ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2003-153

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Telecom Order CRTC 2003-153

Ottawa, 16 April 2003

Ontario Telephone Association's PIC/CARE customer access handbook

Reference: 8643-O2-01/01


The Commission received an application by the Ontario Telephone Association (OTA), dated 1 December 2001, requesting approval of its Primary Interexchange Carrier/ Customer Account Record Exchange Access Customer handbook (PIC/CARE handbook).


The OTA's handbook would be used by the OTA's member companies to provide interexchange carriers (IXCs) with information relating to the exchange of PIC/CARE information between an IXC and a small incumbent telephone company.


On 24 December 2001, Bell Canada filed comments noting that the OTA had proposed to use e-mail or file transfer protocol for receiving and forwarding CARE files. Bell Canada submitted that the OTA's proposal deviated from the Canadian Data Interexchange Guidelines which define the industry standard for electronic exchange of PIC/CARE data, which was via a common file transfer service implemented by IXCs and local exchange carriers across Canada. Bell Canada argued that non-compliance with these guidelines would discourage potential interexchange competitors from offering their services in the serving territories of the OTA member companies. Bell Canada submitted that the Commission should direct the OTA to file a revised PIC/CARE procedure manual that complies with the industry standard in place.


On 4 January 2002, the OTA replied that it was opposed to adopting the common file transfer service recommended by Bell Canada. In a subsequent letter received on 11 June 2002, the OTA indicated that it would implement the industry standard file transfer service and filed revisions to its PIC/CARE handbook to reflect the change.


The Commission notes that the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) Business Process Working Group developed a model PIC/CARE handbook (CISC model) in July 2000 for use by the telecommunications industry. Although the Commission finds that the information provided in the OTA's PIC/CARE handbook is generally consistent with the CISC model, the Commission considers that certain provisions and sections of OTA's PIC/CARE handbook are incomplete or require modifications.


Accordingly, the Commission approves on an interim basis OTA's PIC/CARE handbook, subject to the company incorporating the amendments identified below:

· on the page entitled "Warning":

- replace the title "Warning" with "Proprietary Warning", and replace the paragraphs with the following:

The information contained in this document is not to be reproduced or translated in whole or in part without the written consent of the OTA.

This work incorporates portions of a document produced by TELUS, Copyright © 1994, reproduced by the OTA with permission.

This work contains material that has been derived from the Customer Account Record Exchange - Industry Support Interface (CARE - ISI) guidelines maintained by the Ordering and Billing Forum (OBF). These guidelines may be obtained by contacting the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) at

This document is provided subject to the terms and conditions, including fees, as set out in the OTA's Ontario Independent Services Tariff CRTC 25611, Section 2, Carrier Access Tariff.

· in item 1.1, Scope of Equal Access:

- replace the first paragraph with the following:

In accordance with Regulatory framework for the independent telephone companies in Quebec and Ontario (except Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, Québec- Téléphone and Télébec ltée), Telecom Decision CRTC 96-6, 7 August 1996, THE COMPANY provides Access Customers (ACs) with equal ease of access to its local network for the origination and termination of AC network traffic.

- add the following sentence to the beginning of the second paragraph:

Equal access is a trunk-side connection with Feature Group D capabilities, which allows ACs to connect directly to the local exchange network of an Access Provider (AP).

· add the following items to section 1:

1.4 Requests for copies of the Handbook

Each AC is provided with two copies of this Handbook upon establishing a PIC/CARE processing account with THE COMPANY. Additional copies of the Handbook are provided subject to a charge as specified in the OTA's Ontario Independent Services Tariff CRTC 25611, Section 2, Carrier Access Tariff.

Requests for copies of the Handbook should be directed to:

(insert complete contact information including name, address, telephone number, facsimile number and e-mail address).

1.5 Handbook updates

THE COMPANY will notify the AC, in writing of changes to the Handbook and will provide, at no charge, two revised copies of the Handbook.

1.6 Rates and Charges

Rates and charges are applicable to the following PIC processing related activities:

Set-up of each PIC processing account

Changes to the CARE profile

Additional copies of the PIC/CARE Handbook

Per line PIC processing

Unauthorized PIC change

Request for billing account number detail

Request for verification

Full details of the application of these charges to PIC processing transactions are provided in the OTA's Ontario Independent Services Tariff CRTC 25611, Section 2, Carrier Access Tariff.

· in section 2, insert the following items as 2.1 and 2.2 and renumber the remaining items accordingly:

2.1 CIC Code Information

In order for an AC to offer Equal Access and PIC processing, it must obtain a Carrier Identification Code (CIC). The assignment and management of CIC Codes is administered by the Canadian Numbering Administrator (CNA). Canadian applicants shall submit all applications for North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) administered resources directly to the CNA for processing.

For further information, refer to the Carrier Identification Code Assignment Guidelines developed by the Industry Numbering Committee (INC) and the Canadian Adjunct to the INC Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Assignment Guidelines.

2.2 Feature Group D (Trunk-side Access)

An AC must have Feature Group D (Trunk-side Access) facilities in place prior to the start of PIC Processing.

· in section 2, add the following as item 2.7:

2.7 Access Customer Testing

Additional testing is required to validate the PIC/CARE interface between THE COMPANY and the AC. Testing requirements for the exchange of PIC/CARE data between THE COMPANY and the AC are detailed in Appendix H.

· in section 5, add the following as item 5.4:

5.4 Billing Telephone Number Subscriptions

A billing telephone number (BTN) is typically a real working number and is often the Customer's main working telephone number (WTN).

Upon receipt of a subscription request for a particular BTN, THE COMPANY first checks to ensure that at least one WTN is associated with the BTN. THE COMPANY then "explodes" the subscription into the associated WTN level transactions. All validations, as well as confirmations and rejections, occur at the WTN level.

The AC will be notified of the rejection of lines already subscribed to the requesting AC through a reject transaction. The exploded list of all WTNs will include any WTNs PIC'd to another AC with a more recent authorization date; these WTNs will be rejected.

Cancellations or due date changes must be submitted at the BTN level.

The existence of a BTN does not imply that lines which are installed at a later time will automatically be subscribed to the AC. The AC must submit a subscription request for each WTN as it is added by the Customer.

· amend item 6.2 as follows:

- add the following as the last bulleted item of the list:

No more than 30 calendar days have elapsed between the disconnection and the reconnection dates.

- add the following paragraph after the bulleted list:

When the Customer requires service in two separate locations when moving, the new location is considered to be a new installation and the Customer will be defaulted to (insert name of the default AC). The Customer may change its PIC selection by contacting the AC of choice.

· in item 6.3, add the following sentence to the end of the first paragraph:

The new Customer may change the AC selection by contacting the new AC.

· add the following as item 7.8:

7.8 Quality of Service

In Quality of service indicators for use in telephone company regulation, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-16, 24 July 1997 and Final standards for quality of service indicators for use in telephone company regulation and other related matters, Decision CRTC 2000-24, 20 January 2000, the Commission established that for Indicator 1.7, One-time activation of PICs for alternate providers of long distance service (APLDS), a standard of 90% or more must be achieved. THE COMPANY will measure this quality of service indicator and report to the CRTC as required for small incumbent telephone companies as directed in Regulatory framework for the small incumbent telephone companies, Decision CRTC 2001-756, 14 December 2001.

· replace section 8, Customer Authorization and Confirmation Process, with the following:

8.0 Consumer Safeguards

8.1 Overview

Consumer safeguards have been established to protect the Customer from unauthorized PIC changes.

The AC is required to follow the procedures outlined in the PIC processing agreement.

8.2 Customer Authorization

The AC must obtain a Customer's authorization to act on the Customer's behalf, prior to submitting to THE COMPANY any requests for PIC subscription orders or information about the Customer's access services. Exceptions where the AC is not required to obtain authorization include: requests for information about access services already selected to the AC, and PIC changes resulting from the transfer of a Customer base between ACs due to a merger or acquisition.

8.3 Outbound Contact Resulting in a PIC Change

Whenever an AC or its agent initiates a contact during which a subscription is obtained, Customer order confirmation is required. The Customer confirmation, as defined in Section 8.4 below, must be obtained prior to submitting a PIC subscription order to THE COMPANY. One of the following four methods of Customer order confirmation shall apply:

i. Obtain the Customer's written order confirmation;

ii. Obtain the Customer's oral order confirmation verified by an independent third party;

iii. Obtain the Customer's electronic order confirmation by the use of a toll-free number; or

iv. Obtain the Customer's electronic order confirmation, via the Internet.

The following terms and conditions apply to each form of Customer order confirmation:

i) Written order confirmation

The Customer's signature on a document which clearly states that the Customer's service will be transferred to the AC constitutes confirmation of the service order. The Customer must be fully informed as to what he or she is signing. Refer to Appendix I for Equal Access Confirmation Forms.

ii) Oral order confirmation verified by an independent third party

The independent third party shall be an appropriately qualified, bonded and independent party operating in a location physically separate from the AC or its agents. The AC and its agents shall have no ownership interest in the independent third party nor shall the independent third party perform any telemarketing, direct mail or other sales solicitation functions for the AC or any affiliates of the AC. Compensation of the independent third party shall not be based on the number or percentage of sales confirmed.

In the course of contact with a Customer, representatives of the AC are permitted to transfer the Customer directly to the independent third party to complete the confirmation.

In the performance of confirmation functions, the independent third party must confirm that it is speaking to the Customer, and must confirm the information set out in Section 8.4 with that person.

iii) Electronic order confirmation through the use of a toll-free number

The AC must provide toll-free access to the Customer for the purpose of accessing an electronic order confirmation system.

In the course of contact with a Customer, representatives of the AC are permitted to transfer the Customer directly to the electronic order confirmation system to complete the confirmation.

If the Customer is not accessing the electronic order confirmation system from the telephone access service on which the PIC is to be changed then the electronic order confirmation system must include further security measures to verify the Customer's identity before the confirmation is processed.

Calls to a toll-free number will connect the Customer to an interactive voice response (IVR) unit (or a touch-tone pad input device or a similar device), which will record the following information: automatic recording of the working telephone number to be subscribed to the PIC (or evidence of further security measures as required to verify the Customer's identity), date and time, and PIC to confirm the Customer's choice of AC. The IVR system must require the Customer to take some action (e.g., pressing a key on their dial pad) thus positively confirming the service order.

iv) Electronic order confirmation via the Internet

The AC must use at least one of the following methods of security to ensure privacy and authenticity of information sent between the two parties (AC and Customer):

  • A secure link between the AC and the Customer;
  • A key server, to allow a party to encrypt messages that only a key holder can decrypt;
  • A unique password between the AC and the Customer.

The AC may use another form of "off-line" or "on-line" identification (e.g., toll-free number or Customer password sent to the billing address) in order to further verify the authenticity of the Customer and to confirm the Customer's request.

The Internet order confirmation process must confirm the information set out in Section 8.4 and must also include an explicit indication from the Customer that it is the authorized account-holder for their telephone service.

The AC must appropriately notify its Customers of the potential for risk in doing business over the Internet, so that Customers are aware of the need for safeguards on both ends to ensure confidentiality and security.

8.4 Order Confirmation

Customer order confirmation must represent a clear statement regarding the Customer's choice of PIC and must include an explanation of what occurs when the PIC selection for an access service is changed. The confirmation must include the following:

1. PIC name;

2. Customer billing name and address and, for business Customers, name of the authorized company representative;

3. All working telephone number(s) (WTNs) to be subscribed to the PIC, or the billing telephone number (BTN) may be specified if the Customer confirms that all telephone numbers associated with the BTN are to be subscribed to the PIC;

4. Date of Customer order confirmation; and

5. Choice of PIC as evidenced by Customer signature, third party attestation or electronic equivalent as referenced in section 8.3.

8.5 Mergers and Acquisitions

As per Disconnection of equal access service providers and transfer of customer base between equal access service providers, Telecom Decision CRTC 95-5, 24 April 1995, in the case of a mass transfer due to a merger or acquisition of an AC, an acquiring AC is required only to notify Customers of the change. The acquiring AC must send a notification to the individual Customers, within 90 calendar days, that includes, among other information, details of the impact, if any, on the Customer's service, including any change in rates, billing frequency, contract terms or other conditions of service. Further, where the acquiring AC makes any material change in the rates, terms or conditions of the acquired Customers' service prior to the end of the 90-day period, notification must be received by the Customers prior to the effective date of any such change.

Each request for a bulk PIC change resulting from the transfer of a Customer base between ACs must be accompanied by written authorization. For acquisitions, the authorization must be signed by an authorized representative of both affected ACs. For mergers, the authorization must be signed by an authorized representative of the merged AC.

· replace section 9, PIC Disputes, with the following:
9.0 PIC Disputes Administration
9.1 Overview

A PIC Change dispute occurs when a Customer claims that its long distance service has been changed from one AC to another without the Customer's consent.

THE COMPANY is responsible for the resolution of disputes concerning its Customer's PIC changes, whether identified by a Customer of THE COMPANY or by an AC on behalf of the Customer.

The following sections identify the procedures and related information required to administer a PIC dispute.

9.2 Dispute Identification Procedures

Where the Customer contacts THE COMPANY to report a PIC change dispute, THE COMPANY will advise the Customer to contact the Customer's previous AC in order to initiate the dispute and to have the Customer's service restored with the previous AC. The Initiating AC must obtain a positive response from the Customer to the following questions prior to initiating a dispute:

  • Do you want [Initiating AC] to initiate a dispute against [Disputed AC] on your behalf for switching you without your permission?
  • Are you reasonably certain that neither you nor any other authorized adult member (authorized employee) of your household (business) requested the change?
  • [Initiating AC] may only initiate a dispute if you were switched without your permission and not for any other complaint you have with [Disputed AC]. Do you understand?
  • Do you understand that your long distance service will be restored with [Initiating AC]?

If all of these questions are answered in the affirmative, the AC initiates a dispute by forwarding a PIC Dispute Notification Form to THE COMPANY and coordinates restoration of the Customer's previous AC. Refer to Appendix E for PIC Dispute Notification Form.

Dispute notification from the AC is only accepted at the WTN level.

9.3 AC Dispute Responsibilities

In order to initiate a dispute through THE COMPANY, the Initiating AC shall provide THE COMPANY with, at a minimum:

  • Name of the Customer.
  • WTN (Working Telephone Number).
  • Date that the Customer notified the Initiating AC of the disputed PIC Change.
9.4 Dispute Process

Upon receiving the information set out in 9.3 above, THE COMPANY shall record the details of the disputed PIC change, and determine the elapsed interval between the date that the disputed PIC change was implemented, and the date that THE COMPANY was notified that the PIC change was in dispute:

  • If the elapsed interval exceeds 90 calendar days, the dispute shall be considered invalid, and THE COMPANY shall so advise the initiating AC.
  • If the elapsed interval is 90 calendar days or less, THE COMPANY shall accept the dispute, and shall perform checks to determine the validity of the dispute including whether the Customer's PIC was previously selected to the Initiating AC.
  • Disputes involving PIC changes resulting exclusively and directly from the transfer of the Customer base between ACs due to a merger or acquisition do not constitute valid PIC change disputes.
  • If the dispute is determined to be valid, THE COMPANY shall reinstate the previous PIC selection and inform the ACs involved of the change using the appropriate PIC transactions.

After PIC reinstatement, THE COMPANY shall assess whether or not the previous PIC change was authorized, including:

  • Request, via a PIC transaction, that the AC that submitted the disputed PIC change (the Disputed AC) provide a valid Customer order confirmation.

The valid Customer order confirmation must be provided to THE COMPANY within 15 business days of the creation of the PIC transaction.

  • If the Disputed AC was acquired by another AC subsequent to the date of the disputed PIC change, the acquiring AC effectively becomes the Disputed AC and assumes responsibility for the resolution of the dispute, including the provision of valid Customer order confirmation.
  • If the valid Customer order confirmation is received within 15 business days, the Disputed AC shall not be deemed to have performed an unauthorized PIC change. However, consistent with the expressed wishes of the Customer, the reinstated PIC selection shall remain in effect.
  •  If no valid Customer order confirmation is received within 15 business days, the Disputed AC shall be deemed to have performed an unauthorized PIC change and will be assessed such charges as specified in THE COMPANY's tariff.
  •  If the Customer order confirmation is received within 15 business days, but THE COMPANY determines that the Customer order confirmation provided by the Disputed AC does not meet the requirements as defined in Section 8.4, the disputed AC shall be deemed to have performed an unauthorized PIC change.

In the event that the Disputed AC challenges the validity of the dispute, the Disputed AC will provide a written request to THE COMPANY within the 15 business day period described above.

If THE COMPANY receives a dispute challenge within the 15 business day period described above, THE COMPANY will request a Dispute Initiation Record (DIR) from the Initiating AC.

The DIR is a physical record created by the Initiating AC containing the details of an alleged unauthorized transfer. The DIR must include the following:

  • Customer name.
  • WTN (Working Telephone Number).
  • Name of AC representative who handled the Customer's complaint.
  • Date and time of complaint.
  • Attestation that the Customer has provided oral confirmation to each of the four questions in Section 9.2.

The DIR shall be made available by the Initiating AC to THE COMPANY within 5 business days of a request from THE COMPANY to validate a dispute.

If THE COMPANY receives a valid DIR within the 5 business day interval, then THE COMPANY will determine the outcome of the dispute based on the Customer order confirmation requested from the Disputed AC.

If no valid DIR is provided to THE COMPANY within the 5 business day interval, the original dispute will be considered invalid.

THE COMPANY shall monitor the volume of unauthorized PIC subscription changes generated by each AC. If an AC is repeatedly generating unauthorized PIC subscription changes, THE COMPANY shall initiate discussions with the AC to determine the reason for the unauthorized PIC subscription changes and request the AC to correct any problems. An AC who, in THE COMPANY's reasonable assessment, generates excessive unauthorized PIC subscription changes will receive notice from THE COMPANY that additional authorization measures will be required to enable the processing of the AC's PIC subscription orders. The additional authorization measures may include the requirement by THE COMPANY that the AC provide written proof of Customer confirmation to THE COMPANY prior to each PIC subscription order being accepted. Upon receipt of the notice from THE COMPANY, either party may contact the CRTC.

9.5 Independent Third Party Order Confirmation

If a Customer order confirmation obtained via an independent third party is required to be produced, it must be transcribed into an appropriate written format accompanied by certification by the AC that the transcribed record is an accurate representation of the Customer order confirmation. The certification must also include the name of the independent third party organization that contacted the Customer and the date that the independent third-party contacted the Customer. Refer to Appendix I for Third Party Verification Order Confirmation Form.

9.6 Electronic Order Confirmation

If a Customer order confirmation obtained by this means is required to be produced, it must be transcribed into an appropriate written format accompanied by a certification from the AC that the transcribed record is an accurate representation of the Customer order confirmation. Refer to Appendix I for Electronic Order Confirmation Form.

· delete section 10, THE COMPANY Responsibility;
· renumber section 11, Transfer of Files, as section 10 and add the following items:

- 10.2, "How to Obtain a Mailbox", and provide a description of how the AC can obtain an electronic mailbox;

- 10.3, "File Specifications", and specify the file specifications required for information transfer between the AC and THE COMPANY;

- 10.4, "Delivery of Electronic File", and outline the time intervals associated with delivery of PIC data to THE COMPANY and its related processes, including the impact of weekends and holidays;

- 10.5, "Notification of NIL Input", and specify the necessary notification required by THE COMPANY from the AC indicating NIL input to the delivery location;

- 10.6, "AC to THE COMPANY Naming Convention", and describe the naming conventions required on all file exchanges initiated by an AC;

- 10.7, "THE COMPANY to AC Naming Convention", and describe the procedures and file naming conventions used on all data exchanges initiated by THE COMPANY; and

- 10.8, "Distribution of Output Files", and describe the PIC/CARE processing days and times for output of files.

· insert the following as section 11:
11.0 PIC Correction Requests
11.1 Overview

In compliance with Unbundled rates to provide equal access, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-6, 10 April 1997 (Decision 97-6), an AC submitting a PIC transaction may initiate a correction without invoking the PIC Dispute process. The AC is responsible for advising the Customer of the following:

  • Long distance carrier was changed in error.
  • Re-instatement to the carrier of choice has or will be done.
  • An estimated date of completion.

Where the AC's original PIC request has not yet been completed, the AC should use any available PIC/CARE processes to cancel the original request rather than submitting a PIC correction request to THE COMPANY.

11.2 Timeframe for Submission

The AC may submit a PIC Correction Request within 10 business days from receipt of TCSI 20XX. Refer to Appendix J for PIC Correction Request Form.

11.3 PIC Correction Validation Criteria

In addition to validating the PIC submission timeframe, THE COMPANY will validate that:

  • The Customer has not initiated a dispute.
  • No subsequent PIC subscription has been received from another AC.
  • The Customer's WTN is an active line.
11.4 PIC Correction Process

Once the PIC Correction has been validated successfully, THE COMPANY will:

  • Re-instate the PIC to the previous AC.
  • Issue TCSI 2019 to the previous AC.
  • Levy a PIC correction charge against the Initiating AC. No PIC processing charge will be levied against the Previous AC.
· replace section 12, General Tariff, with the following:
12.0 PIC Re-submission Requests
12.1 Overview

In compliance with Decision 97-6, an AC may re-submit a PIC Request resulting from THE COMPANY system error without incurring an additional PIC processing charge.

12.2 PIC Re-submission Determination

Upon receipt of an initial inquiry from the AC, THE COMPANY will investigate to determine if a PIC Re-submission Request is required.

12.3 PIC Re-submission Criteria

A PIC Re-submission request will be processed based on the following:

No subsequent PIC request has been received from another AC.

  • Customer's WTN is an active line.
  • Customer has not initiated a dispute.
12.4 PIC Re-submission Process

Once the PIC Re-submission Request has been validated successfully, THE COMPANY will:

  • For PIC Rejects:

· Provide the AC with an explanation for the rejection.

· Instruct the AC to re-submit a PIC request.

  • For PIC Losses Erroneously Reported:

· Instruct the AC to re-submit a PIC request. No additional charges are applied for a PIC Re-submission.

· insert into the table of contents, the reference numbers and titles for the sections added above;
· amend the glossary as follows:

- add the following to the end of the definition of "AC": and competitively transports telecommunications service between toll points.

- add the following to the end of the definition of "BTN": the main pilot number.

- in the definition of "CLLI", replace the words "swthe company hing centres" with "the company switching centres".

· add the following definitions:

Disputed AC - The AC (IXC) against whom a Customer complaint is directed.

EA - Equal Access.

FGD: Feature Group D - the trunk-side switched access service offered by small incumbent telephone companies that allows access to an AC's network via 1+ dialling.

Initiating AC - The AC (IXC) recording and initiating a dispute on behalf of the Customer.

NPA - Numbering Plan Area - the section of the telephone number that identifies a specific geographic area commonly known as the "area code". A defined geographic area identified by a unique three-digit code used in the North American Numbering Plan.

NXX - Number exchange - the section of a telephone number that identifies the prefix of a telephone number. This is assigned from specific telephone serving wire centres.

PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network - the non-dedicated telephone network shared by all users.


The Commission directs the OTA to issue forthwith a revised PIC/CARE handbook. The OTA is further directed to provide the Commission with a copy of its revised PIC/CARE handbook for placement in the public examination room in Gatineau.

Secretary General

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

Date Modified: 2003-04-16

Date modified: