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Re: Part VII application for relief with respect to routing of toll traffic destined to small ILECs received via Bell Canada’s transit service tariff
On 30 July 2010 the Commission received a request for interim relief on the matter referenced above submitted by Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of its affiliate Videotron Ltd., and by Rogers Communications Partnership, on behalf of Rogers Cable Communications Inc., Rogers Wireless Inc., and Fido Solutions (collectively, the applicants). The applicants requested that the Commission direct Bell Canada, as of 4 August 2010, to refrain from blocking or applying surcharges to toll traffic originating from competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) that is destined to small incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) and received by Bell Canada over transit trunks. The applicants noted that a submission with respect to final relief would be filed in due course.
Bell Canada responded to the interim relief request on 3 August 2010, stating that it would suspend blocking of the toll traffic described above until 16 August 2010.
On 6 August 2010 the applicants filed the final relief submission.
By letter dated 10 August 2010, Commission staff requested that Bell Canada neither block nor apply a surcharge to the toll traffic described above until such time as the Commission rendered a determination with respect to the requested interim relief. In that same letter, Bell Canada and the applicants were offered the opportunity to file comments and reply comments with respect to the interim relief request.
In its comments filed on 13 August 2010, Bell Canada submitted that, in delivering long-distance traffic destined to small ILECs over local transit service trunks, CLECs are denying small ILECs the higher revenues to which the latter are entitled under the small ILEC
long-distance interconnection regime. Bell Canada submitted further that, in doing so, CLECs are placing themselves at a competitive advantage relative to Bell Canada, which pays the higher small ILEC long-distance interconnection rates to terminate toll traffic from its own customers destined to small ILECs.
The applicants submitted that the following issues must be considered by the Commission:
- Does Bell Canada’s local transit service tariff allow for the delivery of CLEC-originated toll traffic destined to a small ILEC, in light of past Commission determinations and pronouncements?
- If compensation in the form of a surcharge is to be applied to the above-described traffic received over Bell Canada’s local transit service trunks, is prior Commission approval for such a surcharge required pursuant to section 25 of the Telecommunications Act?
- If the above-described traffic is not appropriate for routing over Bell Canada’s local transit service trunks, what amount of notice must be provided to the CLECs to allow them to accomplish any network changes that may be necessary to ensure that the concerned traffic continues to be terminated?
The applicants further submitted that their customers would suffer irreparable harm if they are prevented from completing calls to customers in a small ILEC territory. Further, they argued that, given this potential harm and the fact that these calls have been delivered over
Bell Canada’s local transit service trunks since the introduction of the service, the balance of convenience favours granting the requested interim relief.
The Commission notes that the parties generally acknowledged that the Part VII application raises serious issues to be considered. On the matter of harm, the Commission considers that the harm to CLECs and their customers would be irreparable if certain calls could not be completed. The Commission further considers that the balance of convenience favours maintaining the status quo, until a Commission determination is made on the application for final relief.
Accordingly, the Commission directs Bell Canada to refrain from blocking, and from applying surcharges to, toll traffic originating from a CLEC and destined to a small ILEC, over
Bell Canada’s transit service trunks, until such time as a Commission determination is rendered regarding the application for final relief.
The Commission notes that the issue of traffic originated by a CLEC and destined to a small ILEC that is received over ILEC transit trunks was raised by the Ontario Telecommunications Association (OTA) on the record of Trunking arrangements for the interchange of traffic and the point of interconnection between local exchange carriers, Telecom Decision
CRTC 2004-46, 14 July 2004. In that decision, the Commission noted that there was insufficient information on the record of that proceeding to address the issue and recommended that, if the OTA considered the issue to be significant, OTA members as a first step should engage larger ILECs in negotiations. The Commission further noted that, should such negotiations fail, it would be prepared to consider the matter, which it intends to do in the current proceeding.
In addition to Bell Canada and the applicants, all CLECs and small ILECs are made parties to this proceeding.
Parties may file comments with the Commission, serving copies on all other parties, by 7 September 2010. The comments should, to the extent feasible, identify the financial impact of the issue being addressed. Further, OTA members and Bell Canada are to file information on the history and details of any negotiations regarding the issues arising in this proceeding.
The applicants may file reply comments with the Commission, serving copies on all other parties, by 14 September 2010.
All submissions must be actually received by the Commission, not merely sent, by the above-mentioned dates.
Original signed by
Robert A. Morin
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