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Ottawa, 16 August 2004
File No. 8640-A53-200403329
R. Michael Roberts
Dear Mr. Roberts,
Re: Forbearance Application for Residential Wireline Local Services in Specified Exchanges - Aliant Telecom Inc. application dated 7 April 2004
Aliant Telecom Inc.'s (Aliant) application, dated 7 April 2004, requested that the Commission forbear from exercising its powers and performing its duties under sections 24, 25, 27, 29 and 31 of the Telecommunications Act ("the Act") in relation to residential wireline local service (both primary and additional lines), residential optional calling features, residential messaging services, including those services and features in bundles currently provided by Aliant, and in relation to services of the same class that Aliant might offer in the future in 32 specified exchanges in its serving territory.
Aliant further requested that the Commission establish a streamlined process which would allow for the forbearance of its residential wireline local services in exchanges other than the 32 specified exchanges without the need to file a Part VII application.
In addition, Aliant submitted that in light of the substantial competition that currently exists in the 32 specified exchanges, the rate at which competitors are gaining market share, and the time required for the regulatory process to adequately examine a forbearance application, the Commission should approve the following expedited relief in the specified exchanges:
1) remove the 12 month no-contact period (local winback rule) imposed on Aliant;
In a letter, dated 26 April 2004, to potential interested parties, Commission staff requested that parties comment on whether or not Aliant's request for expedited relief from marketing restrictions should be dealt with by the Commission in a separate expedited process, as requested by Aliant, or whether the request for expedited relief should be considered by the Commission as part of a single process which would also consider Aliant's request for forbearance. The Commission received comments from several parties. The following parties favoured a single process over a separate expedited relief process: Call-Net Enterprises Inc., Canadian Cable Television Association, Competition Bureau, EastLink, Allstream Corp., and Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. The following parties favoured a separate expedited relief process over a single process: Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Bell Canada, Saskatchewan Telecommunications Inc., and TELUS Communications Inc. The Commission also received reply comments from Aliant.
The Commission notes that both of Aliant's requests for relief are premised on the view that an exchange is the appropriate geographic market to consider in making determinations in regard to forbearance as well as removal of regulatory safeguards.
The Commission notes that it has not previously imposed or lifted regulatory safeguards with respect to local competition on an exchange basis. The Commission considers that a policy change of this nature should only be undertaken after a full and thorough consideration of all parties' submissions and evidence. The Commission is of the view that such consideration cannot be given in an expedited proceeding as proposed by Aliant.
In light of the above, the Commission denies Aliant's request for a separate expedited proceeding to consider its requested relief from marketing restrictions. Aliant's request for relief from marketing restrictions will be considered as part of a proceeding in which Aliant's request for forbearance for local service will also be considered.
Cc: CRTC e-mail lists including telephone companies, wireless service providers, other carriers, non-dominant carriers, CLECs and proposed CLECs, parties to Regulatory framework for voice communication services using Internet Protocol (Public Notice 2004-2), and EastLink Telephone
Date modified: 2004-08-16