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WHEREAS residents of Alberta have experienced delays in excess of 12 months for telephone service installation; and WHEREAS basic telephone service is essential in rural Alberta; and WHEREAS 911 service does not register a legal land location or residential address when accessed via a cellular telephone; and WHEREAS the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has established a service standard that includes the right for citizens to receive basic local telephone service; and WHEREAS the General Terms of Service of Telus Corporation states that Telus must provide telephone service to all who apply for such service;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Canada to commission the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to investigate the backlog of applications for new telephone service installation in Telus Communications service areas in Alberta.
The Municipal District of Taber has received innumerable complaints from ratepayers regarding delays for new service installations for telephone services in areas serviced by Telus Communications. Currently delays in excess of 12 months are not uncommon for new service installation. Information suggests that delays of 18 months may become typical. Basic telephone services are an essential service for residents of rural Alberta. Currently cellular telephones are provided by Telus Communications as a stop gap measure that enables rural residents access telephone services until installation of landline service is completed. The serious shortcoming with cellular service is evident when accessing the 911 service in that no rural address or legal land location is attached to the telephone number for the benefit of the emergency service operator creating serious issues with public safety. In a January 20, 2000 decision, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission finalized standards for quality of service indicators applicable to telephone companies and imposed three new indicators for measuring service quality. This decision emphasized the importance the Commission places on the quality of telecommunications services provided to Canadians. These standards, originally developed in 1982, ensure that telephone consumers receive an acceptable level of service from their telephone company. These standards make it easier for the Commission to identify service quality problems as they arise and it enables the Commission to work with the telephone companies to implement corrective measures where necessary. The telephone companies identify service quality issues through self-reporting and subscriber complaints. Each telephone company submits a quarterly report to the Commission on 16 indicators. The service level of each indicator is measured against a prescribed standard that must be met. If a standard is not met, the telephone companies are required to report to the Commission on why the standard was not met and provide a remedy. The quality of service indicators that are applicable to new service installation are: the number of days required to provide service from the date of the customer’s request, the total number of installation appointments booked and the number met, and the number of outstanding requests for Network Access Services not met because of facility shortages. It is the position of the Municipal District of Taber that Telus Communications service falls short in key quality of service indicators and as such an investigation by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission should be undertaken.
Resolution 20-05F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the provincial government and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission to use all means available to ensure TELUS Communications Inc. locates its underground utilities within the two-day time parameters established by Alberta One-Call.
After waiting an extended period of time to receive a response on this issue, the AAMDC was notified by the CRTC that Telus is acting in compliance with its tariff of delivering services to Albertans. They will not be taking any further action on this matter. However, the CRTC has also opened a discussion whereby timeliness of installation could potentially be addded to the obligations of service providers. It is also possible that minimum standards could shift to include cellular networks as replacements on landlines. The AAMDC is submitting commetns to the CRTC ensuring they are aware of the potential impacts this could have on rural residents if networks are not able to guarantee consistency and emergency access.