The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has directed Telus Corp. to offer two-way trunk services to permit wireless service providers to combine toll-terminating traffic with local traffic on local trunks. This decision is a follow-up to a 2003 application in which

Rogers Wireless Inc. asked the CRTC order Telus establish a tariff to permit the two-way local/toll option.

In Telecom Decision CRTC 2003-76, the commission directed Telus to explain why such a tariff should not be filed. Responses to that decision were filed with the commission by December 2003. The recent decision CRTC 2004-68 reflects the commission’s findings.

The whole issue arose from the need for wireless service providers to connect to other carriers for both local and long distance calls in order to complete calls originating by or terminating to wireless telephone customers. Trunk side access is used to interconnect carriers and provides common channel signaling capabilities (CCS7). CCS7 permits lets carriers offer services such as call display.

Trunks can be either one-way or two way. One-way trunks are can either originate or terminate calls, but not both. Two-way trunks allow the origination and termination of calls between interconnected carriers. Rogers’ problem was Telus’ insistence on offering only one-way trunks to terminate long distance traffic on Rogers’ network.

Both parties filed responses. Telus argued that offering two-way trunking would create a precedent in an area where the rules and practices were not established universally for all providers. Telus said two-way trunking would not be less expensive than one-way trunking.

Rogers countered that the provision of a two-way local/toll option would result in better call management services for customers and more efficient interconnection arrangements for the wireless service providers.

The Commission’s findings supported WSPs having the option of choosing the most cost-effective interconnection solutions and have the option of access to CCS7 functionality. The Commission also felt that access to two-way trunks would enhance network efficiency as traffic congestion could be eliminated by re-directing traffic to alternate trunk groups. In their view, this would be in the public interest. As such, the CRTC directed Telus to offer a new optional two-way trunk services to wireless service providers.

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