CRTC receives wireless association portability report, invites public input

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) has reviewed the issue and submitted an implementation plan to the CRTC, which will issue a separate public notice once it has reviewed the plan in detail. It is also seeking public input on the following issues: * Access to number portability sys tems and terms and conditions that should apply to wireless carriers;
* Time frame to port a telephone number;
* Eligible porting scenarios; and
* Implementation time frame.
To set the framework for the discussion the commission identified terms and conditions that could apply. The first point raised relates to port numbers outside of rate centres.
In a 1996 decision, the CRTC determined that portability should be limited to the boundaries of the original carrier’s telephone exchange or rate centre. The limitation was based on the way contributions were determined at that time and whether those obligations and privileges for local exchange carriers (LECs) be extended to non-LECs. But since then, contribution payments have been based on telecommunication-related revenue rather than traffic volumes and related call rating principals.
The second point to be addressed is the amount of time it takes to port a number. In 2003, the commission determined that stand-alone ports it should take two business days. The CRTC is now inviting comments on whether this continues to be relevant and whether, should a shorter time frame be requested, additional costs could be defrayed.
A third consideration relates to possible situations where a request to port a number exists. Given the nature of wireless networks, the commission notes that service coverage may not match telephone exchange boundaries. The CRTC is looking for input on different scenarios: portability from one wireless network to another; from a wireline to a wireless provider and vice-versa. Of concern are rating issues related to the original location of the ported telephone number and the actual location of the customer.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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