File numbers: Bell Aliant Tariff Notice 522 and Bell Canada Tariff Notice 7464
Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership and Bell Canada – Service charge for Local Link Package
The Commission received applications from Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership and Bell Canada (collectively, the Bell companies), dated 14 July 2015, in which the companies proposed a revision to item 681 – Local Link Package of their respective General Tariffs. Specifically, the Bell companies proposed to increase the maximum rate in the existing rate range for the administration charge to $60, representing an increase of $5.
The Local Link Package provides small and medium-sized business customers a combination of exchange service and intercommunicating service consisting of certain bundles of features, as well as access to the public switched telephone network and Dial “9” Suppression.
The Bell companies noted that they had previously filed Tariff Notices (TNs) 509 and 7452, in which they increased the maximum rates in the existing rate ranges for Local Link service in all rate bands, effective 1 June 2015. They submitted that the increase to the administration charge should have been included in those applications, but that it had been omitted due to an administrative error. The Bell companies noted that they have been charging the maximum rate of $60 for the administration charge since 1 June 2015. They also indicated that all affected customers had been made aware of the new rate prior to incurring the charge.
In light of this, the Bell companies requested that the Commission approve the maximum rate of $60, and ratify the charging of that rate from 1 June 2015 until the date their applications are approved.
In Telecom Order 2015-339, the Commission approved the Bell companies’ applications on an interim basis, effective 29 July 2015.
The Commission did not receive any interventions regarding the Bell companies’ applications. The public record of these proceedings, which closed on 15 August 2015, are available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca or by using the file numbers provided above.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
Local Link service is an uncapped service pursuant to Telecom Decision 2007-27, and the proposed increase to the administration charge complies with the Commission’s price cap rules. If the change had been proposed in TNs 509 and 7452, it would have been forborne from approval based on these factors and on the Commission’s procedures for tariff applications set out in Telecom Decision 2010-455. Therefore, the rate increase is reasonable.
With regard to the request for ratification, subection 25(4) of the Telecommunications Act authorizes the Commission to ratify the charging of a rate by a Canadian carrier otherwise than in accordance with a tariff approved by the Commission if the Commission is satisfied that the rate was charged because of an error or other circumstance that warrants the ratification. The Commission is satisfied that a higher administration charge was applied due to an administrative error and that affected business customers had been informed about the new rate beforehand.
In light of the above, the Commission approves on a final basis the Bell companies’ applications and ratifies the charging of the rate in question from 1 June to 29 July 2015.