ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2004-37

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Telecom Order CRTC 2004-37

  Ottawa, 30 January 2004

Bell Canada

  Reference: Tariff Notice 6770

Local link package


The Commission received an application by Bell Canada, dated 1 October 2003, to revise General Tariff item 680, Local Link Package, in order to increase the monthly rate of the MessageManager mailbox (MessageManager), available with Local Link Package (Local Link), from $7 to $9.


Bell Canada noted that the current monthly rate for Call Answer, a voice mailbox available with individual business line service, was $10. Bell Canada submitted that the proposed increase would better align the rate for MessageManager with the rate for Call Answer.


Bell Canada also proposed to remove a reference to item 2025.6 in item 680.1(d). In Local link package, Telecom Order CRTC 2003-2, 8 January 2003, the Commission approved Bell Canada's proposed wording change to item 680.1(d) indicating that the rates for MessageManager were to be found in item 2025.6. Bell Canada noted that this change was proposed in error as the rates for MessageManager are found in item 680.


The Commission received comments from Allstream Corp. (Allstream), dated 31 October 2003. Reply comments were received from Bell Canada on 7 November 2003.

Allstream's comments


Allstream submitted that it would appear that Bell Canada was using price increases, such as the proposed increase for MessageManager, to subsidize discounts provided in a number of customer specific arrangements (CSAs). Allstream argued that Bell Canada should not be permitted to offset its anti-competitive price targeting with price increases to small and medium business customers.

Bell Canada's reply


Bell Canada submitted that the rate changes proposed in its application were within the parameters of the current regulatory regime.


Bell Canada stated that it follows CRTC guidelines when filing CSAs and provides all relevant cost and revenue figures for each proposal, as required. Bell Canada noted that CSAs are approved or denied on their own merit based, in part, on an imputation test which provides a competitive safeguard. According to Bell Canada, Allstream's suggestion of subsidization was unfounded.


Bell Canada submitted that as Local Link was classified as an uncapped service, the company was permitted to increase the rates of this service, subject to the rates being just and reasonable.

Commission analysis and determination


The Commission notes that MessageManager is associated with Local Link, a Centrex service. In Regulatory framework for second price cap period, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-34, 30 May 2002, the Commission noted that Centrex service is a premium business service that is used as a substitute for single-line and multi-line business local exchange services. The Commission stated that as the Decision made these latter services subject to a basket constraint and a rate element constraint, the Commission did not consider it necessary to subject Centrex services to such constraints and classified them as uncapped services.


The Commission further notes that CSAs are approved or denied on a case-by-case basis, in part, based on imputation test results demonstrating that the rates for each CSA are compensatory. It is the Commission's view that CSAs that pass the imputation test and have been approved for Bell Canada are not being subsidized by price increases to other services, including the proposed increase in the rate for MessageManager.


Accordingly, the Commission does not consider the proposed price increase to be anti-competitive.


In light of the above, the Commission approves Bell Canada's application. The revisions take effect as of the date of this order.
  Secretary General
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Date Modified: 2004-01-30

Date modified: