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Ottawa, 30 October 2012
Our reference: 8740-A53-201213032
Mr. Denis E. Henry
Regulatory, Government Affairs and Public Law
Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership
160 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2C4
RE: Tariff Notice 439
Dear Mr. Henry:
On 16 October 2012, the Commission received an application by Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership (Bell Aliant) under Tariff Notice 439 (TN 439), in which the company proposed revisions to its General Tariff – Local Service Areas and Exchange Bands, to introduce an expanded local calling area (ELCA) for telephone exchanges contained in whole or in part within the geographic boundaries of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, Nova Scotia (the Municipality).
The company stated that the proposal complies with the Commission’s process for creating ELCAs pursuant to Framework for the expansion of local calling areas, Telecom CRTC Decision 2002-56, 12 September 2002 (Telecom Decision 2002-56).
The company submitted that the economic study to determine impacts on operating costs was not relevant for the Municipality's decision-making with respect to its ELCA request. It also submitted that it was refining its estimates of the incremental operating costs resulting from the Municipality's proposed ELCA, and that this analysis might lead to an application for an exogenous adjustment at a future date.
Commission staff notes that in Telecom Decision 2002-56 it set out the process for creating ELCAs, which included the following steps:
- the ILEC performs an economic study to determine: (i) its net incremental operating costs and any associated adjustments to recover any material net increase in operating cost; (ii) the amount of foregone toll revenues for the ILEC and competitors along with the associated temporary surcharges for the total foregone toll revenues. As part of the study process, the ILEC's CSG would contact all toll competitors operating in the affected exchanges to verify their foregone toll revenues based on the previous year, the current local NAS counts and the amount of compensation that they would be eligible to receive. The ILEC would provide an estimate of the cost of performing any required plebiscite;
- the local, municipal or regional government would decide, based on the economic study, whether or not to proceed;
In Revision of the expanded local calling area regulatory framework, Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-199, 31 March 2010, (Telecom Decision 2010-199), the Commission established the following timelines:
- ILECs are to provide local governments with the economic study within 90 days of the local government's motion being presented to the ILECs; and
- ILECs are to file their applications with the Commission within 90 days of the local government's confirmation to proceed with the desired expanded LCA.
Commission staff notes that while Bell Aliant has generally followed the process for expanding the local calling area for the Municipality, staff considers that the company must provide the complete economic study, as required, including the incremental impact on net operating costs of implementing the ELCA and any associated adjustments required to recover any material net increase in operating cost. In addition, staff considers that the inclusion of incremental operating costs could affect the proposed surcharges and, consequently, whether a plebiscite may be required.
Given the progress that Bell Aliant and the Municipality have made to date, and in order not to delay the process any longer than necessary, Bell Aliant is to file an amended application, including its economic study with the Commission by 15 November 2012, copying the Municipality. The Municipality and other parties, including residents of the Municipality, will have 25 days to comment following the date that Bell Aliant submits its study.
Consequently, this application will not be approved on an interim basis on the 15th calendar day following receipt. However, the Commission intends to dispose of this application, along with all associated subsequent revisions, within 45 business days of receipt of a complete application.
Original signed by
Director, Regulatory Implementation
c.c.: Imen Arfaoui, CRTC (819) 997-4663, email@example.com
- Date modified: