ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2003-100

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Telecom Order CRTC 2003-100

Ottawa, 4 March 2003

Aliant Telecom Inc.

Reference: Tariff Notice 27

Centrex Business service


The Commission received an application by Aliant Telecom Inc. (Aliant Telecom), dated 12 June 2002, to amend the following items to allow for existing contract extensions:

· NewTel Communications Inc.'s General Tariff item 190, Provincial Centrex Service;
· Maritime Tel & Tel Limited's General Tariff item 770, Centrex Business Service; and
· Island Telecom Inc.'s General Tariff item 697, Centrex Business Service.


Aliant Telecom proposed to modify the options available for 3-year and 5-year minimum service periods (MSP) contracts under Centrex Business service in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and 3-year, 5-year and 10-year minimum contract period (MCP) contracts for Provincial Centrex service in Newfoundland and Labrador. The proposed amendments would allow, at the expiry of existing contracts, extensions of 1, 2, or 3 years, at existing terms, conditions and rates.


Aliant Telecom submitted that the proposed amendments would offer MCP or MSP customers more flexibility when negotiating contract renewal. Aliant Telecom noted that its proposal did not involve any changes to rates, terms or conditions associated with the customer's contract or the terms of contracts in general. Aliant Telecom further noted that the proposed extensions were not automatic renewals but would have to be mutually agreed upon by the customer and the company.


GT Group Telecom Services Corp. (Group Telecom) submitted comments dated 4 July 2002. Group Telecom argued that Aliant Telecom's proposal would result in a rate decrease for Centrex service. In Group Telecom's view, an extension of 1, 2 or 3 years at the same rates, terms and conditions of 3, 5 or 10-year contracts would result in an overall rate decrease to Centrex service, since commitments associated with 1, 2 or 3-year contracts would not normally warrant the reduced rates available in the existing 3, 5 and 10-year contracts.


Group Telecom argued that offering 1, 2, or 3-year contract extensions to existing customers at rates lower than the rates available for other customers under new contracts of the same length and conditions constituted unjust discrimination, contrary to section 27(2) of the Telecommunications Act (the Act).


In its reply dated 18 July 2002, Aliant Telecom submitted that its proposal was a necessary and reasonable competitive response to address customers' needs for price flexibility and innovation in service offerings. Aliant Telecom also pointed to existing tariffs, which allowed for extensions of multi-year contracts.


The Commission notes that customers opting for contract extensions under the proposed amendments would be subject to lower rates than other customers obtaining similar service under contracts of similar lengths.


In light of the above, the Commission finds that the proposed tariff revisions, if approved, would constitute unjust discrimination, contrary to section 27(2) of the Act.


Accordingly, the Commission denies Aliant Telecom's application.

Secretary General

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Date Modified: 2003-03-04

Date modified: