case basis. The coalition is opposed to this approach because in its opinion, competitors invariably lose in this process either as a result of the lengthy delays that are involved in these negotiations or as a result of the ILECs' refusal to provide cost-effective and realistic co-location alternatives.


Bell Canada et al. indicated that, generally, space established for CO purposes (i.e., space used to house switching and other network facilities) is not typically suitable for use as office space without substantial modification. As technology and the architecture of the companies' networks have evolved over the years, space in buildings which may once have been used solely to house switching and other network equipment may have been converted into company office space and/or data processing facilities. This space is no longer CO space; rather it is commercial space used for those purposes.


Moreover, in Bell Canada et al.'s view, the characteristics of buildings originally designed as COs make them particularly suitable as sites for a company's data processing operations. Use of such existing building space is considerably less expensive than seeking other suitable real estate, even if such space were readily available. In Bell Canada et al.'s opinion, a mandated requirement that a company conduct relocation of such operations would be entirely unreasonable.


Bell Canada et al. also submitted that it is not its practice to lease out CO space to third parties (e.g., storefront dentistry offices). The companies' own security and operational requirements, engineering and architectural characteristics would make such space unattractive or unsuitable for other third party commercial premises.


Bell Canada et al. indicated that while it has not conducted a detailed survey of all its CO buildings to determine whether any of them also house commercial rental street-front space, in downtown areas it is possible that such buildings may include commercial street-front premises or commercial premises in publicly accessible areas. Bell Canada et al. expect that if such premises exist, they represent an insignificant amount of space. Bell Canada et al. submitted that if it were to make available space for which it has alternative requirements, it would no longer be providing spare capacity and, as such, in fairness to it, the foundation for the rates at which co-location space is currently provided would need to change.


Bell Canada et al. believes that the coalition members have completely overlooked the relocation costs and the ongoing costs associated with the lease of commercial space to house the relocated activities. Bell Canada et al. provided estimates of the relocation costs.


Bell Canada et al. suggested that its customers, owners, shareholders, as well as the Commission expect it to make efficient use of its real estate. The emergence of a competitive marketplace in virtually all the markets served by the companies has provided an additional incentive for the companies to minimize their real estate costs. Responding to these pressures, Bell Canada et al. stated they have strived to make the most efficient use possible of their real estate assets by vacating a number of leased premises in high-cost downtown locations in favour of locating staff and operations in existing company buildings. Bell Canada et al. added that it has also rationalized and consolidated its operations, in some cases to buildings which also house COs.


Bell Canada et al. and TELUS consider that it would be entirely inappropriate to now penalize them for efficiently managing their real estate assets by granting the orders requested by the applicants. In the case of space reallocation, TELUS maintains it must be permitted to recover any costs it incurs from early termination of existing leases and re-location of TELUS personnel or equipment. Such an exercise will require planning and resourcing, in addition to the time required to complete a physical move.


Bell Canada et al. submitted that managing the ILECs' real estate assets would require the Commission to engage itself in a form of micro-management of the companies' operations inconsistent with any regulatory regime the Commission has established. Bell Canada et al. pointed out that on a number of occasions, the Commission has rejected demands by competitors that it involve itself in the day-to-day management of the companies' facilities and operations. In Bell Canada et al.'s view, the applicants' relocation and re-allocation requests may also be beyond the Commission's powers.


Bell Canada et al.stated that at the time of the original co-location proceeding, it could not have foreseen the degree to which the coalition members would focus their business activity in city centres, resulting in disproportionately concentrated demand for CO space. Bell Canada et al. noted that in the vast majority of cases, applications for co-location will be accommodated. In a small minority of COs, the lack of available space may be an issue but to Bell Canada et al.'s knowledge, alternative arrangements have been made.


Bell Canada et al. pointed out that CLG discussions are under way regarding the provision of loop extensions to locations beyond company property for use in instances of CO space exhaust. The applicants contend that loop extensions are not an alternative to their "adjacent co-location" request. However, both loop extensions and "adjacent co-location" entail the extension of loops outside the premises of the CO. To the extent that "adjacent co-location" may not be practical in many COs, loop extensions could, if feasible, be an alternative.


In Bell Canada et al.'s view, in certain instances, there simply will be no space available on its property to accommodate the co-locators' facilities 'adjacent' to a CO. COs in downtown locations generally have very limited "parking space", and paved areas adjacent to COs are typically used for access to delivery and loading dock areas and to meet other operational requirements. Bell Canada et al. also noted that some COs are located in leased premises.


TELUS acknowledged that co-location space is at a premium in certain locations due to concentrated requests for co-location at specific locations, and in Vancouver's case, to a requirement to meet seismic standards. TELUS indicated it could introduce other forms of co-location to reduce the IC's initial costs and alleviate the space shortage.


In the case of adjacent co-location, TELUS maintained that, in addition to being permitted to recover any associated costs, any structure or facility ultimately placed must adhere to any existing zoning, safety, maintenance requirements and construction standards. TELUS is of the view that the requirements should be referred to the CLG for examination.


TELUS indicated that alternative solutions to co-location space exhaustion require discussion at the CLG and their costs of implementation must be fully recoverable by the company.

Commission determination on Part C


The Commission approved CLG consensus report CLRE017 on 25 May 2001 permitting competitors to sub-lease co-located floor space. For smaller ICs, this presents an alternative to having to pay for more co-location space than they need. In addition, the Commission approved CLG consensus report CLRE018C on 20 August 2001 permitting the assignment of co-location sites.


The Commission notes the coalition's submission that there are over 15 COs in Bell Canada et al. territory where there is only one co-location space available or none at all. In reply, Bell Canada et al. indicated that out of the co-location applications received, only six were denied. Of the six, two have been accommodated by means of alternate arrangements, one location is in leased space and a fourth is for a CO that is planned for expansion. In TELUS' case, out of 72 denied co-location applications, 36 of them were denied due to the small size of the COs.


In the Commission's view, mandating reallocation of CO space and relocation of ILEC personnel would be a significant step that isn't warranted at this time. By contrast, the Commission is of the view that adjacent co-location is a feasible alternative in certain circumstances. ILEC personnel in the CO would not need to move. The costs for adjacent co-location would be passed on to the co-locators opting for adjacent co-location.


The Commission notes TELUS' willingness to explore adjacent co-location as long as it can recover any associated costs and that competitors must adhere to any existing zoning, safety and construction standards.


The Commission also notes TELUS' submission that the development of operational parameters for adjacent co-location would best be examined at CLG. In the Commission's view, the distinct features of every CO in Canada would make it difficult and inefficient to develop broad parameters at CLG. The Commission considers that where co-location space has been exhausted, it would be more efficient to address adjacent co-location requests on a case-by-case basis, where feasible.


The coalition had asked the ILECs to provide detailed information on all their COs in Bands A, B and C. The Commission notes that Bell Canada et al. was not able to provide much of the requested information.


The Commission considers that a certain amount of information with respect to COs must be made publicly available and kept up-to-date to help ICs plan their activities and enable early discussions with the ILECs in evaluating possible solutions where space appears limited or where space exhaust has not yet been investigated by the ILEC.


The Commission considers that for each CO building in Bands A, B and C the ILECs should make the following information publicly available (i.e. by posting it on a web site), within 90 days, and that it should be updated semi-annually.

(1) the total amount of floor space, in square metres, including any adjacent space that is currently used for CO functions, broken down as follows: (a) non-telecommunications functions (e.g. lobby, employee facilities, garage, etc.), and (b) telecommunications functions;

(2) the amount of floor space that is not currently used, in square metres;

(3) the amount of CO floor space, in square metres, broken down as follows: (a) ILEC CO functions, including any adjacent space that is currently used for CO functions (e.g. outside terminations, vaults, etc.), (b) ILEC-customer/affiliate functions, and (c) competitor co-location space;

(4) the number of square metres of co-location space and bays that is (a) reserved, (b) assigned, and (c) available for each of physical and virtual co-location;

(5) the dates on which a co-location request has been denied where applicable, whether co-location space is unavailable, and whether adjacent co-location could be feasible;

(6) planned CO building expansions or space relief alternatives, in square metres and ready date; and

(7) whether the CO building is leased, and if so, whether it is leased from an affiliate or a non-affiliated third party.


Should parties consider that any additional information is required, discussions should take place at the CLG.


The Commission is of the view that making current data and projections for co-location space publicly available, will help establish an early detection mechanism to explore the feasibility of adjacent co-location. If and when problems with space cannot be resolved, applicants can file subsequent requests for dispute resolution, or file a request for the Commission to review a dispute.


In view of the above, the Commission:

· directs that adjacent co-location be negotiated between ILECs and ICs on a case-by-case basis as an alternative to the current types of co-location where feasible and where CO space is exhausted;

· directs the ILECs to make the above CO building information publicly available on their web sites within 90 days, and complete semi-annual updates; and

· denies the coalition's request that where there are space constraints within a CO, that any non-co-location space must be reallocated for co-location purposes.

Part D - Dispute resolution


The applicants have requested that where there is a dispute regarding the use of ILEC CO space, the matter shall be referred to the Commission for adjudication. The Commission considers that where there is a dispute that cannot be resolved, either party can file a request with the Commission for resolution.

Secretary General

This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2001-10-26

Date modified: