ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2005-26

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Archived Decisions, Notices and Orders (DNOs) remain in effect except to the extent they are amended or reversed by the Commission, a court, or the government. The text of archived information has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Changes to DNOs are published as “dashes” to the original DNO number. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.


Telecom Order CRTC 2005-26

  Ottawa, 18 January 2005

Call-Net Communications Inc., LondonConnect Inc. and Allstream Corp.

  References: Call-Net Communications Inc. Tariff Notice 17
LondonConnect Inc. Tariff Notice 19
Allstream Corp. Tariff Notice 17

Service Charge for Trouble Identification on ILEC Unbundled Local Loops


The Commission received applications by Call-Net Communications Corp. (Call-Net), LondonConnect Inc. (LondonConnect), and Allstream Corp. (Allstream, now MTS Allstream), dated 19 August 2003, 19 September 2003, and 23 October 2003, respectively, to revise their general tariffs to introduce Service Charge for Trouble Identification on ILEC Unbundled Local Loops. The service charge will apply when the carrier dispatches a service technician to perform a co-operative test on an incumbent local exchange carrier's (ILEC's) unbundled local loop, if the loop is found to be functional and the trouble is found to be in the ILEC's facilities and/or equipment.


The Commission approved these applications on an interim basis in Telecom Order CRTC 2003-406, 3 October 2003, Telecom Order CRTC 2003-425, 21 October 2003, and Telecom Order CRTC 2003-481, 27 November 2003.


Subsequent to the interim approval of these applications, TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS) filed comments, dated 6 February 2004. Allstream filed reply comments on 17 February 2004.




TELUS submitted that in Local competition, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-8, 1 May 1997 (Decision 97-8), the Commission determined that it was in the public interest to require competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) to provide interconnection services to all interexchange service providers (IXSPs) and wireless service providers (WSPs), at terms and conditions that are equivalent to those contained in the ILECs' tariffs and that correspond to the ILEC's territories in which the CLECs operate. TELUS further noted that in Decision 97-8, the Commission required that CLECs justify any departure from the terms and conditions contained in the ILECs' tariffs. TELUS submitted that these same principles should apply to the service charge at issue.


TELUS noted that Call-Net, LondonConnect and Allstream provide CLEC services in TELUS' operating territories of Alberta and British Columbia. TELUS submitted that these companies proposed to use Bell Canada's tariff rates without providing any justification for the departure from other ILEC tariff rates, including those of TELUS in TELUS' operating territories.


TELUS submitted that the CLECs' tariffs should be amended in order to specify that the proposed tariff rates apply only in Bell Canada's territory, or be amended to adopt TELUS' tariff rates for the service in Alberta and British Columbia.

Reply comments


Allstream submitted that, while the service charges proposed by Allstream were similar to TELUS' service charges in that they both required and charged for the time of a technician, Allstream's labour costs were national and therefore uniform across all geographic territories. Allstream stated that it had proposed Bell Canada's rates for the service because these rates best reflected Allstream's national costs for the service.


Allstream submitted that it was difficult to determine the extent to which Allstream's charges differed from TELUS'. Allstream noted that its charges were $65.95 for the first 15 minutes or fraction thereof, and $16.75 for each additional 15 minutes or fraction thereof. Allstream further noted that determining TELUS' charges for Alberta required reference to two separate tariffs, that the rates differed based on regular time versus overtime, and that TELUS included a flat rate for each 15 minutes or fraction thereof, but required a minimum charge of 45 minutes.


Allstream argued that TELUS' rate structure, in addition to being difficult to interpret, would be costly for Allstream to implement. Allstream stated that the previously approved interim rates were simpler to administer and reflected Allstream's cost structure. Allstream therefore requested that the Commission give final approval to the service charges.

Commission's analysis and determination


In Decision 97-8, the Commission required CLECs to provide interconnection to all IXSPs and WSPs. The Commission required all CLECs to file proposed tariffs for interconnection services, justifying any departure from the rates, terms and conditions contained in the applicable ILECs' tariffs.


In Decision 97-8, the Commission also required CLECs to file tariffs for services, provided to other carriers, that are not specifically required pursuant to that Decision. The Commission notes that, in filing applications to provide such services, CLECs have generally proposed the rates contained in the ILECs' tariffs for these services.


