Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Philippe Gauvin (Bell Canada)

Ottawa, 6 February 2017

Our reference:  8660-C12-201000116, 757523, 761047 and 761528

BY EMAIL

Mr. Philippe Gauvin
Senior Legal Counsel
Bell Canada
Floor 19
160 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2C4
bell.regulatory@bell.ca

RE: Bell Canada - Retail Quality of Service Indicators Reports - Pursuant to Decision 2008-105, and complaints regarding the community of St. Charles, Ontario

Dear Mr. Gauvin:

On 22 December 2016, Bell Canada submitted a report titled Quality of Service (Q of S) Retail Indicators – Exception Reporting.Footnote1 In the Attachment explaining results for Indicator 2.2B – Repair Appointment Met – Rural, the company stated that the indicator fell below standard during the period of August – November 2016, due to higher than expected load volumes related to weather and current process. The company also explained that tickets that are referred and require a different skilled technician such as Cable or Central Office technician require more time to complete. In the included action plan, the company submitted that process enhancements will be delivered in Q1 2017 to identify these customers faster and use all available capacity to meet commitments to customers.

On 26 January 2017, Bell Canada submitted its Retail Q of S Report for 4rd Quarter 2016. The report shows that Indicator 2.2B fell below standard for 5 consecutive months – from August to December 2016. It also showed that for Indicator 2.1B – Out-of-Service Trouble Reports Cleared Within 48 Hours – Rural, the company fell significantly below standard for December 2016.

Separately, the Commission has received complaints from members of the community of St. Charles, Ontario regarding the quality of land line telephone service and their inability to reach 9-1-1 service.

The Commission also received inquiries from Ms. Rebecca MacNeil, Senior Assistant to Marc Serré (Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt– Greater Sudbury) regarding these complaints and requesting the Commission’s intervention for their resolution. The MP’s office noted that the community has expressed safety concerns about their land lines which they claim have been unreliable over the last several years.

In January 2017, Commission staff requested responses from Bell Canada regarding these complaints. Bell Canada’s response to one of these complaints suggests that the problems are related to telephone service, and not with the 9-1-1 network.

In recent communications with you regarding these complaints, you have indicated that Bell Canada technicians had replaced a portion of telephone cable that served the community in an attempt to improve telephone service and resolve intermittent problems. You also indicated that, through continuous monitoring, it was determined that the problems had not been resolved, and that Bell Canada technicians were still actively trying to find the root cause of the service problems to repair them.

Commission staff notes the below standard indicators in the Q of S reports, the complaints from the community of St. Charles, Ontario, and the need for more than one technician to resolve the St. Charles service problems. Commission staff would like to understand whether similar problems are occurring in other rural areas. To better understand the situation, Commission staff requests the following information, by 20 February 2016:

  1. For each month from July to December 2016, a list of the top 5 exchanges that have contributed the most to lowering the level for indicator 2.1B.
  2. For each month from July to December 2016, a list of the top 5 exchanges that have contributed the most to lowering the level for indicator 2.2B.
  3. For each of the exchanges identified in 1) and 2) provide the number of residential primary exchange service (PES) and business PES customers.
  4. For each of the exchanges identified in 1) above, for each month from July to December 2016, provide
    1. Number of telephone service complaints, for each of residential and business PES;
    2. the total of out-of-service trouble reports;
    3. the total of out-of-service trouble reports cleared within 48 hours;
  5. For each of the exchanges identified in 2) above, for each month from July to December 2016, provide
    1. Number of telephone service complaints, for each of residential and business PES;
    2. the number of repair appointments made; and
    3. the number of repair appointments met.
  6. If the St. Charles exchange is not included in the list of exchanges in 1) or 2) above, provide the same information for the St. Charles exchange as for 3), 4), and 5) above. In addition, for the St. Charles exchange provide
    1. A map of the exchange;
    2. Number of telephone service complaints for each month from January to June 2016, and for each month in 2015, broken down by residential and business PES;
  7. Provide a description of the process enhancements referenced in the 22 December 2016 exception report and an update on their implementation.
  8. With respect to the community of St. Charles, provide an update with regards to whether the intermittent service problems have been resolved, indicating what activities have been completed and what activities remain to be completed, including timeframes and how this is being communicated to the community.

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution and Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector
c.c: Joseph Cabrera, CRTC, (819) 934-6352, joseph.cabrera@crtc.gc.ca

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