Telecom Decision CRTC 2011-301

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Ottawa, 6 May 2011

Canadian LNP Consortium Inc. – Request for a change in access to Canadian Number Portability Administration Centre Service Management System

In this decision, the Commission expands access to the Canadian Number Portability Administration Centre Service Management System to third parties. This expansion will enable new types of traffic generated by these parties’ services and applications to flow to end-users of services offered by wireless and local exchange carriers that are Canadian LNP Consortium Inc. shareholders.


1.      The Commission received a letter from the Canadian LNP[1] Consortium Inc. (CLNPC), dated 4 November 2010 and filed in confidence, requesting that the Commission permit third-party access to the information contained in the Canadian Number Portability Administration Centre Service Management System (NPAC/SMS) in order to facilitate the number portability process.

2.      Number portability enables a customer to keep the same telephone number when changing telecommunications service providers within the same exchange. The NPAC/SMS is used by local exchange carriers (LECs) and wireless carriers to conduct the number portability process. The Commission initially limited access to the NPAC/SMS for the purpose of porting telephone numbers between LECs[2] and subsequently expanded this access to include wireless carriers.[3]

3.      The NPAC/SMS is managed by the CLNPC. In limited circumstances, under specific terms and conditions, the CLNPC has permitted third-party access to the ported number information in the NPAC/SMS. The CLNPC granted such access when the third parties were functioning as agents of LECs or wireless carriers that were CLNPC shareholders.[4]

The CLNPC’s request

4.      The CLNPC noted that developers and distributors have recently started delivering telecommunications services to end-users and entering into agreements directly with these end-users rather than with the carriers that provide the underlying telecommunications services.[5] To date, these developers and distributors have not been permitted access to the NPAC/SMS, as they are not acting as agents for CLNPC shareholders.

5.      The CLNPC noted that, without access to the portability correct routing (PCR) information contained in the NPAC/SMS, these developers and distributors are unable to successfully deliver their traffic to the correct Canadian end-users. The CLNPC further noted that its shareholders are experiencing increasing volumes of unsuccessful termination of this kind of traffic due to the inability of third parties to access PCR information.

6.      The CLNPC therefore requested that the Commission expand NPAC/SMS access to non-LECs and non-wireless carriers, as identified from time to time by the CLNPC, to enable these third parties to provide services to a shareholder of the CLNPC or to deliver services to the end-users of a shareholder. The CLNPC noted that such access would be contingent on any non-LEC or non-wireless carrier executing and delivering the form of agreement as may, from time to time, be unanimously approved by the CLNPC’s shareholders. The CLNPC further noted that any such access by non-LECs or non-wireless carriers would not include the ability to port numbers in the NPAC/SMS.

Commission’s analysis and determinations

7.      The Commission notes that much has changed in the telecommunications market since it determined that access to the NPAC/SMS for the porting of telephone numbers between carriers should be limited to LECs and wireless carriers. As the CLNPC noted, some new services are routing traffic directly to end-users, and accurate, up-to-date routing information is required for this traffic to be terminated correctly. The Commission notes that the only source for the correct routing information is the NPAC/SMS.

8.      The Commission notes that the NPAC/SMS essentially provides two services: the administration of the porting process for the transfer of telephone numbers between carriers, and the dissemination of routing information so that traffic is delivered to the correct carrier and switching entity.

9.      The Commission notes that the CLNPC, with the unanimous agreement of its shareholders (i.e. all users of the NPAC/SMS), has requested that the Commission expand access to the routing information contained in the NPAC/SMS to third-party entities, with certain restrictions as determined from time to time by the CLNPC’s shareholders. The Commission notes that the CLNPC is not requesting any changes that would permit third parties to access the NPAC/SMS for the purpose of porting numbers; the request is simply for access to routing information so that third parties providing services to telecommunications end-users can ensure that they deliver those services regardless of any change of telecommunications service provider.

10.  The Commission considers that, to the extent possible, telecommunications traffic should be routed correctly and efficiently. The Commission also considers that services are being introduced that provide desirable features and benefits to consumers; however, these services are changing the way traffic has traditionally been routed and delivered. The Commission further considers that the introduction of number portability has fundamentally changed the information that is required to route traffic to its proper destination. The Commission therefore considers that the PCR information in the NPAC/SMS should be accessible to third parties that require this information to correctly route and terminate traffic or calls to end-users.

11.  In light of the above, the Commission determines that third-party entities that can adequately demonstrate to the CLNPC that they require access to the routing information in the NPAC/SMS for proper traffic or call routing should be permitted to directly access the PCR information. The Commission notes that such access does not permit these third parties to port telephone numbers in the NPAC/SMS; that type of access shall remain limited to LECs (pursuant to Telecom Order 99-5) and to wireless carriers (pursuant to Telecom Decision 2005-72).

12.  The Commission requests that the CLNPC incorporate this change in access to PCR information into its amended and restated Unanimous Shareholders Agreement and, pursuant to section 29 of the Telecommunications Act, file the amended agreement with the Commission for its approval.

Secretary General

Related documents


[1]     Local number portability

[2]     Telecom Order 99-5

[3]     Telecom Decision 2005-72

[4]     In accordance with the Commission-approved Unanimous Shareholders Agreement, as amended from time to time, only shareholders of the CLNPC have direct access to the NPAC/SMS.

[5]     Examples of these types of services are short messaging service, multimedia service, real-time applications such as airline check-in, and content delivered by wireless or Internet protocol networks, such as live streaming.

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