ARCHIVED - Telecom Order CRTC 2015-344
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Ottawa, 29 July 2015
File numbers: Tariff Notices 490, 490A, and 490B
TELUS Communications Company ‒ Withdrawal of Anonymous Caller Identification feature
- The Commission received an application from TELUS Communications Company (TCC), dated 20 February 2015 and revised on 27 February and 8 April 2015, in which the company proposed to withdraw the Anonymous Caller Identification (ACID) feature from item 300 – Call Management Services of its General Tariff.
- The ACID feature enables a customer who subscribes to Call Display service to identify a caller whose telephone number is shown as “Private,” “Unknown,” or “Out of Area” by prompting the caller to either unblock their number or say their name.
- TCC submitted that the ACID feature was introduced in June 2000 as part of the Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN) platform, a now-outdated technology at risk of failure. TCC proposed to begin migrating its existing 86,000 ACID customers from the AIN platform, once final approval of its application is granted, to an alternative feature named Caller Reveal. Caller Reveal enables a Call Display customer to identify a caller whose number is shown as “Private” or “Unknown” by prompting the caller to unblock or enter their number for display.
- TCC proposed an effective date of 31 December 2015 for the withdrawal of the ACID feature, but requested interim approval of its application by 24 April 2015 so that it would have sufficient time to begin testing the system changes required to migrate customers to the Caller Reveal feature. The company indicated that it was notifying all affected customers of its proposal by letter, and would further notify them in advance of their migration to Caller Reveal.
- In Telecom Order 2015-156, the Commission approved TCC’s application on an interim basis.
- The Commission received an intervention from an individual regarding TCC’s application. The public record of this proceeding, which closed on 4 June 2015, is available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca or by using the file numbers provided above.
- On 21 May 2015, the intervener provided supplementary comments in response to TCC’s reply to his initial intervention. TCC submitted that these supplementary comments were out of process and invited the intervener to contact the company directly to discuss the migration.
Should the Commission approve TCC’s application to withdraw the ACID feature?
- The intervener submitted that Caller Reveal would require a greater degree of effort on the part of the subscriber to be informed of the number of a caller whose number is marked “Private” or “Unknown.” The intervener also questioned why there would be any charge for Caller Reveal, arguing that that feature provides no benefit justifying such a charge.
- TCC replied that both the ACID and Caller Reveal features prompt the caller to reveal their number prior to the call being completed.Footnote 1 In the case of the ACID feature, the caller can also state their name. In either case, only if the caller provides the requested information would the call be completed.
- TCC submitted that the ACID feature requires more effort by customers because they have to decide among several options and press a button to confirm their choice. TCC also reiterated that there would be no change to the customer’s bill for Caller Reveal.
- In his supplementary comments, the intervener questioned why, if the two features were so similar and one relied on obsolete technology, the technology used for the other feature would not become obsolete as well. He also questioned why the same service charge for the ACID feature would apply to Caller Reveal, which, in his view, is an inferior service.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
- As a preliminary matter, in the circumstances, it is reasonable to consider the supplementary comments of the intervener, as doing so would cause no prejudice to TCC.
- The Commission considers that a comparable degree of customer effort on the part of the subscriber is required for both features. Given this, and the fact that the same service charge will apply for Caller Reveal, Caller Reveal is an adequate substitute for the ACID feature.
- Even if the technologies used to provide both features are similar, their life cycles may be affected by different circumstances, including the discontinuation of supportFootnote 2 or production. In this case, the vendor is no longer able to support AIN, which would lead to the platform’s obsolescence.
- TCC’s application meets the requirements set out in Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-455, in which the Commission set out its procedures for dealing with applications to destandardize and/or withdraw tariffed services.Footnote 3 In particular, TCC has informed affected customers of the proposed withdrawal, including how they may file comments with the Commission, and provided an adequate rationale for the withdrawal of the service.
- In light of the above, the Commission approves on a final basis TCC’s application.
- Telecom Order CRTC 2015-156, 20 April 2015
- Approval processes for tariff applications and intercarrier agreements, Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-455, 5 July 2010
- Mandatory customer contract renewal notification and requirements for service destandardization/withdrawal, Telecom Decision CRTC 2008-22, 6 March 2008
- Footnote 1
A call is completed when the called party’s telephone rings.
- Footnote 2
Support generally includes hardware repair or replacement, and software updates.
- Footnote 3
This bulletin summarizes the Commission’s related determinations set out in Telecom Decision 2008-22 and is incorporated by reference in section 59 of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure.
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