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Ottawa, 1 October 2010

Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership and Bell Canada – Introduction of SIP Trunking Service

File numbers: Bell Aliant Tariff Notice 330 and Bell Canada Tariff Notice 7269

1. The Commission received applications by Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership and Bell Canada (collectively, the Bell companies), dated 30 June 2010, proposing changes to each company’s General Tariff to introduce item 7040 – SIP [session initiation protocol] Trunking Service and to make related changes to item 70 – Rate Schedules for Primary Exchange (Local) Service.

2. SIP Trunking Service provides the signalling and call handling capacity to establish a call to and from a customer’s IP-private branch exchange (PBX) that is routed over a carrier’s IP backbone network using voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.

3. These applications were approved on an interim basis on 15 July 2010, based on the criteria for the streamlined approval of retail and competitive local exchange carrier tariff applications set out in Telecom Decision 2008-74.

4. The Commission received comments from TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy). The public record of this proceeding, which closed on 1 August 2010, is available on the Commission’s website at under “Public Proceedings” or by using the file numbers provided above.

Should the Commission approve the introduction of SIP Trunking Service on a final basis?

5. TekSavvy submitted that the proposed retail SIP Trunking Service would enable the Bell companies to take advantage of more efficient IP networking technologies whereas competitors, which must interconnect to the Bell companies can only do so using trunking functionalities based on older technologies. TekSavvy requested that the Commission order the Bell companies to develop an equivalent wholesale IP-to-IP interconnection service so that it could benefit from the efficiencies of IP networking technologies.

6. TekSavvy further submitted that detailed information regarding the Bell companies’ service architecture was required, including diagrams and descriptions of the service elements, in order for parties to comment in a meaningful manner and to ensure that the proposed service bears its appropriate share of costs for facilities and equipment used in common with other existing services. TekSavvy requested that the Commission order the Bell companies to disclose this information and allow reasonable time for comments afterwards.

7. In reply, the Bell companies submitted that an IP trunking service provider can either route an IP-PBX call using the service provider’s IP facilities or convert the call from IP format into time division multiplexing (TDM) format and deliver the call via the public switched telephone network, as appropriate. The Bell companies stated that the gateways that provide this conversion capability are widely and readily available from a variety of equipment vendors.

8. The Bell companies noted that competitors are currently actively providing IP trunking service in various areas, including in the Bell companies’ territories. The Bell companies also noted that the Commission had approved a comparable IP trunking service for Saskatchewan Telecommunications in Telecom Order 2010-399 without any requirement to develop a wholesale IP-to-IP interconnection service. The Bell companies submitted that TekSavvy’s request in this regard should therefore be denied.

9. The Bell companies also submitted that without confidential costing information, details about its service architecture would not provide insight into whether the appropriate share of costs was applied, therefore, TekSavvy’s request for this information should be denied.

10.  The Commission notes that a wholesale IP-to-IP interconnection service pertains to carrier to carrier interconnection which has no bearing on competitors’ access to wholesale services that would allow them to offer their own retail IP trunking service. The Commission therefore considers TekSavvy’s request to develop a wholesale IP-to-IP carrier interconnection service is outside the scope of this proceeding.

11.  The Commission notes that SIP Trunking service is a retail business service that is subject to competition. The Commission also notes that without cost information, details of the SIP Trunking service architecture would not assist parties in determining whether the Bell companies’ costs are properly apportioned. The Commission considers that disclosure to competitors of service architecture and specific cost information related to the provisioning of the SIP Trunking service would result in specific direct harm to the Bell companies, which outweighs the public interest in disclosure. Accordingly, the Commission denies Teksavvy’s request in this regard.

12.  The Commission considers that the Bell companies’ proposals are appropriate and, therefore, approves on a final basis the Bell companies’ applications.

Secretary General

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