ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2004-445

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Telecom Order CRTC 2004-445

  Ottawa, 23 December 2004

TELUS Communications Inc.

  Reference: TCI Tariff Notice 150,  former TCI Tariff Notices 534 and 535 and TCBC Tariff Notices 4216 and 4217

IP Evolution Service


The Commission received five applications by TELUS Communications Inc. (TCI), dated 23 August 2004, proposing revisions to its General Tariff in order to introduce item 210, IP-Evolution Service, as an alternative to the company's Centrex service.  TCI also proposed to offer an IP-Evolution Messaging service as part of the proposed tariff.


TCI also proposed to modify other company tariffs to accommodate the proposed introduction of IP-Evolution service, specifically:
  • TCBC General Tariff item 32 - Exchange Rates - BC Tel Message Relay Centre;
  • TCBC General Tariff item 145 - Directory Listings;
  • Former TCI General Tariff item 200 - Directory Primary Listings;
  • Former TCI General Tariff item 240 - Extended Area Service; and
  • Former TCI General Tariff item 455 - Message Relay Service.


TCI stated that IP-Evolution service would work over a customer's current data local area network (LAN) by means of suitably equipped Internet protocol (IP) station phones. The company indicated that connection from the customer's LAN to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) would occur over a managed, voice quality data connection provided by the customer separately from IP-Evolution service. It stated that IP-Evolution service would be offered on a monthly basis or on a contract basis for 1, 3 or 5-year terms and that, like Centrex, it would also be priced on a volume basis according to the number of access ports a customer subscribed to.


TCI noted that its proposal was similar to Bell Canada's Tariff Notice 6813 in which Bell Canada had proposed to introduce Managed Internet Protocol Telephony (MIPT), and which the Commission approved on an interim basis in Managed Internet Protocol Telephony service, Telecom Order CRTC 2004-256, 30 July 2004 (Order 2004-256).


The Commission received comments from MTS Allstream Inc. (MTS Allstream), dated 24 September 2004, and from Xit telecom Inc., on its behalf and on behalf of Xittel telecommunications inc. (Xit), dated 22 September 2004, and reply comments from TCI, dated 4 October 2004.

MTS Allstream's and Xit's comments


MTS Allstream stated that if, as TCI stated, its proposal was similar to Bell Canada's MIPT service, then it was likely to raise the same types of questions and concerns that were raised by Bell Canada's MIPT proposal. MTS Allstream submitted that these questions and concerns, which have yet to be properly answered and resolved, included the following:
  • The use of penalties in long term Centrex contracts to encourage Centrex customers to migrate to IP-Evolution service and discourage Centrex customers from migrating to the IP-based telephony services of competitors;
  • The use of proprietary specifications to prevent alternate data access providers from interconnecting with the IP-Evolution service i.e., whether the service truly allows for third party access in practice;
  • The use of closed or proprietary specifications to prevent competitors from providing services which inter-work with IP-Evolution service;
  • The treatment of the bottleneck facilities;
  • The provision of unique 911/E911 and message relay service capabilities to IP-Evolution service customers on an exclusive basis; and
  • The unclear treatment of National Centrex customers under the IP-Evolution service offering.


MTS Allstream noted that TCI had failed to file the customer agreement associated with IP-Evolution service, which MTS Allstream argued, was required for the company to comment in a meaningful way. In addition, MTS Allstream asked a number of technical questions in relation to an item in the proposed tariff that requires the customer provided LAN/WAN (local area network/wide area network) to be certified by TCI, as well as the inter-working of a customer's IP-Evolution and Centrex services.


Xit requested that the Commission establish a revised process that would allow interested parties to pose interrogatories concerning the proposed interconnection of the IP-Evolution service with the PSTN and to determine if this use of a WAN was in accordance with the uses contemplated in Forbearance granted for telcos' wide area network services, Order CRTC 2000-553, 16 June 2000 (Order 2000-553). Xit submitted that the absence of a "voice access path" element in the proposed tariff was a further indication that TCI had completely disregarded Order 2000-553. Xit further asked that TCI make available the media gateways, that it is self-supplying as part of IP-Evolution, as a separate service to competitors.

Reply comments


TCI stated that the WAN/LAN certification process, mentioned in the proposed tariff, did not signify the use of a proprietary process or equipment but was necessary to ensure that the customer's network has the quality of service parameters, reliability, and sufficient capacity to handle the voice traffic. TCI noted that the certification process for customers who obtain the LAN/WAN connection from other service providers would be the same as for those who choose to obtain their LAN/WAN connection from TCI. With respect to the inter-working question, TCI submitted that IP-Evolution was available for resale but that the company was not planning on offering feature networking between its IP-Evolution service features and the Centrex service or the IP-Centrex service provided by other service providers. TCI argued that significant technical difficulties prevented such inter-working.


TCI also stated that its customer agreement for IP-Evolution service was the same format as the company used for its Centrex service and that all terms and conditions of service for IP-Evolution service were contained in the proposed tariff, and that it was therefore not necessary for the company to file the customer agreement.


TCI also noted that 911 and message relay service for IP-Evolution service would be handled in the same way as they were for the company's current Centrex service customers and that resellers would be treated in the same manner.


TCI disagreed with the need for a supplementary process as proposed by Xit.  Concerning the absence of a tariff item for a "voice access path" raised by Xit, TCI submitted that a separate rate for this functionality was not required because the costs for the switching platform, required to route calls from IP-Evolution customers to the PSTN, were reflected in the company's proposed rates.

Commission's analysis and determinations


In Regulatory framework for voice communication services using Internet Protocol, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2004-2, 7 April 2004, and amended in Regulatory framework for voice communication services using Internet Protocol - Amendment to dates for public consultation, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2004-2-1, 22 July 2004 (Public Notice 2004-2-1), the Commission was of the preliminary view that the existing regulatory framework should apply to voice communication services using IP that made use of telephone numbers based on the North American Numbering Plan and provided universal access to and/or from the PSTN. In the Appendix, the Commission noted the existing regulatory requirements for incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), competitive local exchange carriers and local service resellers.


In Regulatory framework for second price cap period, Telecom Decision CRTC 2002-34, 30 May 2002, the Commission classified Centrex service as an uncapped service. The Commission determined that uncapped services would not be subject to any upper pricing constraints.


The Commission notes that customers to IP-Evolution service will have access to 9-1-1 service, message relay service and privacy features. The Commission therefore considers that TCI's application is consistent with the Commission's preliminary view set out in Public Notice 2004-2-1 with respect to the regulatory framework applicable to an ILEC providing voice communication services using IP.


The Commission notes that the proposed terms and conditions of service for IP-Evolution service are similar to those that have been approved for Centrex service. The Commission is satisfied that the proposed rates for IP-Evolution service pass the imputation test.


The Commission notes MTS Allstream's concerns regarding the proposed use by TCI of penalties in long term Centrex contracts to encourage Centrex to migrate to IP-Evolution service. In Centrex service contract in Alberta, Telecom Order CRTC 2004-263, 5 August 2004, and in Centrex service contract in British Columbia, Telecom Order CRTC 2004-264, 5 August 2004, the Commission approved the waiver of early termination charges, when a customer terminates all or part of its Centrex service contract prior to the expiration date, and replaces it with a new contract for TCI network access services of equal or greater value than the remaining value of the original contract. The Commission notes that the proposed terms and conditions for the waiver of early termination charges are consistent with its determinations in these Orders.


The Commission notes that in response to MTS Allstream's concerns regarding its failure to file the customer agreement for IP Evolution service, TCI stated that all the terms of the customer agreement were included in the proposed tariff for IP-Evolution service. The Commission notes that MTS Allstream's concerns could be alleviated if TCI were to file the customer agreement for IP Evolution service for information purposes.


Since TCI does not have a rate element that would represent a "voice access path" in its existing Centrex tariffs, the Commission considers that a separate rate element is not required in the proposed tariff for IP-Evolution service.


The Commission will consider other issues raised by interveners when it disposes of TCI's applications on a final basis.


In light of the above, the Commission:
  • approves on an interim basis, TCI's applications. The revisions take effect on 3 February 2005; and
  • directs TCI to file the customer agreement for IP-Evolution service for information purposes.
  Secretary General
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Date Modified: 2004-12-23

Date modified: