ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2004-353

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Telecom Order CRTC 2004-353

  Ottawa, 29 October 2004

Bell Canada

  Reference: Tariff Notice 6812

Internet voice access service


The Commission received an application by Bell Canada, dated 10 May 2004, proposing to introduce  Access Services Tariff item 140, Internet Voice Access Service,  to provide call origination and termination functionality to and from the public switched telephone network to Voice Over Internet Service Providers (VISPs)


Bell Canada indicated that the proposed terms of service and rates were similar to those it offered to wireless service providers. Bell Canada stated that, consistent with the Commission's direction in Telecom Order CRTC 97-590, 1 May 1997 (Order 97-590), it proposed to require a VISP to register with the Commission in order to subscribe to the proposed service.


The Commission received comments, dated 9 June 2004, from each of Allstream Corp., now MTS Allstream Inc. (MTS Allstream), the Canadian Cable Television Association, now The Canadian Cable Telecommunications Association (CCTA), Cogeco Cable Inc. (Cogeco), Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. (Primus), Microcell Solutions Inc. (Microcell), and Xit telecom inc. (Xit). The Commission received additional comments from Xit dated 5 July 2004 and 23 July 2004 and reply comments from Bell Canada dated 21 June 2004 and 23 July 2004.

Positions of parties


All interveners noted that the proposal raised issues similar to those raised in Regulatory framework for voice communication services using Internet Protocol, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2004-2, 7 April 2004 (Public Notice 2004-2).


The CCTA generally supported the application and asked that it be given interim approval.


MTS Allstream argued that, with this application, Bell Canada was attempting to define a new category of service provider and submitted that there was no requirement for a new category.


The CCTA, Cogeco and Microcell all expressed concerns with respect to the availability of local number portability to VISPs. They requested clarification in regard to the scope of local number portability to and from VISPs that would be allowed under the proposed tariff.


Cogeco, Microcell and Primus argued that in the proposed tariff, Bell Canada had failed to properly introduce 9-1-1 functionality to the VISP community.


Cogeco and Microcell objected to Bell Canada's proposal to introduce an additional charge for directory listings.

Bell Canada reply


Bell Canada submitted that, contrary to MTS Allstream's allegation, it was not proposing to introduce a new category of service provider, but merely wanted to ensure that a VISP subscribing to the proposed tariff registered with the Commission, consistent with the requirements of Order 97-590.


Bell Canada stated that it agreed with CCTA, Cogeco and Microcell that VISPs' end-users should be able to retain their telephone numbers if they chose an alternate service provider. The company stated that it would ensure that its systems supported local number portability within an exchange from other service providers as well as the release of telephone numbers already ported to other service providers, consistent with the applicable industry procedures and practices.


Bell Canada noted that 9-1-1 calling was an issue before the Commission in the proceeding initiated by Public Notice 2004-2 and the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee. Bell Canada argued that 9-1-1 access would largely depend upon the VISPs' implementation of arrangements that would enable the timely transfer and upkeep of pertinent emergency reporting location data in the company's appropriate databases. In this regard, Bell Canada stated that it was prepared to work with potential VISPs to effect the population of the company's emergency location databases.


Bell Canada argued that the proposed charge for directory listings should apply to VISPs since they were not competitive local exchange carriers and therefore, not subject to the same arrangements.

Commission's analysis and determinations


The Commission notes that the issues raised in this proceeding are similar to those raised in the proceeding initiated by Public Notice 2004-2.


The Commission is satisfied with the clarification provided by Bell Canada in regard to the availability of local number portability to VISPs. The Commission considers that the company's proposed treatment of 9-1-1 calls is in accordance with its preliminary view outlined in Public Notice 2004-2. Finally, the proposed tariff would extend the same service to VISPs that is currently available to wireless service providers. The Commission notes that the extra monthly charge for directory listings is part of that tariff. However, the Commission has concerns about Bell Canada's proposal to make Common Channel Signalling 7 (CCS7) interconnection to all VISPs registered with the Commission at this time.


CCS7 is an industry standard signalling protocol for call set-up and supervision. Currently, CCS7 interconnection is available to local exchange, wireless and interexchange carriers and some of the larger resellers. The Commission is concerned that Bell Canada's proposed tariff would considerably expand the number of companies that would qualify for CCS7 interconnection and that this raises concerns for consumer privacy. Accordingly, the Commission considers that extending the availability of CCS7 interconnection to broaden the availability of CCS7 interconnection would be premature.


In the Commission's view, it would not set a precedent that would interfere with its determinations in Public Notice 2004-2, if telecommunications carriers were given access to the proposed tariff on an interim basis. Neither would this set a precedent in granting CCS7 interconnection. The Commission further notes that the CCTA requested that the Commission grant interim approval to this proposal.


Accordingly, the Commission considers that granting interim approval to the proposed tariff, but restricting its availability to telecommunications carriers at this time, would be appropriate.


The Commission notes that in the Number Administrator guidelines, the word "reserved" has a specific meaning in relation to telephone numbers. In the proposed tariff, Bell Canada uses this word with a substantially different meaning. In order to ensure that the meaning of the tariff is clear, the Commission considers that the word "reserved" in the proposed tariff should be replaced by a term such as "assigned".


In light of the above, the Commission approves on an interim basis this application, with the following modifications:
  • in item 140.1, limit access to telecommunications carriers; and
  • in item 140.2, replace the multiple occurrences of the word "reserved" in reference to telephone numbers with the word "assigned" or another appropriate word.


The revisions take effect on the date of this order.
  Secretary General
  This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2004-10-29

Date modified: