ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2003-397

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Telecom Order CRTC 2003-397

  Ottawa, 30 September 2003

Cochrane Public Utilities Commission

  Reference: Tariff Notice 40

Individual business line rates and urban residential line rates


The Commission received an application by Cochrane Public Utilities Commission (Cochrane), dated 21 May 2003, to revise item 4, Rate schedules for primary exchange (local) service, under section 100; item 3, Rates and charges, under section 190, Private Branch Exchange Service; and item 2, Rates and charges, under section 210, Centrex Service, of its General Tariff in order to increase its residential primary exchange service (PES) rate from $15.80 to $19.80, and increase its single line and multi-line business and Centrex rates from $31.00 to $36.00.


In support of its proposed increase to business rates, Cochrane submitted that:
(a) pursuant to Regulatory framework for the small incumbent telephone companies, Decision CRTC 2001-756, 14 December 2001 (Decision 2001-756), its subsidy was significantly reduced; (b) the rate increases would partially offset the subsidy reduction and would assist the company to pay for the costs of operating and maintaining the local network, regular capital upgrades and its Service Improvement Program; and (c) the rates proposed are less than those of other small independents.


The Commission received no comments with respect to the application.


In Decision 2001-756, the Commission grouped services into four separate baskets each with their own pricing constraints.


In Decision 2001-756, the Commission assigned residential individual line, multi-line and party line services and all mandatory local services, such as Touch-Tone to the first service basket. The Commission determined that rates for services in this basket would be permitted to increase each year by no more than inflation in the absence of exogenous factors. However, in that decision, the Commission determined that the small incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) could increase monthly residential PES rates to $22.75, but limited increases to each monthly residential PES rate to a maximum of $4.00 per year.


The Commission notes that the proposed increase to the monthly rate for residential PES does not exceed $4.00 and would not bring that rate above $22.75. Accordingly, the Commission considers that Cochrane's proposal to increase the monthly rate for residential PES is consistent with Decision 2001-756.


In Decision 2001-756 the Commission assigned business individual, multi-line and party line services and all mandatory local services to the second service basket and determined that rates for these services would be permitted to increase each year by no more than inflation. The Commission directed all companies, whose monthly business rates were below $22.75 to file for approval proposed increases in business rates to reach a minimum of $22.75. The Commission stated however that in the event that a company considered a monthly business rate of $22.75 or its existing rate too low it could file, for approval, proposed monthly business rates beyond the level of $22.75. The Commission further stated that such proposals were to be accompanied by supporting rationale.


The Commission considers that Cochrane's rationale provided in support of its proposed business rates is reasonable.


In Decision 2001-756, the Commission assigned to the fourth service basket all other services offered by the small ILECs, such as optional services, multi-element service categories, special facilities tariffs and competitor access tariffs. The Commission determined that rates for these services would generally be permitted to increase up to an already approved rate for the same service.


The Commission notes that the rate proposed by Cochrane for Centrex service is less than those previously approved for other ILECs.


In light of the above, the Commission approves Cochrane's application. The revisions take effect as of the date of this order.


Cochrane is to issue revised tariff pages forthwith to reflect these changes.
  Secretary General
  This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2003-09-30

Date modified: