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Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-686

PDF version

Ottawa, 17 December 2012

Call for comments

Appointment of an Inquiry Officer to review matters related to 9-1-1

File number: 8665-C12-201215781

The Commission announces the appointment of Commissioner Timothy Denton as Inquiry Officer pursuant to section 70 of the Telecommunications Act. In this capacity, Mr. Denton will conduct research on 9-1-1 services in Canada and report his findings to the Commission by the end of May 2013.

Mr. Denton’s report will focus on three broad areas:

  • the performance and adequacy of the technology currently employed by 9-1-1 services, such as that used to locate a caller using a cellphone;
  • the issues related to the provision of 9-1-1 services on next-generation networks, including how systems should be designed and the appropriate institutional arrangements; and
  • policy considerations on 9-1-1 matters.

Introduction

1. The public switched telephone network (PSTN) is evolving to a next-generation network (NGN) that will handle a variety of communications based on Internet protocol (IP) standards. This transition will have an impact on the current system architecture and arrangements that are required to provide emergency 9-1-1 service to Canadians, which were developed for the legacy PSTN.

2. On 6 September 2012, the Commission released a Three-Year Plan that outlines the activities it expects to carry out from 2012 to 2015. During this time, the Commission will focus its efforts around three key pillars: create, connect, and protect. Included in the planned activities for 2014-2015 is a review of the regulatory framework for next-generation (NG) 9-1-1.

 

Appointment of an Inquiry Officer

3. In order to enhance the effectiveness of the NG 9-1-1 regulatory framework proceeding, the Commission considers it appropriate to broaden its knowledge of the issues concerning 9-1-1. Pursuant to section 70 of the Telecommunications Act, the Commission appoints Commissioner Timothy Denton as an Inquiry Officer to conduct a review of such matters and report his findings to the Commission.

Scope of the review

4. The Commission considers that the review should focus primarily on three broad areas:

a. The performance and adequacy of the technology currently employed by 9-1-1 services, such as that used to locate a caller using a cellphone;

b. The issues related to the provision of 9-1-1 services on next-generation networks, including how systems should be designed and the appropriate institutional arrangements; and

c. Policy considerations on 9-1-1 matters.

Procedure

5. Incumbent local exchange carriers, competitive local exchange carriers, and wireless carriers are made parties to this inquiry.

6. The Inquiry Officer will conduct his review through one-on-one or small group meetings with key stakeholders and through a review of the relevant literature.

7. In addition, the Inquiry Officer is seeking public comment on the questions set out in Appendix 1.

8. Any interested persons who wish to file comments with the Inquiry Officer regarding the questions set out in Appendix 1 may do so by using this comments link  or by writing to the Secretary General of the Commission (by mail: CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2; by fax: 819-994-0218) by 1 February 2013. Interested persons are reminded that information submitted to the Inquiry Officer may be designated confidential in accordance with section 39 of the Telecommunications Act.

9. Shortly thereafter, comments will be posted on the Commission’s website.

10. Any interested person that files comments pursuant to paragraph 7 above may file reply comments with the Inquiry Officer by 15 February 2013.

11. The Inquiry Officer will complete his review and report his findings to the Commission by the end of May 2013.

12. Interested persons are reminded that, in accordance with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure, if a document is to be filed by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely sent, by that date. A document must be filed with the Inquiry Officer by 5 p.m. Vancouver time (8 p.m. Ottawa time) on the date it is due.

13. Interested persons may file their submissions electronically or on paper. Submissions longer than five pages should include a summary.

14. Electronic submissions should be in HTML format. Alternatively, Microsoft Word may be used for text and Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets.

15. Each paragraph of all submissions should be numbered. In addition, the line ***End of document*** should follow the last paragraph. This will help the Inquiry Officer verify that the document has not been damaged during electronic transmission.

Important notice

16. All information provided to the Inquiry Officer as part of the public comment phase of this inquiry, except information granted confidentiality, whether sent by postal mail, facsimile, email, or through the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca, becomes part of a publicly accessible file and will be posted on the Commission’s website. This includes personal information, such as full names, email addresses, postal/street addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers, and any other personal information provided.

17. The personal information provided will be used and may be disclosed for the purpose for which the information was obtained or compiled by the Commission, or for a use consistent with that purpose.

18. Documents received, during the public comment phase of this inquiry, electronically or otherwise, will be posted on the Commission’s website in their entirety exactly as received, including any personal information contained therein, in the official language and format in which they are received. Documents not received electronically will be available in PDF format.

19. The information provided to the Inquiry Officer as part of the public comment phase of this inquiry is entered into an unsearchable database dedicated to this specific public process. This database is accessible only from the web page of this inquiry. As a result, a general search of the Commission’s website with the help of either its search engine or a third-party search engine will not link directly to the information provided as part of this inquiry.

Location of CRTC offices

20. Submissions may be examined or will be made available promptly upon request at Commission offices during normal business hours.

Toll-free telephone: 1-877-249-2782
Toll-free TDD: 1-877-909-2782

Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage, Room 206
Gatineau, Quebec  J8X 4B1
Tel.: 819-997-2429
Fax: 819-994-0218

Regional offices

Metropolitan Place
99 Wyse Road, Suite 1410
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia  B3A 4S5
Tel.: 902-426-7997
Fax: 902-426-2721

205 Viger Avenue West, Suite 504
Montréal, Quebec  H2Z 1G2
Tel.: 514-283-6607

55 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 624
Toronto, Ontario  M4T 1M2
Tel.: 416-952-9096

360 Main Street, Suite 970
Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3C 3Z3
Tel.: 204-983-6306
Fax: 204-983-6317

2220 – 12th Avenue, Suite 620
Regina, Saskatchewan  S4P 0M8
Tel.: 306-780-3422

100 – 4th Avenue SW, Suite 403
Calgary, Alberta  T2P 3N2
Tel.: 403-292-6660
Fax: 403-292-6686

858 Beatty Street, Suite 290
Vancouver, British Columbia  V6B 1C1
Tel.: 604-666-2111
Fax: 604-666-8322

Secretary General

Appendix 1

Questions on which the Inquiry Officer is seeking public comment

The Inquiry Officer is seeking submissions and information on the questions set out below. Persons and institutions (e.g. governmental agencies, public safety answering points (PSAPs), first responders, and standards bodies) that have submissions and information are encouraged to provide them to the Inquiry Officer.

Submissions may also raise any other issues regarding 9-1-1 that the person or institution feels should be brought to the attention of the Inquiry Officer.

A. Current situation:

1. The current 9-1-1 system supports voice communications via telephone. Provide your views with regard to the current system in terms of, but not necessarily limited to

  • positive aspects of how the current system operates;
  • problems that are experienced; and
  • how, and to what degree of accuracy a caller’s location is determined.

2. With regard to the current funding model used to support the current 9-1-1 system, provide information, including specific dollar amounts, in relation to

  • what parties apply charges or collect fees, by what means, and in what amounts;
  • what parties receive funds, by what means, and in what amounts; and
  • the cost to provide/maintain the current 9-1-1 network infrastructure and PSAPs.

3. Indicate to what extent, if any, the current system is capable of collecting data, or is used to collect data, on 9-1-1 calls in relation to

  • number of calls;
  • type of incident;
  • timing of calls;
  • type of originating device (e.g. wireless phone) used to make the call; and
  • proportion of false calls of any nature relative to real emergencies.

B. Next-generation (NG) 9-1-1:

1. With NG 9-1-1, there is an opportunity to build a system that could provide new and enhanced features and capabilities. Provide your vision of an NG 9-1-1 system in terms of, but not necessarily limited to

  • how Canadians could communicate with PSAPs and emergency response teams, for example using what types of devices and methods of communications, how specific needs and concerns of Canadians with disabilities could be met, etc.;
  • the types of information and data, such as pictures, videos, medical records, etc., that could be transmitted to, and possibly shared between PSAPs;
  • how, and to what degree of accuracy a caller’s location could be determined; and
  • how the implementation and ongoing operation of an NG 9-1-1 system could be funded.

2. The evolution to an all-IP architecture permits re-imagining the logical architecture of a 9-1-1 system. For example, certain back-up functions or databases could be national or provincial in scope, while service delivery could continue to be local or regional. Provide your views on what functions or databases could be provided on a national or provincial basis in order to promote robustness, resiliency and/or greater efficiencies.

3. The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) i3 solution has been proposed as the architecture for NG 9-1-1. To what extent has there been consensus in Canada that this is the way forward?

If it is determined that the i3 solution is to be implemented,

  • what steps would need to be taken in Canada to achieve this architecture?
  • what institutions (e.g. public safety organizations, standards bodies, the Commission, carriers, PSAPs, first responders) would be involved?
  • what role(s) would they play?
  • what would be the timing for each step?

If there has not been consensus, provide your views.

4. NG 9-1-1 will enable detailed data gathering and analysis of emergencies.

  • What data would need to be collected to assist policy makers and operations managers in responding to emergencies and disaster relief planning?
  • How would this data be collected?