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News | 11/23/2005 5:00 am EST

Vidéotron locked in billing dispute with Bell Canada
Vidéotron Telecom Ltd. (VTL) has launched a formal complaint against Bell Canada with the CRTC over billing practices the Quebec cable company says are unfair. "The dispute between VTL and Bell arises from a disagreement as to whether certain one-way Bell circuits terminating on VTL’s network should be classified for billing purposes as EAS (extended area service) or as B&K (bill and keep) trunks and what charges should apply to the traffic carried over those trunks," reads Vidéotron’s November 11 application to the commission. The cable company says the trunks should be considered EAS trunks. Vidéotron notes in its application that it has held discussions with Bell on several occasions in 2004 and 2005, but to no avail, and now wants the commission to intervene. The company claims that it is owed $943,717.31, plus as an additional $236,477.10 in late charges totaling nearly $1.2 million. The cableco indicates in its submission that the trunks must be considered EAS trunks because "they were one-way trunks; they carried only Bell EAS traffic; they were interconnected at Bell’s request to satisfy Bell’s requirements; and they were removed unilaterally by Bell. If the trunks had been B&K trunks, they would have been two-way and would have been available to carry both Bell and VTL traffic. And, they could not have been removed unilaterally by Bell."

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