ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2004-422

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Telecom Order CRTC 2004-422

  Ottawa, 16 December 2004

Aliant Telecom Inc.

  Reference: Tariff Notice 34

Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity Service


The Commission received an application by Aliant Telecom Inc. (Aliant Telecom), dated 23 July 2002, to revise a special facilities service included under General Tariff item 400, Large Capacity Digital Network, in order to extend by one year the initial contract period and to increase the charge for Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service.


Aliant Telecom filed cost information in support of its application.


The Commission received comments from GT Group Telecom Services Corp. (Group Telecom), dated 22 August 2002, and reply comments from Aliant Telecom, dated 30 August 2002.

Group Telecom's comments


Group Telecom opposed Aliant Telecom's application. Group Telecom indicated that it had requested a quote from Aliant Telecom for a high capacity transport service, which it considered similar to Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service, but that Aliant Telecom quoted a significantly higher rate than the one proposed in Tariff Notice 34 for another customer (the "Customer"). Group Telecom therefore alleged that Aliant Telecom engaged in unjust discrimination in the provision of the service, in contravention of section 27(2) of the Telecommunications Act (the Act).


Group Telecom also objected to Aliant Telecom's offering Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service as a special facilities service. Group Telecom argued that there was sufficient demand for the service to qualify it as fungible and that Aliant Telecom should be required to provide the service under a general tariff.


Group Telecom submitted that there were sufficient grounds for the Commission to classify Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service as an essential service, and that it should therefore be made available at Phase II costs plus a 15% mark-up.

Aliant Telecom's reply comments


Aliant Telecom denied that it had engaged in unjust discrimination. Aliant Telecom submitted that the proposed rate was based on the Customer's volume commitment, the total network configuration, and initial non-recurring investments. Aliant Telecom argued that the service requested by Group Telecom was functionally different from and not comparable to its Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service. Aliant Telecom noted that its Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service was available to other customers at the same rates, terms and conditions, and therefore, it had not engaged in unjust discrimination.


Aliant Telecom argued that Group Telecom's request for a high capacity transport service did not prove that sufficient demand existed for Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service to be offered under a general tariff. Aliant Telecom indicated it had developed the service based on a unique configuration for the Customer, and that other requests for a similar service would also likely be filed as a special facilities service.


Aliant Telecom was against classifying Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service as an essential service. Aliant Telecom submitted that classifying large capacity digital network routes as essential would effectively limit the opportunities for competitive supply of facilities on those routes and would be contrary to the Commission's objectives for competitive development.

Commission analysis and recommendation


The Commission notes that pursuant to subsections 27(2) and 27(4) of the Act:

(2) No Canadian carrier shall, in relation to the provision of a telecommunications service or the charging of a rate for it, unjustly discriminate or give an undue or unreasonable preference toward any person, including itself, or subject any person to an undue or unreasonable disadvantage.


(4) The burden of establishing before the Commission that any discrimination is not unjust or that any preference or disadvantage is not undue or unreasonable is on the Canadian carrier that discriminates, gives the preference or subjects the person to the disadvantage.


The Commission notes that allegations regarding contraventions of section 27(2) of the Act are decided by the Commission on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the circumstances surrounding each case. In the present case, the Commission notes that Aliant Telecom acknowledged its obligation to provide the same Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service to any customer at the same rates, terms and conditions as it provided to the Customer of this tariff. The Commission also notes that Aliant Telecom's Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service is one component of a larger digital network service. The Commission notes that this larger digital network service includes service components, volume commitments and initial non-recurring investments that differ significantly from the high capacity transport service requested by Group Telecom. The Commission considers that the price for Aliant Telecom's Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service is based upon the Customer's unique network configuration and requirements. The Commission considers that it is appropriate, in these circumstances, that the rates for these services would differ. Accordingly, the Commission finds that Aliant Telecom did not unjustly discriminate against Group Telecom.


With respect to Group Telecom's request that Aliant Telecom be required to file the proposed special facilities service under a general tariff, the Commission notes that pursuant to Ethernet services, Telecom Decision CRTC 2004-5, 27 January 2004, Aliant Telecom agreed to file a proposed general tariff for Ethernet access service, Ethernet central office connecting link service and Ethernet interface service. The Commission notes that an Ethernet service will therefore be made available under Aliant Telecom's General Tariff. The Commission considers, however, that with respect to this particular configuration of Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service, there is a lack of evidence on the record of this proceeding to demonstrate that there is sufficient demand for the particular configuration of this service to warrant its inclusion under a general tariff.


In Regulatory framework for second price cap period, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-34, 30 May 2002 (Decision 2002-34), the Commission determined that services assigned to the service group entitled Uncapped services would not be subject to any upward pricing constraint.


In Follow-up to Regulatory framework for second price cap period, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-34 - Service basket assignment, Telecom Decision CRTC 2003-11, 18 March 2003, the Commission assigned Aliant Telecom's Gigabit Ethernet Connectivity service to the Uncapped services group.


In light of the above, the Commission finds the proposed rate is consistent with Decision 2002-34.


The Commission approves Aliant Telecom's application. The revisions take effect as of the date of this Order.
  Secretary General
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Date Modified: 2004-12-16

Date modified: