ARCHIVED - Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-54

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Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-54

Ottawa, 3 September 2002

Model tariff for the interconnection services of competitive local exchange carriers

Reference: 8657-C12-02/01


In this decision, the Commission directs all competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) to adopt the model tariff for their General Tariffs. The Commission also directs all CLECs to file, within 60 days of the date of this decision, amended tariff pages, reflecting the relevant terms, conditions and rates of the model tariff.



Since the introduction of local competition, all service providers that intend to be competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) have been required to file tariffs that set out the rates, terms and conditions for the provision of interconnection services to other telecommunications service providers.


The CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) Tariff Ad Hoc Working Group (TAWG) was formed with the mandate to develop a model tariff for CLECs that reflected the Commission's determinations with respect to the various tariff items that should be contained in a CLEC's General Tariff. The Competitive Local Exchange Carrier Model Tariff (the model tariff) was completed in March 2001. The TAWG also developed the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) Model CLEC Tariff User's Guide (the User's Guide). The User's Guide provides instructions about how the model tariff is to be used and adapted to reflect the CLEC's specific circumstances.


The CISC Steering Committee approved the model tariff and the associated consensus report on 1 May 2001.


In The Commission seeks comments from CLECs on the adoption of the model tariff, Public Notice CRTC 2001-102, 28 September 2001 (Public Notice 2001-102), the Commission stated that, on a preliminary basis, it considered that the tariffs of the CLECs should be based on the model tariff and that it intended to grant final approval to the General Tariffs of CLECs that adopted the rates, terms and conditions set out in the model tariff. The Commission directed CLECs to show cause why their respective General Tariffs should not be based on the model tariff, and why the rates, terms and conditions set out in the model tariff should not apply to them.


In Public Notice 2001-102, the Commission called for comments on the model tariff and the model tariff was posted on the CISC website.


The Commission received comments from TELUS Communications Inc. (TCI) dated 26 October 2001, and from Futureway Communications Inc. (Futureway) dated 29 October 2001.


In the following sections, the Commission addresses the comments received from TCI and Futureway.

Provision relating to the obligation to provide service


Futureway noted that model tariff Item 102.3.1 - Obligation to provide service, stated:

Except as otherwise expressly specified elsewhere in this tariff, and subject to Items 102.3.2 and 102.3.4 below, all of the interconnection services available to Telecommunications Providers under this tariff are provided by [the Company/CLEC] pursuant to an obligation to serve.


Futureway submitted that the Commission should replace the phrase "an obligation to serve" with the phrase "the CLEC's obligations established by the Commission in Telecom Decision CRTC 97-8, Local competition, 1 May 1997". Futureway also submitted that the heading associated with this item should be changed to "Provision of Service". In Futureway's view, the phrase "obligation to serve" has a specific meaning in the context of the Commission's regulation of the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), and its use in the CLECs' General Tariff could create the false impression that the obligations imposed on ILECs are now imposed on CLECs.


The Commission is of the view that this tariff provision is clearly limited to the interconnection services that CLECs are required to provide to other local exchange carriers, interexchange service providers and wireless service providers (WSPs) pursuant to Decision 97-8. In the Commission's view, this tariff provision cannot be misconstrued as referring to an obligation to provide service to end-customers. Accordingly, the Commission finds that the changes to the model tariff proposed by Futureway are not necessary.

Items that are not applicable and/or not required


Futureway submitted that it should not be required to include in its tariff those items from the model tariff that are not applicable to its current operations. Futureway maintained that it would file amendments to its tariff when it proposed to provide any such items.


The Commission notes that the model tariff has been developed to reflect the full range of interconnection services that a CLEC may be interested in offering. A CLEC may choose not to offer a specific interconnection service that it is not required to provide. Further, if a CLEC does not operate in a specific territory, then that CLEC is under no obligation to include the rates for that territory in its tariff.

Wording of the "Late payment charge" provision


TCI noted that the current late payment charge in the model tariff is described as "the compound rate of 1.25% a month (16.07% a year) of the unpaid amount". TCI suggested that the following wording would be more appropriate:

The late-payment charge is based on the (the Canadian Chartered Bank chosen by the Company/CLEC) Prime Rate plus 7% converted to a monthly compound rate and rounded up to the nearest quarter percentage point.


In TCI's view, this revised wording would alleviate the requirement for a tariff revision to be filed each time the compound rate changes as a result of fluctuations in the prime rate. TCI further noted that this wording was approved in CRTC approves amalgamated Terms of Service for TELUS Communications Inc., Order CRTC 2001-552, 9 July 2001.


The Commission has revised the late payment charges provision in the model tariff to be consistent with the provision approved for other CLECs and ILECs. In the Commission's view, these revisions should address TCI's concerns.

Appropriateness of the terms, conditions and rates in the model tariff

Termination of traffic within an ILEC local calling area


TCI submitted that the rates associated with "Termination of Traffic from Exchanges within an ILEC Local Calling Area" are not consistent with TCI's rates.


The Commission acknowledges that the rates in the model tariff are not consistent with TCI's rates. The Commission notes that the rates in the model tariff are different than those of TCI because the service provided by the CLECs is not comparable to the service provided by the ILECs. The ILEC routes a CLEC's traffic from the originating exchange for termination in a different exchange within the ILEC's local calling area associated with that exchange. In comparison, a CLEC generally performs only the termination function. The Commission therefore concludes that it is appropriate for the CLECs to charge the rates set out in the model tariff, as these are commensurate with the service they provide.

Interconnection with WSPs


TCI submitted that in the tariff provisions for interconnection with WSPs, various rate elements associated with line-side access telephone numbers for Alberta and British Columbia are incorrect. TCI noted that the rates in the model tariff apply on a per-telephone number basis whereas, in the company's serving territory, the rates actually apply on a per block of numbers basis. In addition, TCI stated there are additional service charges that apply in its British Columbia serving territory that are not described in the model tariff.


The Commission notes that the tariffs for interconnection with WSPs vary considerably among the ILECs. Most of the ILECs' tariffs provide for rates associated with telephone numbers on a per number basis. In order to maintain consistency in the rates for CLECs that operate in several territories, TCI's per block rates were converted to per number rates. Further, the Commission notes that it has, in several previous rulings, approved the conversion of per block rates to per number rates in the general tariffs of some CLECs and remains of the view that this variation is acceptable.


The Commission notes that the additional service charges referred to by TCI that apply in its British Columbia serving territory relate to charges per block of numbers. The model tariff reflects only the lowest service charge. The Commission notes that the application of a single service charge is consistent with the approach adopted in all other serving territories.


In view of the above, the Commission considers that the model tariff need not be modified to reflect the rates on a per block basis in the manner suggested by TCI. However, the Commission recognizes that it may be appropriate in certain circumstances for a CLEC to adopt tariff provisions for interconnection with a WSP that are equivalent to those of the ILEC in the territory where the CLEC operates. The Commission is prepared to consider applications for such tariff amendments on a case-by-case basis.


TCI noted that, except in its City of Edmonton serving territory, there are no rates and charges for telephone number reservations applicable in its Alberta serving territory. TCI noted, however, that the model tariff provides for such a service. The Commission is of the view that a CLEC should not be prevented from offering a service that the ILEC does not offer. The Commission therefore concludes that these provisions are appropriate in the model tariff.

Time frame for filing tariff amendments


Futureway submitted that the Commission should grant existing CLECs six months to file the required tariff amendment with the Commission. Futureway argued that time and administrative effort would be needed to amend and file their general tariffs for final approval. In Futureway's view, this would be a significant administrative project for smaller CLECs that have limited resources.


The Commission considers that a six-month implementation period is excessive given that the model tariff has been developed to simplify the process for both the CLECs and the Commission. The Commission finds that a period of 60 days from the date of this decision provides sufficient time for the CLECs to adapt the model tariff to their specific requirements and file revised General Tariffs for final approval.

Adoption of the model tariff


The Commission notes that there were no significant objections raised by the CLECs in connection with the adoption of the model tariff and consequently is satisfied that it is appropriate to require that the tariffs of the CLECs be based on the model tariff. This will allow the Commission to approve the general tariffs of CLECs on an expedited basis.


In light of the above, the Commission determines that all CLECs' General Tariffs are to be based on the model tariff. The Commission directs all existing CLECs with General Tariffs that have been approved on an interim basis to file revised General Tariffs that reflect the relevant rates, terms and conditions contained in the model tariff within 60 days of the date of this decision.

Secretary General

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Date Modified: 2002-09-03

Date modified: