Telecom Decision CRTC 2017-15
Ottawa, 19 January 2017
File number: 8640-B2-201609002
Bell Canada – Application for forbearance from the regulation of residential local exchange services
The Commission approves Bell Canada's request for forbearance from the regulation of residential local exchange services in 54 exchanges in Ontario and Quebec. The Commission denies Bell Canada's request for forbearance from the regulation of residential local exchange services in 104 exchanges in Ontario and Quebec.
- The Commission received an application from Bell Canada, dated 26 August 2016, in which the company requested forbearance from the regulation of residential local exchange servicesFootnote 1 in 158 exchanges in Ontario and Quebec. A list of the 158 exchanges is set out in Appendix 1 to this decision.
- The Commission received submissions regarding Bell Canada's application from Bragg Communications Incorporated, operating as Eastlink (Eastlink); Cogeco Communications Inc. (Cogeco); DERYtelecom inc. (DERYtelecom); Execulink Telecom Inc. (Execulink); Hay Communications Co-operative Limited (Hay Communications); Quadro Communications Co-operative Inc. (Quadro); Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of Videotron G.P. (Videotron); Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (RCCI); and TELUS Communications Company (TCC). The public record of this proceeding, which closed on 7 December 2016, is available on the Commission's website at www.crtc.gc.ca or by using the file number provided above.
Commission's analysis and determinations
- Pursuant to the Commission's requirements in Telecom Decision 2006-15, Bell Canada provided evidence intended to support its forbearance request, including competitor quality of service (Q of S) results for the six months preceding its application, and a draft communications plan for the Commission's approval. The Commission has assessed Bell Canada's application based on the local forbearance test set out in Telecom Decision 2006-15 by examining the four criteria set out below.
- Bell Canada is seeking forbearance from the regulation of 15 tariffed residential local exchange services. In Telecom Decisions 2012-79 and 2013-134, the Commission found that all of these services are eligible to be considered for forbearance. The 15 services are set out in Appendix 2 to this decision.
- The Commission received no comments with respect to Bell Canada's proposed list of residential local exchange services.
Competitor presence test
- Information provided by parties demonstrates that there are, in addition to Bell Canada, at least two independent, facilities-based telecommunications service providers operating in 54 of the exchanges in question, including providers of mobile wireless services.Footnote 2 Each of these service providers offers local exchange services in the market and is capable of serving at least 75% of the number of residential local exchange service lines that Bell Canada is capable of serving, and at least one, in addition to Bell Canada, is a facilities-based, fixed-line telecommunications service provider.
- Accordingly, the 54 exchanges listed in Appendix 3 to this decision meet the competitor presence test.
- However, the record of this proceeding demonstrates that in the 104 remaining exchanges in question, there are not at least two other independent, facilities-based telecommunications service providers operating in addition to Bell Canada that meet the criteria set out in paragraph 6 above. Accordingly, the Commission denies Bell Canada's request for forbearance from the regulation of residential local exchange services in the remaining 104 exchanges in Ontario and Quebec.
Competitor Q of S results
- Bell Canada submitted its competitor Q of S results for the period of January to June 2016. The Commission has reviewed these results and finds that Bell Canada has demonstrated that during this six-month period it
- met, on average, the Q of S standards for each indicator set out in Appendix B of Telecom Decision 2006-15, as defined in Telecom Decision 2005-20, with respect to the services provided to competitors in its territory; and
- did not consistently provide any of those competitors with services that were below those Q of S standards.
- Accordingly, Bell Canada meets the competitor Q of S criterion for this period.
- The Commission has reviewed Bell Canada's proposed communications plan and is satisfied that it meets the information requirements set out in Telecom Decision 2006-15. However, Bell Canada should change the mailing address for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to "Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2."
- The Commission approves the proposed communications plan with the revision noted above and directs Bell Canada to provide the resulting communications materials to its customers, in both official languages where appropriate.
