Telecom Commission Letter addressed to Philippe Gauvin (Bell Canada)

Ottawa, 24 September 2019

Our reference: 8650-A121-201904301

BY EMAIL

Philippe Gauvin
Deputy Chief, Legal Services
Bell Canada
160 Elgin Street
19th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K2P 2C4
bell.regulatory@bell.ca

Re: Request, Part 1 – Request for expedited relief by AFX Communications against Bell Canada

Dear Mr. Gauvin:

On May 30, 2019, AFX Communications filed the above request with the Commission. In the request, AFX Communications claims payment of the $0.80 compensation and the provision of reports enabling them to obtain this compensation for toll-free long-distance calls made from AFX payphones connected to Bell Canada’s regular business lines.

To complete its analysis, Commission staff is asking Bell Canada to answer the questions submitted in Index 1 by 4 October 2019. Please provide complete answers, including a rationale and any supporting documentation.

Interested parties will be able to provide comments by 9 October 2019. Bell Canada will have until 11 October 2019 to respond to any comments from interested parties.

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Philippe Kent
Director, Policy
Telecommunications Sector

c.c. Suzanne Lamarre, Therrien Couture L.L.P. Suzanne.lamarre@therriencouture.com

Index 1

Question 1

In its response, Bell Canada indicates that its position on reporting and the right of a CPTSP to receive the $0.80 compensation provided for in Decision 2013-299 for regular business lines is [translation] “fully aligned with its previous tariff and its representations on the subject.” Commission staff note that none of the items in Bell Canada’s tariff specifically mention the right to compensation.

Explain how Bell Canada’s general tariff and representations indicate that a CPTSP subscriber to a regular business line is not entitled to compensation and reporting, as provided in paragraph 17 of Decision 2013-299.

Question 2

In its reply, AFX Communications claims that Bell Canada uses its regular business lines for the use of its own payphones. Bell Canada reportedly receives a report and compensation for toll-free long distance calls made on these phones.

Please indicate whether Bell Canada uses payphones on its regular business lines and whether Bell Canada then receives compensation for toll-free long distance calls made from its payphones.

If so, explain how this does not constitute an undue or unreasonable preference, having regard to subsection 27(2) of the Telecommunications Act.

Question 3

In its response, Bell Canada states that [translation] “the addition, for regular business lines, of the toll‑free options intrinsic to PALs would require product development efforts and a commercial agreement with a CPTSP interested in these options.” However, it appears that these options were mistakenly offered to CPTSPs on regular business lines until March 2019, at least since the date of Decision 2018-133, that is, April 20, 2018.

Explain why development efforts would now be required to include PAL-specific options on regular business lines when these options were available until March 2019. In addition, indicate the extent of these efforts.

Questions 4

In its response, Bell Canada states that it cannot verify whether regular business lines connect a payphone or the premises of a regular business customer when a competing service provider subscribes to regular business lines. However, Bell Canada seemed to be able to provide the reports and compensation, at least since the date of Decision 2018-133.

Explain why it was previously possible for Bell Canada to verify whether regular business lines had been connecting a CPTSP payphone since at least April 20, 2018. Explain why Bell Canada indicates that it can no longer perform this verification.

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