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News | 10/26/2005 4:00 am EDT

Bell differential Digital Voice pricing approved
The CRTC has approved Bell Canada’s application to institute different pricing of its Digital Voice IP telephony offering in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The company applied to have the right to offer different prices in the two provinces on September 2. MTS Allstream and Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. objected to the application. MTS stated that Bell’s VoIP service was nearly identical to its primary exchange offering and there was no justification for different pricing rules. Primus noted that if approval was granted Bell would gain "unnecessary pre-forbearance pricing flexibility." Quebecor Media also objected to the pricing change application stating that "existing rate bands were based on historical costs with an ILEC’s territory" and not on provincial boundaries. Cogeco Cable had originally wanted the application to be denied, but later changed its mind noting that other ILECs’ rates reflect provincial boundaries. Addressing competitors’ concerns that Bell could as a result of an approval engage in predatory pricing, the CRTC noted that the company’s service still has to pass the commission’s imputation test. "The commission considers that Bell Digital Voice service is a bundle of local exchange service functionality and optional features, and that the commission has, in the past, approved lower pricing for bundled services when compared to the sum of the individual service prices, subject to the commission’s bundling rules and the imputation test requirements. The commission finds that Bell Canada’s proposed rates pass the imputation test," reads Telecom Decision 2005-62.

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