- Bell Canada's application regarding the 54 exchanges in Ontario and Quebec set outin Appendix 3 meets all the local forbearance criteria set out in Telecom Decision 2006-15.
- Pursuant to subsection 34(1) of the Telecommunications Act (the Act), the Commission finds as a question of fact that to refrain from exercising its powers and performing its duties, to the extent specified in Telecom Decision 2006-15, in relation to the provision, by Bell Canada in these exchanges, of the residentiallocal exchange services listed in Appendix 2 and of future local exchange services (as defined in Telecom Public Notice 2005-2 and as they pertain to residential customers only) would be consistent with the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives set out in section 7 of the Act.
- Pursuant to subsection 34(2) of the Act, the Commission finds as a question of fact that these residentiallocal exchange services are subject to a level of competition in these exchanges sufficient to protect the interests of users of these services.
- Pursuant to subsection 34(3) of the Act, the Commission finds as a question of fact that to refrain from exercising its powers and performing its duties, to the extent specified in Telecom Decision 2006-15, in relation to the provision by Bell Canada of these residentiallocal exchange services in these exchanges would be unlikely to unduly impair the continuance of a competitive market for these services.
- In light of the above, the Commission approves Bell Canada's application for forbearance from the regulation of the local exchange services listed in Appendix 2 and future local exchange services (as defined in Telecom Public Notice 2005-2), as they pertain to residential customers only, in the 54 exchanges in Ontario and Quebec listed in Appendix 3, subject to the powers and duties that the Commission has retained as set out in Telecom Decision 2006-15. This determination takes effect as of the date of this decision. The Commission directs Bell Canada to issue revised tariff pagesFootnote 3 with the Commission within 30 days of the date of this decision.
- In Telecom Regulatory Policy 2011-291, the Commission determined that the large incumbent local exchange carriers would no longer receive subsidies for residential network access services (NAS) in high-cost exchanges for which the Commission has granted forbearance from regulation. Therefore, in accordance with the directions in Appendix B to Telecom Regulatory Policy 2011-291, Bell Canada is to stop reporting to the Central Fund Administrator any high-cost residential NAS associated with the 54 exchanges listed in Appendix 3, effective the date of this decision.
- Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership – Application for forbearance from the regulation of residential local exchange services, Telecom Decision CRTC 2013-134, 18 March 2013
- Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership – Application for forbearance from the regulation of residential local exchange services, Telecom Decision CRTC 2012-79, 8 February 2012
- Obligation to serve and other matters, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-291, 3 May 2011; as amended by Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-291-1, 12 May 2011
- Forbearance from the regulation of retail local exchange services, Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-15, 6 April 2006; as amended by Order in Council P.C. 2007-532, 4 April 2007
- Forbearance from regulation of local exchange services, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2005-2, 28 April 2005
- Finalization of quality of service rate rebate plan for competitors, Telecom Decision CRTC 2005-20, 31 March 2005
Appendix 1 to Telecom Decision CRTC 2017-15
Exchanges for which Bell Canada requested forbearance from the regulation of its residential local exchange services
Appendix 2 to Telecom Decision CRTC 2017-15
Local exchange services eligible for forbearance from
regulation in this decision (for residential customers only)
|Tariff||Item||List of services|
|6716||29||Telephone Set Loss Charge|
|6716||70||Rate Schedules for Primary Exchange (Local) Service|
|6716||72||Reference of Calls (ROC) Service|
|6716||73||Telephone Number Services|
|6716||86||Call Display Blocking|
|6716||1060||Service on Stationary Boats, Ships, Trailers and Trains|
|6716||1130||Suspension of Service|
|6716||2150||Push-Button Dialing (Touch-Tone)|
|6716||2185||Single Number Reach|
|6716||2200||Call Blocking Service|
|6716||2300||Telephone Station Equipment|
|6716||2350||Fibre to the Home and Fibre to the Business|
Appendix 3 to Telecom Decision CRTC 2017-15
Exchanges that meet all the local forbearance criteria set out in Telecom Decision 2006-15
- Date modified: