CRTC to revisit part of price-cap ruling

The federal telecommunications regulator has agreed to review a portion of its price-cap decision made earlier this year – an action that could provide much welcomed relief to some upstart telcos.

In a public notice released Friday, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) agreed with a request from Toronto-based Call-Net Enterprises Inc. to review the policy and fees of the digital network access (DNA) service. Call-Net and other newer telcos access DNAs from incumbent carriers like Bell Canada and Telus Corp., which own existing networks. The DNA of incumbent carriers is made up of four components, including access, link, intraexchange channels and a channelizing feature. In its initial ruling in May 2002, the CRTC ruled that the channelizing feature should not be included in the competitor digital network access (CDNA) service.

Also in its May decision, the CRTC reduced the annual fee that newer telecommunications companies like Call-Net had to pay incumbent carriers for use of their networks by 10 to 15 per cent.

In its request, Call-Net argued that channelizing was an intrinsic feature of the CDNA service. The argument was also presented that a newer competitor like Call-Net couldn’t use one of the two configurations available unless it also acquired the feature from an incumbent carrier. Other competitors AT&T Canada Inc., Futureway Communications Inc., Microcell Telecommunications Inc., Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. and Rogers Wireless Inc. all supported Call-Net’s request.

The CRTC has agreed to combine both the incumbent fee proceeding with the policy proceeding beginning on Sept. 13, 2002 until Feb. 10, 2003.

Details can be found at the organization’s Web site at