ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2005-143

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Telecom Order CRTC 2005-143

  Ottawa, 15 April 2005

Northwestel Inc.

  Reference: Tariff Notice 817

Occupancy Rates for Radio Sites


The Commission received an application by Northwestel Inc. (Northwestel), dated 7 January 2005, to revise Special Services Tariff CRTC 3010, item 702 - Occupancy Rates for Radio Sites. Northwestel applied to revise the minimum monthly alternating current (AC) power charge per site from a flat-rate fee of $10.90 to a fee of $0.33 per watt, with a minimum monthly charge of $198.00 for 600 watts of AC power. Northwestel submitted that it was not feasible to provision an AC circuit at less than 600 watts, and that the proposed minimum would align the company's tariff more closely with how AC power was actually provisioned. In addition, Northwestel stated that there would be no significant revenue or customer impact from this change.


The Commission received comments from the Yukon Government (YG), dated 20 January and 14 February 2005, and reply comments from Northwestel, dated 2 February and 2 March 2005.


The YG submitted that the proposed minimum AC charge per site would increase the minimum monthly charge from $10.90 to $198.00. In reply, Northwestel argued that none of its customers would be negatively impacted. Further, Northwestel indicated that, according to its billing records, the YG was not currently billed the minimum power usage fee at any microwave site, and the proposed tariff would have no impact on the YG's current power usage charges.


The YG also requested that Northwestel explain why it was not feasible to provision an AC circuit at less than 600 watts. Northwestel responded that:
  • the smallest economical circuit breaker available for the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) electrical panels was 15 amperes (or 1,800 watts). Northwestel indicated that to build a CSA-approved breaker at a lower amperage would be cost-prohibitive. The company also indicated that provisioning a lower amperage circuit would result in Northwestel incurring more expenses and trouble tickets with the non-standard circuits;
  • to monitor the daily consumption level of each circuit under 1,800 watts would require installing a $1,500+ meter on every circuit which would make providing AC circuits cost-prohibitive and increase expense and maintenance costs to monitor and repair the meters; and
  • it was not asking that the minimum AC circuit be raised to 1,800 watts, which was the minimum the company could actually provide. Northwestel noted that some customers do not need a full 1,800 watt circuit, so it proposed a compromise minimum charge of five amperes, or 600 watts, which was based on the minimum requirement actually requested or used by its current customers.


The company acknowledged the YG's concern that there be options for customers who want to use equipment at tower sites who have requirements as low as 100 watts, such as for low power antennas. Northwestel noted that this type of equipment could be provisioned using direct current (DC) power, and that Northwestel was capable of accommodating these DC power requests under its tariff.


The Commission finds Northwestel's response to the concerns of the YG to be reasonable. Accordingly, the Commission approves Northwestel's application, effective the date of this Order.
  Secretary General
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Date Modified: 2005-04-15

Date modified: