Reaction to TELUS Corp.’s application to reopen the proceeding on competitor digital network access (CDNA) has been swift and unequivocal. Competitive telecom providers tell Network Letter that the western-based ILEC’s application is another example of the company trying to delay the proceeding initiated by Telecom Public Notice 2002-4 (NL, Aug. 22/02). "This appears to be an application to review and vary the unwillingness of the CRTC to take TELUS’ suggestions on scope for this proceeding," Chris Peirce, senior VP regulatory and government affairs at MTS Allstream, tells NL. "TELUS talks about the procedural twists and turns the proceeding has taken...It’s taken those twists ands turns because TELUS balked at pretty much every step of the way with some procedural suggestion or other to delay. So this is obviously the last chapter of the delay and one could get a little angry to think that the regulatory lag, if you will, that competitors endure time and time again could then be thrust up as the reason to cause further regulatory lag." Robert Quance, VP of business development at MCI Canada, says he isn’t surprised by TELUS’ move. "I think it’s probably in their genetic makeup, no pun with DNA intended, to try to close down the decisions made by the CRTC and Charles Dalfen a year and a half ago," he explains. TELUS called on the commission in an August 17 Part VII application to reopen the CDNA proceeding so that more current information can be put on the record. The western-based ILEC says that if the commission doesn’t do so, its decision will be based on out-of-date information and that could have a negative impact on the development of a balanced competitive telecommunications services marketplace. The ILEC notes in its application that the telecommunications industry is rapidly changing and new evidence has surfaced showing the increasing significance of electric utility companies and others as alternative network suppliers. "There is an urgent need, therefore, to update the information that has been filed by parties and to solicit information from electric utility telecommunications carriers in order that the commission has before it the best information available prior to rendering its determination," reads the Part VII. TELUS requests that the CRTC direct utility telcos and all parties to the proceeding, including cable companies, to update information provided to the commission (see box for TELUS’ requested relief). The company cites two studies filed as part of another proceeding as evidence to the increasing role utelcos play in the supply of network access. Alternative Suppliers of Digital Network Access Facilities was conducted by Mark H. Goldberg and Associates, while IDC completed Lights out: Canadian Electric Utilities in Telecom Service Markets, 2003. TELUS also adds comments made by a coalition of hydro companies in other proceedings where the utelcos boast about their market potential in providing access and services. "Without updated data, the new evidence of supply available and further comment and reply, the commission would risk making very significant factual findings based on an evidentiary record of which certain parts are more than two years out of date," TELUS writes. Peirce doesn’t buy TELUS’ argument that electrical utility companies are offering greater network access supply than before, saying it’s information from at least 2002 or before, and there isn’t any evidence that utilities are offering a competitive source of supply. "There’s nothing new in the paper. There’s nothing in the paper that couldn’t have been in front of the commission when the record was open," he says. He adds that if competitive supply were available, MTS Allstream would be using it. "Would we be paying the markups we’re paying to Bell (Canada) and TELUS for DNA access if we had a competitive source of supply? It’s just ridiculous…Lord knows if Allstream could use as an effective source of alternative supply and enhanced competitive price discipline some other DNA provider we would, but it’s just not there," Peirce says. Quance agrees with Peirce that there needs to be more DNA supply and if there were MCI Canada would be buying it. "MCI Canada is not a facilities-based provider in Canada so we have to buy every last mile from somebody. As a buyer I would like (TELUS’) argument to be true. I would love there to be competition. I would love there to be three facilities based competitors into every office and home in Canada. That is today a fantasy and I would like it to be otherwise. If through TELUS’ help, they can help point me in the right direction so I could for every home and office in Canada identify three facilities-based providers then I’ll withdraw my comments about their criticism of the CDNA ruling."