Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Paul Cowling (Shaw Cablesystems G.P.) and Stephen Schmidt (TELUS Communications Company)

Ottawa, 18 May 2016

Our reference: 8661-S9-201601625

BY EMAIL

Mr. Paul Cowling
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Shaw Cablesystems G.P.
40 Elgin Street, Suite 1400
Ottawa, Ontario  K1P 5K6
regulatory@sjrb.ca

Mr. Stephen Schmidt
Vice-President - Telecom Policy & Chief Regulatory Legal Counsel
Telecom Policy and Regulatory Affairs
TELUS Communications Company
215 Slater Street, 8th floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 0A6
regulatory.affairs@telus.com

Re:  Shaw Cablesystems G.P. - Application regarding alleged overbilled charges by TELUS Communications Company for service entrance conduit in British Columbia

Dear Sirs,

On 12 February 2016, Shaw Cablesystems G.P. (Shaw) filed the above referenced application. In it, Shaw alleges that TELUS Communications Company (TCC) is inappropriately billing it for service entrance conduit in British Columbia.

Commission staff considers that additional information is required with regard to Shaw’s application. In particular, Commission staff considers that British Columbia Telephone Company – Tariff for the use of underground conduit by cable television licensees, Telecom Decision CRTC 82-6, 26 July 1982 (Decision 82-6) may be pertinent to Shaw’s application. Commission staff notes, however, that Decision 82-6 is not available on the Commission’s website and was not referenced by either party to this proceeding.

Accordingly, for the benefit of the parties Decision 82-6 is attached to this letter as Attachment 1. In addition, Shaw and TCC are required to provide comprehensive answers, including any supporting information, to the attached interrogatories.

As set out in Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 201-961, 23 December 2010, parties may designate certain information as confidential.  Parties must provide an abridged version of the document involved, accompanied by a note explaining how the information removed is confidential.

Shaw and TCC are to file with the Commission, and serve on the other party, its responses to interrogatories by 9 June 2016.
Written arguments may be filed with the Commission with respect to the responses to these interrogatories, serving a copy on the other party, by 21 June 2016.

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.:  Kevin Pickell, CRTC, 819-997-4580, kevin.pickell@crtc.gc.ca


INTERROGATORIES

Interrogatories to be answered by TCC

  1. In Review of the large incumbent local exchange carriers’ support structure service rates, Telecom Decision 2010-900, 2 December 2010 (Decision 2010-900), the Commission approved on a final basis the monthly rates for TCC’s conduit (per 30 metres), based in part on a cost study submitted by TCC during that proceeding.

    At page 8 of Decision 82-6, the Commission considers that B.C. Tel’s Type “B” rates are not acceptable for service entrance ducts and concludes that B.C. Tel may levy a monthly charge for service entrance ducts only after a separate rate is filed, related more closely to the costs involved for such conduit.

    1. Do the Commission’s conclusions on page 8 of Decision 82-6 continue to apply to service entrance conduit?  Why or why not?

    2. Are the costs of facilities such as manholes, conduits that are reusable in place, and service boxes now applicable to service entrance conduit, when such costs were not considered applicable to such conduit in Decision 82-6?  Why or why not?

    3. Did TCC include costs for service entrance conduit in its cost study?  If so, how were those costs determined?  What were those costs? Were the costs for service entrance conduit calculated differently from costs for mainline conduit?  How much of the reported conduit costs were attributable to service entrance conduit?

    4. Did TCC include metreage for service entrance conduit in it its cost study?  How much of the reported metreage was attributable to service entrance conduit and how much was attributable to mainline conduit? If the exact metreage is not known, what is a reasonable estimate of the proportion of service entrance conduit to mainline conduit?

  2. Provide any additional comment on Decision 82-6 and how that decision applies to Shaw’s application and to any of the issues and arguments raised by either party in this proceeding.

  3. Refer to paragraph 6 of TCC’s 16 March 2016 reply, where TCC states that in late 2014 it reactivated its conduit audit, and paragraph 9 of the same reply where TCC states that it began to invoice Shaw for service entrance conduit found in its conduit audit that previously had not been billed.

    In addition, refer to paragraph 75 of TCC’s 16 March 2016 reply, where TCC states that if lower/zero cost conduit sections of the network are excluded from being chargeable, then the average conduit rate established in Decision 2010-900 would have to be recalculated, resulting in increased unit costs and rates for the remaining segment of the conduit network.

    1. Was the previously unbilled service entrance conduit metreage included in the cost study that TCC submitted to establish the conduit rates approved in Decision 2010-900?  Explain how such metreage was included in its cost study and was not billed to Shaw or, conversely, how such metreage was excluded from the cost study.

    2. How did the conduit audit affect TCC’s total conduit metreage?  How many 30-metre spans of previously unbilled service entrance conduit discovered as a result of the conduit audit was not reflected in its cost study?  How many 30-metre spans of previously unbilled service entrance conduit discovered as a result of the conduit audit was reflected in its cost study?

    3. If the Commission ultimately determines that TCC can bill for the previously unbilled service entrance conduit metreage, how would this generally affect TCC’s conduit rates?

    4. If the Commission ultimately determines that TCC cannot bill for the previously unbilled service entrance conduit metreage, how would this generally affect TCC’s conduit rates?

Interrogatory to be answered by Shaw

  1. Provide comment on Decision 82-6 and how that decision applies to Shaw’s application and to any of the issues and arguments raised by either party in this proceeding.

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