ARCHIVED - Public Notice CRTC 2001-47

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Public Notice CRTC 2001-47


Ottawa, 27 April 2001


Framework for the expansion of local calling areas and related issues


Reference: 8663-C12-04/01


The CRTC is seeking public input to establish a set of general principles and criteria to be used in assessing applications for creation of common local calling areas.




The Commission has allowed toll-free calling areas under two general approaches. The first approach has been through established Extended Area Service (EAS) principles.


EAS allows customers located in neighbouring telephone exchanges to call one another without incurring long distance charges. Introduction of EAS may, however, result in higher local rates.


The Commission has established EAS criteria for the telephone companies. For Bell Canada, EAS criteria were first established in 1980 and revised in 1988. If these criteria are met and the related tariffs approved by the Commission, customers located in neighbouring exchanges are entitled to EAS which expands the local calling area for one or both exchanges.


The Commission has also sometimes approved expanded local calling areas in circumstances when EAS criteria have not been met. In Bell Canada - Neighbourhood calling plan, Telecom Decision CRTC 92-22, dated 9 December 1992, while the Commission denied an application by Bell Canada providing for the introduction of neighbourhood calling plan, it indicated that it would be prepared to consider departures from the EAS criteria for the creation of toll-free calling areas provided certain considerations were taken into account. The considerations identified included the notion that subscribers pay the incremental costs and that subscribers subject to rate increases have an opportunity to vote on the proposal, and the possibility that the region or municipality bear some of the cost of the vote.


Subsequent to Decision 92-22, the Commission has considered the creation of toll-free calling areas that depart from the EAS criteria on a case-by-case basis.


The Commission notes that, while specific criteria have been established for EAS, the Commission has not established generally applicable criteria by which it would assess whether to allow the creation of toll-free calling areas that depart from the established EAS criteria. The Commission considers that unless there are established and specific criteria for allowing expanded local calling in exchanges that do not qualify under the EAS criteria, the result will be a patchwork of decisions that could, in combination, have a significant impact on the evolution and maintenance of competitive markets.


Issues in the proceeding


In view of the above, the Commission is initiating a proceeding to establish a set of general principles and criteria that should be used to consider applications for the expansion of local calling areas.


In addition to the above, the Commission invites comment on the following as well as any other issues relevant to this proceeding:


a) whether and in what circumstances it is appropriate to allow expanded local calling in amalgamated municipalities;


b) whether the criteria should be equally applicable to both rural and urban areas;


c) how best to balance the desire of customers for expanded local calling with the possible impact on the toll market and on the ability of competitive local service providers to bundle local and toll services;


d) for what expenses should incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) be compensated;


e) whether and how the ILECs and/or competitors should be compensated for loss of toll revenues;


f) what treatment, if any, should be given to any compensation regarding the calculation of the subsidy requirement in high-cost serving areas;


g) whether a distance criterion is appropriate for expansion of a local calling area; and


h) whether the existing EAS criteria between two exchanges should be retained, modified or incorporated with new criteria for local calling, and what should be the relationship, if any, of any new approach to any existing EAS or natural calling centres.


The Commission also invites comments on the desirability of amalgamating exchanges as a means of providing for expanded local calling areas.


Transfer of relevant PN 2000-107 record


In Northern Telephone Limited - Service improvement program, Order CRTC 2000-162, dated 29 February 2000, the Commission indicated that it would address the issue of expanded free calling areas in the proceeding to establish the terms and conditions of toll competition in O.N. Tel's toll operating territory.


In O.N. Tel - Implementation of toll competition and related matters, Public Notice CRTC 2000-107, dated 20 July 2000, the Commission sought comments with regard to the expansion of local free calling areas including, among other things:

  • identification of the criteria governing the expansion by the independent telephone companies of their local free calling areas in O.N. Tel's toll operating territory; and
  • the appropriateness of compensating the toll provider for lost toll revenues.


Issues with respect to the expansion of local free calling areas for Northern Telephone Limited and O.N. Tel will be addressed in this proceeding. Accordingly, the record of the PN 2000-107 proceeding to date with respect to the issues noted above in paragraph 11 will be made part of the record of this proceeding.




Parties wishing to participate in this proceeding must notify the Commission of their intention to do so, by 28 May 2001. These parties should contactthe Secretary General by mail at CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2; by fax at (819) 953-0795; or by email at . They are to indicate in the notice their email address, where available. If parties do not have access to the Internet, they are to indicate in their notice whether they wish to receive disk versions of hard copy filings. The Commission will issue, as soon as possible after the registration date, a complete list of interested parties and their mailing address (including their email address, if available), identifying those parties who wish to receive disk versions.


Any person who wishes merely to file comments in this proceeding, without receiving copies of submissions and interrogatories, may do so by writing to the Commission at the address noted in paragraph 13 by 15 November 2001.


Parties may by 26 July 2001,file submissions with the Commission, serving copies on all other parties.


Parties may address interrogatories to any party who files a submission pursuant to paragraph 15. Any such interrogatories must be filed with the Commission and served on all parties 27 August 2001.


Responses to interrogatories addressed pursuant to paragraph 16are to be filed with the Commission and served on all parties by 24 September 2001.


Requests by parties for further responses to their interrogatories, specifying in each case why a further response is both relevant and necessary, and requests for public disclosure of information for which confidentiality has been claimed, setting out in each case the reasons for disclosure, must be filed with the Commission and served on all parties by 4 October 2001.


Written responses to requests for further responses to interrogatories and for public disclosure must be filed with the Commission and served on all parties by 11 October 2001.


A determination will be issued with respect to requests for further information and public disclosure as soon as possible, and it is expected that any information to be provided pursuant to that determination will be filed with the Commission and served on all parties by 1 November 2001.


All parties may file comments with the Commission on any matter within the scope of this proceeding, serving a copy on all other parties, by 15 November 2001.


All parties may file reply comments with the Commission, serving a copy on all other parties, by 29 November 2001.


Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely sent, by that date.


Parties wishing to file electronic versions of their comments can do so by email at the address shown above, or on diskette.


The electronic version should be in the HTML format. As an alternative, those making submissions may use "Microsoft Word" for text and "Microsoft Excel" for spreadsheets.


Please number each paragraph of your submission. In addition, please enter the line ***End of document*** following the last paragraph. This will help the Commission verify that the document has not been damaged during transmission.


The Commission will make submissions filed in electronic form available on its web site at in the official language and format in which they are submitted. This will make it easier for members of the public to consult the documents.


The Commission also encourages interested parties to monitor the public examination file (and/or the Commission's web site) for additional information that they may find useful when preparing their submissions.


Submissions may be examined or will be made available promptly upon request at the following Commission offices during normal business hours:


Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage, Room G-5
Hull, Quebec K1A 0N2
Tel: (819) 997-2429 - TDD: 994-0423
Fax: (819) 994-0218


Bank of Commerce Building
1809 Barrington Street
Suite 1007
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3K8
Tel: (902) 426-7997 - TDD: 426-6997
Fax: (902) 426-2721


405 de Maisonneuve Blvd. East
2nd Floor, Suite B2300
Montréal, Quebec H2L 4J5
Tel: (514) 283-6607 - TDD: 283-8316
Fax: (514) 283-3689


55 St. Clair Avenue East
Suite 624
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M2
Tel: (416) 952-9096
Fax: (416) 954-6343


Kensington Building
275 Portage Avenue
Suite 1810
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2B3
Tel: (204) 983-6306 - TDD: 983-8274
Fax: (204) 983-6317


Cornwall Professional Building
2125 - 11th Avenue
Room 103
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3X3
Tel: (306) 780-3422
Fax: (306) 780-3319


10405 Jasper Avenue
Suite 520
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3N4
Tel: (780) 495-3224
Fax: (780) 495-3214


530-580 Hornby Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3B6
Tel: (604) 666-2111 - TDD: 666-0778
Fax: (604) 666-8322


Secretary General


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

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