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Ottawa, 24 January 2012

Wightman Telecom Ltd. – Implementation of local competition for Bragg Communications Inc., operating as EastLink

File number: 8663-W36-200910225

In this decision, the Commission approves, by majority vote and with some modifications, Wightman’s implementation plan for local competition, which was filed in response to a formal expression of interest from EastLink.


1.         The Commission received a local competition implementation plan, dated 25 July 2011, from Wightman Telecom Ltd. (Wightman). The plan was filed in response to a formal signed expression of interest from Bragg Communications Inc., operating as EastLink (EastLink), which indicated that it wished to interconnect with Wightman to provide local services as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in Wightman’s serving territory.

2.         In its implementation plan, Wightman identified the services and network components that it planned to make available to EastLink. Wightman also provided its estimated costs for implementing local competition and local number portability (LNP) [referred to jointly as local competition] in its serving territory.

3.         In Telecom Decision 2006-14, the Commission, among other things, set out the framework for local competition implementation in the territories of the small incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), including directives that the small ILECs must follow when submitting their implementation plans.

4.         The Commission reviewed this framework and determined, in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2011-291, that local competition should continue to be introduced in the territories of all the small ILECs based on the existing framework, subject to the modifications set out in that decision. In particular, the Commission established certain measures to help mitigate the financial impact on small ILECs of implementing local competition.

5.         The Commission received comments from EastLink and D. Mark Stuckless. The public record of this proceeding, which closed on 14 November 2011, is available on the Commission’s website at under “Public Proceedings” or by using the file number provided above.


6.         The Commission notes that Wightman and EastLink have generally agreed on most elements of the local competition implementation plan, but that issues related to costs and certain implementation matters remain.

7.         The Commission has examined the following questions in considering whether to approve Wightman’s proposed local competition implementation plan:

I.       Are Wightman’s proposed costs for implementing local competition appropriate?

II.    What mechanisms are available to Wightman to recover its local competition costs?

III. What outstanding matters need to be addressed prior to implementing local competition in Wightman’s territory?

I.     Are Wightman’s proposed costs for implementing local competition appropriate?

8.         Wightman proposed start-up and ongoing costs for the components required to implement local competition within its serving territory, including those related to carrier service group (CSG)1 functions, LNP access, maintenance, and system modifications, among others. Over the five-year study period, Wightman estimated that it would incur approximately $320,000 in start-up costs and an average of $68,000 per year in ongoing costs to implement local competition in its serving territory.

9.         Based on its review of Wightman’s proposed costs, the Commission has made adjustments to the following cost components: personnel training, Neustar membership, and other expenses. A summary of the company’s proposals, the Commission’s adjustments, and the rationale for these adjustments is set out in the Appendix to this decision.

10.     Accordingly, the Commission approves $317,000 in start-up costs and $62,000 per year in ongoing costs for the implementation of local competition in Wightman’s serving territory.2

II.    What mechanisms are available to Wightman to recover its local competition costs?

11.     Two regulatory mechanisms are available to Wightman for the recovery of local competition implementation costs: the recovery of up to $2 per network access service (NAS)3 per month of ongoing costs through the National Contribution Fund (NCF) and an exogenous adjustment.4

12.     In Telecom Regulatory Policy 2011-291, the Commission concluded that the small ILECs that incur ongoing local competition costs will be permitted to lower the primary exchange service (PES) rate component used in calculating their subsidy by an amount equal to the lesser of the approved ongoing costs on a per-NAS, per-month basis or $2 per NAS per month.

13.     The Commission notes that the approved ongoing costs for Wightman are below the maximum of $2 per NAS per month established for ongoing cost recovery. Accordingly, the Commission approves a reduction of $1.07 in Wightman’s rate component used in its subsidy calculation effective the date that local competition is implemented.

14.     Regarding the approved $317,000 in start-up costs, the Commission notes that in Telecom Order 99-239, it considered that it was appropriate to permit the large ILECs to recover their local competition start-up and ongoing costs through the use of an exogenous adjustment.5 The Commission also adopted this approach for other small ILECs in Telecom Decisions 2007-78 and 2007-93.6

15.     The Commission notes that an exogenous adjustment would give Wightman the flexibility to increase rates to recover its local competition start-up costs. Therefore, the Commission approves an exogenous adjustment of $80,0007 per year for a period of five years.

16.     Should Wightman choose to take advantage of the exogenous adjustment by filing a tariff application to increase rates, its application should include a proposed cost recovery methodology that (i) complies with the regulatory framework and policies in place at the time of filing, and (ii) is consistent with previous decisions regarding the implementation of local competition for other small ILECs.8

III.   What are the outstanding matters prior to implementing local competition in Wightman’s territory?

17.     The Commission notes that, on 9 September 2011, Wightman filed a tariff application to introduce competitor services for the implementation of local competition in its territory. This tariff application was approved, subject to modifications, in Telecom Order 2012-48, which is also issued today.

18.     The Commission notes that Wightman proposed that the company serving a customer should be responsible for inside wire,9 while EastLink submitted that this was not a desirable arrangement and that transferring responsibility to the customers was the most efficient option.

19.     The Commission has approved numerous ILEC applications to transfer responsibility for inside wire to their customers in the past, but it has never approved transfer of that responsibility to CLECs. The Commission notes that if CLECs were to assume responsibility for inside wire for their customers, they could choose to transfer that responsibility to their customers or charge for repair service without Commission oversight since their retail operations are not regulated. As a result, the Commission finds that it would not be appropriate to transfer responsibility for inside wire based on which company serves the customer.

20.     The Commission notes that transferring responsibility for Wightman’s inside wire to its customers would be consistent with the approach approved for the large ILECs and some small ILECs. The Commission considers that transferring responsibility to customers would benefit those customers by allowing them to change local service providers without creating misunderstandings about who is responsible for the inside wire. Accordingly, the Commission encourages Wightman to file a Part 1 application to transfer responsibility for inside wire to its customers.

21.     Based on the parties’ submissions and number portability guidelines set out by the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC), the Commission determines that all steps required to allow for local competition to be implemented in the territory of Wightman are to be completed by no later than 23 July 2012, which will constitute the effective date of local competition implementation.10


22.     In light of the above,

a)      The Commission approves, by majority vote, Wightman’s implementation plan as modified above.

b)      The Commission directs Wightman to provide information and assistance to EastLink in the negotiation process, as required, in order to implement local competition as quickly as possible so that EastLink may begin operating in Wightman’s territory by no later than 23 July 2012.

c)      When implementing all aspects of local competition in its serving territory, including but not limited to technical and network interconnection, Wightman is to abide by the industry consensus items outlined in the various CISC documents related to interconnection, as well as the existing rules as outlined in the various decisions, orders, and letters issued by the Commission pertaining to local competition.

Compliance with the Policy Direction

23.     The Commission considers that its approval of Wightman’s implementation plan for local competition, as modified above, is consistent with the Policy Direction11 requirements that the Commission should (i) rely on market forces to the maximum extent feasible as the means of achieving the telecommunications policy objectives; and (ii) when relying on regulation, use measures that are efficient and proportionate to their purpose and that interfere with the operation of competitive market forces to the minimum extent necessary to meet the policy objectives. The Commission also considers that its determinations in this decision will advance the policy objectives set out in paragraphs 7(b), 7(f), and 7(h) of the Telecommunications Act.12

Secretary General

Related documents


Summary of local competition implementation cost adjustments for Wightman


Commission adjustment

Rationale for adjustment

1. CSG (personnel training)

Proposed initial one-time expenses for CSG personnel training.

Limited these expenses to a maximum of $12,500 for initial training.

Revised training expenses are more in line with those proposed by other small ILECs.

2. Neustar membership

Proposed expenses for access to Neustar for a virtual private network (VPN) connection, and an additional monthly charge per access request.

Denied the proposal for an additional monthly charge per access request.

Inclusion of additional monthly charge per access request is inconsistent with the proposals of other small ILECs.

3. Other expenses

Proposed other expenses for upgrades and support, which are estimated based on a given percentage of the associated capital costs.

Limited these expenses to a maximum of 10% of associated capital costs.

Revised percentage is more in line with the percentage approved for other small ILECs.



[1]     The CSG is functionally separate from a telecommunications company’s retail operations. Its role is to liaise and coordinate with CLECs when conducting a variety of inter-carrier activities, primarily with respect to customer transfers.

[2]     Start-up costs are expressed in terms of the present worth of annual costs over the five-year study period, while ongoing annual costs are expressed as annual equivalent costs over the five-year study period.

[3]     A NAS provides customers with access to the telephone network.

[4]     Pursuant to Telecom Regulatory Policy 2011-291, the local competition and wireless number portability start-up costs of small ILECs with 3,000 or fewer total residential and business NAS, including those of all their affiliates and/or their parent company, are to be reimbursed by new entrants. Given that Wightman serves more than 3,000 NAS, this cost recovery mechanism is not available to Wightman.

[5]     An exogenous adjustment, which could result in a rate increase, reflects the financial impact associated with events that are not captured by other elements of the price cap regime. Adjustments would be considered for events or initiatives that meet the following criteria:

a)    they are legislative, judicial, or administrative actions beyond the control of the company;

b)    they are addressed specifically to the telecommunications industry; and

c)    they have a material impact on the company.

[6]     In these decisions, the Commission determined that the affected small ILECs should be allowed to recover their start-up costs over a period of five years.

[7]     This amount represents Wightman’s start-up costs of $317,000 annualized over a period of five years.

[8]     See Telecom Decisions 2007-78 and 2007-93.

[9]     Inside wire is the wire inside the customer’s home. It is currently owned by Wightman and not by the customer.

[10]    This local competition implementation date is consistent with the CISC guidelines for number portability.

[11]    Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on Implementing the Canadian Telecommunications Policy Objectives, P.C. 2006-1534, 14 December 2006

[12]    These objectives are the following: 7(b) to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada; 7(f) to foster increased reliance on market forces for the provision of telecommunications services and to ensure that regulation, where required, is efficient and effective; and 7(h) to respond to the economic and social requirements of users of telecommunications services.

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