Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Mr. Philippe Gauvin (Bell Canada)

Ottawa, 5 October 2017

Our reference: 8660-C12-201709510

BY EMAIL

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

Re: Request for Information regarding incorrect entries in Bell Canada’s qualifying tool

Dear Mr. Gauvin

It has come to Commissions staff’s attention that Bell Canada may be experiencing errors in its qualifying tool, which is an important step in the competitor access system. The purpose of this letter is to obtain information with respect to the issue, as well as Bell Canada’s plans to address it, in order to determine whether further Commission action is required.

The Issue

Commission staff is in receipt of comments from Bell Canada filed 29 June 2017 and Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc. (CNOC) filed 6 July 2017, relating to CNOC’s application for Transitional Aggregated Wholesale High-Speed Access (HSA) Services over Incumbent Fibre-to-the-Premises Facilities (the Part 1 proceeding) filed on 30 March 2017.

In its comments, Bell Canada noted that certain incorrect entries in the company’s qualifying tool, used by competitors to query the availability of aggregated wholesale high-speed access for a specified address, led to competitors being erroneously precluded from offering high-speed Internet services to those addresses using Bell Canada’s access facilities.

In its comments, CNOC submitted that in those cases mentioned by Bell Canada, consumers who would otherwise have had greater choice in high-speed service providers were denied it to the advantage of the incumbent’s retail arm. CNOC requested that the Commission investigate the competitive harms that stem from errors with Bell Canada’s qualifying tool.

Commission staff notes that documents such as Telecom Decision 2008-17Footnote1 and Telecom Regulatory Policy 2015-326Footnote2 confirm that wholesale HSA services are mandated by the Commission. Moreover, Bell Canada’s General Tariff item 5440 section 3(a) states that the “Company determines those serving wire centres which will support GAS-FTTNFootnote3 and the available speeds for the AHSSPIFootnote4 connectivity.”

In order to establish whether further Commission intervention is warranted, Commission staff requests that Bell Canada provide responses to the attached request for information, serving copies to CNOC, by 20 October 2017.

This letter and all subsequent correspondence will be added to a public record separate from the Part 1 proceeding,

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.: CNOC, regulatory@CNOC.ca
Imen Arfaoui, CRTC, 819-997-4663, Imen.arfaoui@crtc.gc.ca

Attach. (1)

Appendix - Requests for information

Question 1

In order to help Commission staff to determine the extent of the errors with Bell Canada’s qualifying tool, please clarify the following:

  1. Aside from the incorrect entries identified by the company in its response dated 6 July 2017, is the company aware of any other cases where incorrect entries were found in the company’s qualifying tool?  Does the company have any reason to believe that there may be additional incorrect entries in its qualifying tool and why?
  2. Does the company have any data or statistics related to the incidence of errors in its qualifying tool? If so, please provide them.
  3. Provide complete details as to the nature of the errors (human error, etc.) that led or are leading to incorrect entries in the company’s qualifying tool.

Question 2

Comment on the extent to which incorrect entries in the qualifying tool impact Bell Canada’s ability to fulfill the terms and conditions of its tariff, and its obligation to inform competitors of where GAS is available.

Question 3

Please submit detailed descriptions of the specific measures that the company is taking or plans to take to:

  1. Identify incorrect entries and monitor incidences of errors with its qualifying tool; and,
  2. Eliminate the incidence of errors with its qualifying tool.

Please include the timelines associated with the implementation of those measures mentioned above.

If the company is not contemplating any such specific measures, explain why not?

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