ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2015-181
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Ottawa, 6 May 2015
File numbers: Bell Aliant Tariff Notice 507 and Bell Canada Tariff Notice 7451
Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership and Bell Canada – Applications to amalgamate Touch-Tone service rates with the rates for Primary Exchange (Local) Service and Home Phone Service bundles in Ontario and Quebec
- The Commission received applications from Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership (Bell Aliant) and Bell Canada (collectively, the Bell companies), dated 6 March 2015, in which the Bell companies proposed to amalgamate their monthly Touch-Tone service rates with the monthly rates for their residential Primary Exchange (Local) Service (PES) and Home Phone Service bundles in their Ontario and Quebec serving territories.
- The Bell companies submitted that Touch-Tone service has always been shown as a separate line item on residential customers’ bills, which has caused customer confusion and aggravation, and adds complexity to bills. The Bell companies proposed to simplify billing for residential customers by combining the monthly rate for Touch-Tone service with the monthly rate for PES and Home Phone Services so that these services appear as a single line item on each customer’s bill. They submitted that the proposed amalgamation would not result in an increase in their customers’ overall rates.
- The Bell companies proposed to implement the tariff revisions effective 24 May 2015, and noted that they would inform customers of the change in the presentation of their bills through a bill message, along with other changes that they planned to make to the bill presentation.
- The Commission received no interventions regarding the Bell companies’ applications. The public record of this proceeding, which closed on 7 April 2015, is available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca or by using the file numbers provided above.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
- The proposed amalgamation would not result in an increase in customers’ overall rates. As well, the changes would not affect either customers who are currently subscribed to the Bell companies’ grandfathered Rotary Dial serviceFootnote 1 and do not pay the Touch-Tone service rate, or customers who are registered as persons with a disability and pay a reduced rate for Touch-Tone service. These customers would see a credit on their bills to remove the charge for Touch-Tone service.
- The Commission has approved similar applications from other companies to include Touch-Tone service as part of their basic service rates – for example, for BC Tel (now part of TELUS Communications Company) in Telecom Order 95-722 and for Island Tel (now part of Bell Aliant) in Telecom Order 95-1142. In those orders, among other things, the Commission noted that it had stated in numerous orders issued since 1992 that, as a general policy objective, it considered it appropriate for telephone companies to move towards standardizing Touch-Tone service and incorporating it into basic service for all customers.
- The Commission has reviewed the Bell companies’ applications and finds their proposal to be reasonable. The Commission considers that the amalgamation of the Bell companies’ Touch-Tone service rates with their Home Phone Service bundle or PES rates, without changes to customers’ overall rates, would be appropriate.
- In light of the above, the Commission approves the Bell companies’ applications, effective 24 May 2015. The Bell companies are to issue revised tariff pagesFootnote 2 within 10 days of the date of this order.
- Footnote 1
Bell Canada grandfathered its residential Rotary Dial service as of March 1993. Since then, customers may retain Rotary Dial service unless they move to a different premises or change services. Customers who subscribe to Rotary Dial residential service do not pay the Touch-Tone service charge.
- Footnote 2
Revised tariff pages can be submitted to the Commission without a description page or a request for approval; a tariff application is not required.
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