ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8665-A83-200409492 - Assignment of 311 number for non-urgent health triage services - Reclamation of 511 and 811 access codes

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Ottawa, 30 November 2004

Our file: 8665-A83-200409492

Transmitted electronically or via facsimile

To:   Aliant, Eastlink and The Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay

This is further to the Commission's staff letter to Alberta Health & Wellness, Northwestel and Canadian Association of the Deaf dated 5 November 2004 with regard to the reclamation of 5-1-1 and 8-1-1 access codes.

In its letter, Commission staff noted that with the release of Telecom Decision CRTC 2004-71, Assignment of 311 for non-emergency municipal government services 5 November 2004 , absent further action, there would be no N-1-1 access codes available to meet the current and anticipated needs for N-1-1 access codes in Canada . Staff noted that following an examination of the situation, it believed that is was appropriate that two N-1-1 codes that are either not currently in service or are significantly under-utilized, be reclaimed immediately. The N-1-1 access codes in question were 5-1-1 and 8-1-1.

Staff also noted that with regard to 8-1-1 , the N-1-1 code had been designated for access to "business office", an option that has been available to local exchange carriers for several decades, however had not been deployed by the vast majority of local exchange carriers. Commission staff identified one notable exception being Northwestel. It is letter, staff indicated that it had discussed the reclamation of 8-1-1 with Northwestel and that Northwestel had indicated that although it would not object to the reclamation, it would require time to develop and implement an alternate means by which its customers could access its business office and to change all of its telephone directories.

On 8 November 2004, Commission staff became aware of the possibility that two companies operating in Nova Scotia, namely Eastlink and Aliant may be using 8-1-1 and a third company located in Ontario, namely The Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay made use of 8-1-1. Commission staff discussed this situation with each of these companies and sought input from them on how quickly they could vacate the 8-1-1 resource.

On 12 November 2004 , the Commission received a letter from Aliant confirming that it is currently using 8-1-1 in the province of Nova Scotia . In its letter, Aliant expressed its views with regard to staff's handling of this situation.

Since that time, one other entity has contacted Commission staff to advise that although it is not advertised, and is not widely known, a test call using 8-1-1 revealed that its network is set up to complete the call to its business office.

Although staff endeavored to determine which entities made use of 8-1-1 in Canada , it has clearly missed a few and would like to apologize to Aliant, Eastlink and The Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay in particular for this oversight.

Staff notes that on 26 November 2004 Alberta Health and Wellness, on behalf of the provincial and territorial Deputy-Ministers of Health resubmitted an application requesting that the Commission assign 8-1-1 for non-urgent health triage services. Staff requests that Aliant, Eastlink, The Corporation of the City of Thunder Bay, as well as any other party that may be using 8-1-1 in their networks, develop a proposal to vacate the 8-1-1 resource and submit the proposals during the comment cycle provided for the Alberta Health and Wellness application.   Commission staff advises that there may be a requirement for interrogatories during this process and all parties should be prepared in the event there is such a requirement.


(Original signed by)

Shirley Soehn
Executive Director - Telecommunications

cc:   LECs, CLECs, WSPs and Independent Companies

       Mr. P. Childs - Alberta Health and Wellness

Date modified: 2004-11-30

Date modified: