ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2003-160

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Telecom Order CRTC 2003-160

Ottawa, 22 April 2003

Aliant Telecom Inc.

Reference: Tariff Notices 52 and 52A

Metro wave division multiplexing service


The Commission received an application by Aliant Telecom Inc. (Aliant Telecom), dated 17 October 2002 and amended on 19 November 2002 to introduce General Tariff item 512, Metro Wave Division Multiplexing (Metro WDM) Service to the Aliant Telecom General Tariff.


Aliant Telecom's proposed Metro WDM service is a managed point-to-point optical service that provides basic and premium service alternatives. Aliant Telecom's Metro WDM service provides the facilities and optical equipment (i.e. fibre cable, optical hardware and optical interface cards) necessary to interconnect customer-owned storage area network equipment.


Basic Metro WDM service provides for a maximum of a single protected wavelength or two unprotected wavelengths and is provisioned over a single fibre pair. Premium Metro WDM service provides for up to four protected or unprotected wavelengths. In both service alternatives, protection is provided by the availability of an alternative fibre pair and each wavelength is limited by the speed of the associated optical interface cards and protocol (e.g. fibre channel, ESCON or native gigabit Ethernet).


The Commission received comments from Mr. Francois D. Ménard (Mr. Ménard) on 15 November 2002 and from GT Group Telecom Services Corp. (Group Telecom) on 21 November 2002. Aliant Telecom filed reply comments on 19 November 2002 and 25 November 2002 respectively.

Parties' comments


Mr. Ménard requested that Aliant Telecom disclose the assumptions and methodology used in the cost study supporting Aliant Telecom's application, as well as its pricing strategy. Mr. Ménard further requested that the Commission investigate the proposed rate associated with the fibre charge component of the Metro WDM service. Mr. Ménard submitted that the associated proposed rate would imply that Aliant Telecom hoped to subsidize its fibre infrastructure from revenues generated by operating the equipment. Mr. Ménard further submitted that the Commission should set rates for dark fibre service offered to competitors at a comparable rate to that proposed in this application.


Group Telecom argued that the fibre facility between the two-customer premises could be characterized as an application of a dark fibre service. Group Telecom submitted that a dark fibre tariff rate should be imputed rather than the fibre charge as proposed in the application. Group Telecom further submitted that the Commission should carefully examine Aliant Telecom's dark fibre rates, filed in support of the application, with a view to arriving at a fair and non-discriminatory rate level.

Aliant Telecom's reply


Aliant Telecom requested that the Commission disregard Group Telecom's intervention as it was received outside of the 30 day time period for interventions on tariff filings pursuant to section 33 of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules).


Aliant Telecom submitted that, pursuant to the Rules, Mr. Ménard had not outlined his reasons for requesting the release of Aliant Telecom's confidential cost information, or how it would serve the public interest. Aliant Telecom noted however that it had already placed its pricing strategy on the public record and as a result of Mr. Ménard's request, a block diagram of the service was also provided on the public record.


Aliant Telecom further submitted that both Mr. Ménard and Group Telecom had mistakenly equated the fibre charge component of the Metro WDM service as equivalent to a dark fibre charge. Aliant Telecom submitted that the Metro WDM service provided the fibre facility between each of the customer's locations and the associated hardware/optical interface cards necessary to provide a managed service. Aliant Telecom submitted that this service configuration provided the customer with a lit fibre service and did not equate to a dark fibre solution. Aliant Telecom indicated that it did not offer either a retail or wholesale dark fibre service and it had no plans to introduce such a service.

Commission determination


The Commission notes that Group Telecom's comments were received outside of the 30 day time period, as set out by the Rules. The Commission, however, is of the view that Aliant Telecom did not suffer any prejudice and considers it appropriate to take into account Group Telecom's comments.


The Commission notes that, pursuant to section 19(6) of the Rules, any party wishing the public disclosure of a document in respect of which there has been a claim for confidentiality may file with the Commission a request for such disclosure setting out the reasons therefor, including the public interest in the disclosure.


With regard to Mr. Ménard's request for disclosure of Aliant Telecom's assumptions and methodology used in the cost study, and the pricing strategy for the service the Commission notes that in these respects Aliant Telecom has placed certain information on the public record. With respect to the remaining information that was requested, the Commission considers that the public interest in disclosure is outweighed by the specific direct harm likely to be caused by the disclosure. Hence, the Commission does not consider it appropriate to require that any further information be placed on the public record.


In Tariff filings related to the installation of optical fibres, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-7, 23 April 1997, and in Applications for review and variance of Telecom Decision CRTC 97-7 and follow-up matters relating to the requirement for the Atlantic companies to file General Tariffs for optical fibre, Telecom Decision CRTC 98-10, 16 July 1998, the Atlantic telephone companies (now known as Aliant Telecom) were exempted from the requirement to file a tariff for dark fibre.


The Commission considers that the filing of this application does not in itself demonstrate that the demand for dark fibre in Aliant Telecom's territory is sufficient to warrant the filing of a dark fibre tariff.


Accordingly, the Commission does not consider that it is appropriate to require Aliant Telecom to file a dark fibre tariff. The Commission considers, however, that Aliant Telecom should be prepared to provide such a service on a General Tariff basis, if demand for this service materializes.


The Commission considers that the proposed tariff revisions meet the imputation test.


In light of the above, the Commission approves Aliant Telecom's application effective the date of this order.

Secretary General

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Date Modified: 2003-04-22

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