ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8638-C12-73/02 - TELUS Service Improvement Plan - 2003 Forecast Tracking Report

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Our File: 8638-C12-73/02

Ottawa, 28 May 2003


Mr. Deo Mathura
Director - Regulatory Affairs
TELUS Communications Inc.
Floor 21
10020 100 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta
T5J 0N5

Dear Mr. Mathura:

Re: TELUS Service Improvement Plan - 2003 Forecast Tracking Report

On 16 April 2003, pursuant to Regulatory framework for second price cap period, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-34, 30 May 2002 (Decision 2002-34), TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS) filed with the Commission a 2003 forecast service improvement plan (SIP) tracking report, which forecasts the company's SIP performance for the year 2003, given that TELUS did not commence its SIP in 2002.  On 14 May 2003, TELUS filed a revised version of this report.

Commission staff requires additional information and is issuing the attached interrogatories.  TELUS is requested to file responses to these interrogatories within 21 days from the date of this letter.

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

Yours sincerely,


Scott Hutton
Director - Contribution and Costing
(819) 997-4573

attachment: interrogatories

c.c.  Hugh Thompson, CRTC, (819) 953-6081

Attachment:   TELUS Interrogatories


1.         Refer to the responses to interrogatories TELUS(CRTC)27Apr01-611 PC, TELUS(CRTC)26Jun01-1601 PC and Telesat(CRTC)31Aug01-3600 (b) PC filed in the proceeding leading to Decision 2002-34.  In its 2002 tracking report, TELUS did not indicate whether it had been unable to find lower cost options than those outlined in the proceeding that led to Decision 2002-34 to provide toll-free Internet access.  Indicate whether TELUS has ruled out the possibility of reselling direct-to-home (DTH) satellite data transmission via Bell ExpressVu, Telesat Anik F2 (in 2003), or some other DTH provider for the provision of toll-free Internet access.  If so, indicate why.  If not, provide a detailed description of the company's technical and costing research.


2.         The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has endorsed new technology that provides Internet access over power company wires and stated that the agency will begin examining this service in April 2003.  The FCC stated that this could mean a third major broadband pipe into the home after telephone and cable-television lines.  Assuming that this broadband technology is found to be viable and cost-effective in the U.S., discuss the advantages and disadavantages of a partnership between Canadian telephone companies and Canadian power companies to use this type of technology to provide toll-free Internet access to telephone subscribers in SIP underserved areas where current telephone company technolgy is cost-prohibitive.  Also, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using narrowband technology over power lines if such technology is currently available in the marketplace.


3.         At paragraph 913 of Decision 2002-34, the Commission noted that if there is no Internet service provider (ISP) providing toll-free Internet access to the remaining exchanges where thus far no ISP has chosen to locate by the first quarter of 2003, it will consider whether the incumbent local exchange carriers' obligation to serve includes an obligation to provide toll-free access to the Internet.  Taking into account the answers provided to interrogatories 1-2 above, provide your views as to whether or not the Commission should consider this obligation at this time, indicating the advantages and disadvantages.  If this is not an appropriate time, indicate what time would be appropriate and why.


4.         At paragraphs 920-925 of Decision 2002-34, the Commission set out the specification for the annual SIP tracking report that it directed Aliant Telecom Inc., Bell Canada, Saskatchewan Telecommunications Inc., and TELUS to adopt.  It appears that TELUS has omitted several items from its tracking report as set out below.  Provide the following data as required.

a)      the number and location of new customers requesting service;


b)      the number of customers whose past requests have been reassessed and now qualify for service;

c)      the number of customers requesting service who do not qualify because of cost;

d)      the number of customers who have been offered service but refused because of cost; and

e)      the status of a new plan to service residents in those remaining exchanges that currently do not have access to the Internet via a local call, using new or alternative technologies.

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