In the Commission's view, Service Charge for Trouble Identification on ILEC Unbundled Local Loops is not an interconnection service as envisioned in Decision 97-8. Further, the Commission has not required CLECs to provide this service. As this service is not a mandated interconnection service, the Commission considers that the CLEC is not required to file tariffs for it equivalent to those in each of the ILECs' territories.


The Commission notes that Call-Net, LondonConnect, and Allstream, which operate in Bell Canada's territory as well as other ILEC operating territories, have adopted Bell Canada's rates for the provision of Service Charge for Trouble Identification on ILEC Unbundled Local Loops.


The Commission notes that Service Charge for Trouble Identification on ILEC Unbundled Local Loops is mostly comprised of labour costs. In the Commission's view, it is reasonable to assume that a company with a national presence will have similar labour costs across its operating territory.


The Commission considers that a uniform rate structure across all provinces simplifies the application of tariff provisions for a CLEC with a national presence. The Commission also considers it reasonable for a CLEC to align its rates for the provision of this service with an ILEC's rates which the CLEC considers would recover its costs.


The Commission therefore finds it reasonable that Call-Net, LondonConnect and Allstream adopt Bell Canada's rates and rate structure for Service Charge for Trouble Identification on ILEC Unbundled Local Loops.


In light of the above, the Commission approves on a final basis the rates, terms, and conditions proposed by Call-Net, LondonConnect and Allstream for Service Charge for Trouble Identification on ILEC Unbundled Local Loops.


The dissenting opinion of Commissioner Stuart Langford is attached.
  Secretary General
  This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:


Dissenting Opinion of Commissioner Stuart Langford

  I disagree with the majority decision in this matter and would have directed competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) to file tariff rates for each of the territories in which the services at issue are provided. No persuasive case was made for a national rate structure and, in my view, the claim of administrative expediency could just as easily be little more than an excuse for maximizing revenues by choosing the highest rate available.
  In interconnection decisions dating as far back as 1997, the Commission has consistently taken the position that the terms and conditions of service provision should reflect local realities. Granted, as paragraph 12 of the majority decision indicates, the troubleshooting charge at issue here, "is not a mandated interconnection service." However, it is necessitated by the fact of interconnection and, accordingly, should logically reflect the approach taken to date. That approach has been territorial not national.
  Though differences in territorial rates are confused somewhat by the impact of such things as minimum charging periods and overtime charges, there seems little doubt that generally speaking during normal business hours Bell Canada's rates for trouble identification on unbundled local loops far exceed those of the Alberta or British Columbia territories of TELUS. The charges for a first hour of service breakdown are as follows: Bell Canada $116.20, TELUS Alberta $72, TELUS B.C. $65.50. The chart below gives a breakdown of charges for 15, 30, 45 and 60 minute increments during normal business hours:





  15 min. $69.95 $54.00 $38.50
  30 min. $82.70 $54.00 $38.50
  45 min. $99.45 $54.00 $52.00
  60 min. $116.20 $72.00 $65.50
  TELUS is a for-profit provider of telecommunications services; if it finds the different rates it charges in its territories compensatory, the onus is surely on the CLECs to prove that those rates are inadequate for them. If they want to charge Bell Canada's higher rates in TELUS territories, it seems to me that they have a duty to explain why. As an explanation, administrative simplicity is unconvincing. It would be equally simple to charge TELUS B.C. rates across the country.
  In this day and age of computerized accounting and in a business environment where hundreds, even thousands, of tariffs and billing variations are facts of life, sophisticated corporations like Allstream and the other CLECs involved in this case should have no difficulty adjusting their book keeping between their Ontario/Quebec and Alberta/B.C. operations. If their costs truly are uniform across the country they should have provided hard evidence to that effect. They did not do so.
  It seems highly unlikely that labour costs, which the majority identifies in paragraph 14 of its decision as the major costing factor in this case, are uniform all across Canada. However, if technicians are paid the same in Vancouver as they are in Toronto, the same in Calgary as they are in Montréal, the applicant CLECs should have provided evidence to that effect. Without it, I find it difficult to accept the majority view that, ".it is reasonable to assume that a company with a national presence will have similar labour costs across its operating territory."
  Accordingly, I would have denied the CLECs' applications and ordered them either to re-file with sufficient costing information to justify a national charge or to adopt territorially-based rates reflective of the charges they pay to incumbent local exchange carriers like Bell Canada, TELUS and Aliant Telecom Inc. for the same services.

Date Modified: 2005-01-18

Date modified: