One of the major CLECs is accusing the incumbents of playing fast and loose with telecom bundling rules. The ILEC-affiliated carriers are abusing the system, Call-Net Enterprises Inc. charges in a recent complaint to the commission. The competitive telcos had hoped the issue of affiliate bundling had been solved by Telecom Decision 2002-76, which set an interim procedure for ILECs (NL, Dec. 16/02). The CRTC ruled that a carrier could not resell any tariffed service offered by an affiliated incumbent telco unless the carrier also filed a tariff notice. Affiliates would be permitted to act as the agent for the ILEC, however. On January 27, Russell Rath, director of supplier management and regulatory for Bell West, filed a tariff for services to be resold in the territories of BCE Inc. stablemates Bell Canada and Aliant Telecom Inc. But Call-Net alleges Bell West did not file tariffs for bundles in which Bell West combined its unregulated services with the ILEC tariffed items. It also complains that the application did not specify rates, terms and conditions. It intends to deal with the matter in a separate proceeding. Call-Net specifically points to a contract Bell West signed with the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) in December. The agreement involves several services, including tariffed services resold in Ontario and Quebec. "Call-Net, through Sprint Canada, participated in that competitive bid," Jean Brazeau, senior VP regulatory and strategic partnerships, writes in a March 24 Part VII application to the CRTC. "Neither Bell West nor Bell Canada has filed a tariff for this bundled arrangement, even though Bell Canada has admitted on the record of other proceedings that the arrangement constitutes a bundle." Bell defends its actions, saying the component involving resold Bell Canada services is insignificant and that no tariff is needed. But Call-Net counters that the idea of setting a bar to determine significance is only a recommendation made by Bell Canada for the final regime. Since telcos are still operating under the interim rules and since the CRTC has yet to make a final determination on the regulations, Bell cannot offer this defence, Call-Net argues. Bell maintains that the interim rules do not apply because the contract with the CPR was "negotiated and executed" before 2002-76 was issued. Call-Net is more than a little suspicious of that claim, pointing out the CPR informed it on November 5 that Call-Net was not on the short list of vendors. The CLEC is skeptical that a RFP could take eight months to complete its first phase while the second part rushed by in five weeks. "Moreover, as the incumbent provider of some of the services to CPR, Call-Net is well aware that the final terms and conditions of the contract were in fact still being negotiated between Bell West and CPR even as at January 31, 2003," Brazeau writes. "The commission ought to be particularly concerned about this type of regulatory gaming by the ILECs." The Call-Net executive goes on to point out that Telus Communications Inc. said it did not have to file a customer-specific deal with Indigo Books, an agreement Call-Net believed was mandated by Telecom Decision 2002-58 (NL, Sept. 23/02). No filing was necessary, Telus argued, because the contract with the bookseller had not been finalized. "Essentially, the ILECs are using formal contract signing as a way to avoid or delay the filing of tariffs for bundles," Brazeau complains. "In Telus’s case, it claimed that no tariff was required because no formal contract was signed yet. In Bell Canada’s case, it claimed that no tariff was required because the contracts were already signed!"Bell West has yet to file its reply comments to the Call-Net application.