Telcos and cablecos are praising the CRTC for taking a hands-off approach in denying the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA)’s request for mandatory standards for specifying the location of underground telephone and cable lines in the immediate area of proposed excavations (Telecom Decision 2004-17). In a March 12 decision following a Part VII application filed by the OSWCA in March 2002, the commission noted it "considers that imposing additional regulation on telephone and cable system operators would be inconsistent with the commission’s goal of reducing regulation, where appropriate, particularly for non-dominant carriers and small ILECs. Furthermore, the commission considers that OSWCA’s proposed locate request response standards could be more onerous on non-dominant carriers and the smaller ILECs because of their size and more limited resources." The OSWCA was seeking standards that specified a response to a locate request had to be made within three days and required the telcos and cablecos to include the depth of their facilities. "It’s a great decision. It’s certainly well reasoned and it came to the right conclusion," Richard Tropea, director of regulatory matters at Bell Canada, tells Network Letter. "I’m intrigued that the CRTC said less rather than more regulation was required. That’s something that we would endorse." In its decision, the CRTC also noted that telephone and cable system operators already have processes and procedures in place to respond to locate requests through such organizations as Ontario One Call, a voluntary not-for-profit corporation that coordinates the processing of locate requests at no charge to the originator. Many of the telcos intervening in the process noted that OSWCA had been asked to participate in Ontario One Call meetings with industry players but had declined. But since filing the Part VII complaint, the OSWCA has begun to send representatives to Ontario One Call committee meetings. The commission also noted that "the depth of telecommunications and cable facilities varies as a result of circumstances that may be beyond the control of the telephone and cable system operators." No one at the OSWCA had responded to numerous requests for comment at press time.