ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter - 8622-C13-200504028 - 8622-Q15-200504151 - 8622-C6-200503997

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Ottawa, 17 June 2005

File No.   8622-C13-200504028

Mr. Dennis Béland
Director, Regulatory Affairs
Quebecor Media Inc. (QMI)
300 Viger Avenue East
Montréal, Québec 
H2X 3W4  

Mr. Michael Hennessy
Canadian Cable Telecommunications Association (CCTA)
1010- 300 Albert St .
Ottawa , Ontario
K1R 7X7  

Mr. Michel Messier
Director, Regulatory Affairs, Telecommunications
Cogeco Cable Inc. (Cogeco)
5 Place Ville Marie, Suite 915
Montréal, Québec
H3B 2G2 

Dear Messrs Béland, Hennessy and Messier  

RE: Applications in relation to the provision by Bell Canada of its Digital voice Service Offering                                                                                                 

This letter is further to the applications by Cogeco and QMI dated, respectively, 4 and 6 April 2005, requesting that the Commission issue an expedited ex parte order directing Bell Canada to cease and desist immediately from offering its Digital Voice service, until such time as Bell Canada has secured proper tariff approval for the service in accordance with section 25 of the Telecommunications Act.   By letter dated 4 April 2004 , the CCTA requested that the Commission immediately investigate whether Digital Voice service offered by Bell Canada in compliance with sections 25 and 27 of the Telecommunications Act and take all necessary action to remedy the situation. 

In its letter dated 7 April 2005 , the Commission suspended the process in relation to the above-mentioned applications and letter, pending the release of its decision in the proceeding initiated by Regulatory framework for voice communication services using Internet Protocol , Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2004-2, 7 April 2004 . 

By letter dated 12 May 2005 , the Commission directed Bell Canada to respond to the applications of Cogeco and QMI and the letter filed by the CCTA, respecting Bell Canada 's offering of its Digital Voice service in the absence of an approved tariff.   Bell Canada was also directed in the Commission's letter to file responses to interrogatories from the Commission. 

On 19 May 2005 , Bell Canada filed its response to the applications by Cogeco and QMI and the letter from the CCTA.   On 26 May 2005 , the Commission received reply comments from Cogeco, QMI and the CCTA to Bell Canada 's submission of 19 May 2005 . 

In Regulatory framework for voice communications services using Internet Protocol , Telecom Decision CRTC 2005-28, 12 May 2005, the Commission found, among other things, that voice communication services using Internet Protocol that use telephone numbers that conform to the North American Numbering Plan, and that provide universal access to and/or from the Public Switched Telephone Network, are not retail internet services and are not subject to existing forbearance determinations in respect of retail internet services.   In addition, the Commission denied the request by Bell Canada and other incumbent local exchange carriers to forbear from the regulation of local VoIP services. 

On 9 June 2005, the Commission issued Telecom Order CRTC 2005-223 approving, on an interim basis, an ex parte application by Bell Canada submitted as Tariff Notice 6874 (TN 6874) dated 26 May 2005 and amended by Tariff Notice 6874A (TN 6874A) dated 8 June 2005, for the introduction of a VoIP service called Bell Digital Voice, effective 14 June 2005. 

On 16 June 2005 , the Commission issued a letter inviting parties to comment on Bell Canada 's application in the context of a Public Notice to be initiated by the Commission in the near future.   Accordingly, Commission staff is of the view that the issues raised by Cogeco and QMI in their applications, dated 4 April and 6 April 2005 respectively, and by CCTA in its letter dated 4 April 2005 have been addressed.  

In light of the above, the applications by Cogeco, QMI and CCTA are now closed. 

Yours sincerely, 

Original signed by 

Scott Hutton
Director General
Competition, Costing and Tariffs

c.c.:    Interested Parties - Telecom Public Notice 2004-2
           Ron Carrara, CRTC (819) 9971334

Date Modified: 2005-06-17
Date modified: