ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2004-298

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Telecom Order CRTC 2004-298

  Ottawa, 31 August 2004

Northwestel Inc. - Removal of Mobile Telephone Service from the sites of Fontas, Gleam, Kotcho, Pesh Creek and Yoyo

  Reference: Tariff Notice 808
  The Commission approves the application by Northwestel Inc. to remove the Mobile Telephone Service from the sites of Fontas, Gleam, Kotcho, Pesh Creek and Yoyo.


The Commission received an application by Northwestel Inc. (Northwestel), dated 11 May 2004, proposing revisions to Mobile Telephone Service Tariff item 201, Manual Mobile Service, in order to withdraw the service at the following sites located in north-eastern British Columbia: Fontas, Gleam, Kotcho, Pesh Creek and Yoyo.


Northwestel stated that its proposal to withdraw the Manual Mobile service (MMS) from these locations was primarily due to low usage of the system and the costs associated with providing the service at these sites. Northwestel indicated that these sites are not owned by the company and that, it must incur substantial rental fees for antennas, base stations, circuits and power charges to provide the service. Northwestel submitted that the revenues from the MMS subscribers are negligible and could never recover the costs to provide the service at these sites.


Northwestel noted that withdrawal of the MMS at these sites would only affect a few subscribers representing 2 percent of MMS subscribers. Northwestel indicated that these subscribers would have alternatives since these sites are fully covered by satellite and cellular services. Northwestel argued that, because MMS was based on a virtually obsolescent technology, it could be in the existing customers' advantage to switch to a more reliable and functional technology. In support of its application, Northwestel provided in confidence evidence as to the costs and revenues associated with offering MMS at these sites.


Northwestel noted that for average use, satellite service was not much more expensive, and cellular service was less expensive than MMS. The company also noted that the initial start-up and recurring charges for these services have been decreasing at a steady pace, making them much more financially accessible to customers than in the past.


Northwestel indicated that it had notified all subscribers that would be affected by its proposal to withdraw MMS in these locations by letter, and that it would once again notify them by letter upon approval of its application.


The Commission received no comments with respect to this application.


The Commission sent interrogatories to the company on 16 June 2004. Northwestel provided its responses to the Commission's interrogatories, in confidence, on 30 June 2004.


In view of the limited demand and the high costs for maintaining MMS at these locations, and the availability of reasonably-priced service alternatives, the Commission considers that the company's proposal to withdraw MMS in Fontas, Gleam, Kotcho, Pesh Creek and Yoyo is acceptable.


Accordingly, the Commission approves Northwestel's application and directs the company to notify the customers that will be affected by 30 September 2004. The revisions take effect as of 1 November 2004.
  Secretary General
  This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2004-08-31

Date modified: