ARCHIVED -  Telecom Costs Order CRTC 96-14

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Telecom Costs Order

Ottawa, 7 August 1996
Telecom Costs Order CRTC 96-14
In re: Regulatory Framework for the Independent Telephone Companies in Quebec and Ontario (Except Ontario Northland Transportation Commission) - Telecom Public Notice CRTC 95-15
Application for Costs by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).
Positions of Parties
PIAC supported its application for costs on the basis that its intervention "was responsible and should be of assistance to the Commission in facilitating a better understanding of the issues".
By Commission letter of 1 December 1995, the following parties were asked to comment on PIAC's application for costs: the Ontario Telephone Association (OTA, representing 25 Ontario telephone companies that were parties to this proceeding); the Public Utilities Companies (PUCs -- i.e., the municipally-owned systems in Bruce, Dryden, Keewatin, Kenora and Thunder Bay); Association des Compagnies de Téléphone du Québec inc. (ACTQ); Télébec ltée (Télébec); Québec-Téléphone; and Téléphone Guèvremont inc. (Guèvremont).
None of the parties opposed PIAC's application for costs. The OTA noted that its members are extremely small in relation to other parties that took part in the proceeding commenced by Public Notice 95-15, such as Bell Canada, Québec-Téléphone, Sprint Canada Inc. and Unitel Communications Inc. The OTA also stated that costs may not be significant in this proceeding since there was no oral hearing, but the decision in this case could set the direction of future proceedings and the awarding of costs relative to the Ontario independent carriers. The OTA asked to be exempted from the payment of costs "with respect to [all] CRTC proceedings".
The PUCs stated that PIAC should be allowed to recover the costs of its intervention in this proceeding. They suggested that costs would most appropriately be recovered from all the independent companies (in Quebec and Ontario) listed in Appendix III to Public Notice 95-15. They submitted that the proportion of costs recovered from each such independent company should be based on that carrier's 1995 operating revenues from telecommunications as a percentage of the total 1995 operating revenues from telecommunications of all carriers listed in that Appendix.
Québec-Téléphone stated that, given that PIAC's intervention touched on issues involving only independent carriers in Ontario, only the Ontario carriers should pay costs, and in proportion to their telecommunications revenues. Similarly, Télébec submitted that Public Notice 95-15 had proposed a Stentor-like method of regulation for Québec-Téléphone and Télébec, but that PIAC had not commented on the proposed regime for these two companies. Thus, it submitted, Québec-Téléphone and Télébec should not have to pay any part of PIAC's costs.
The ACTQ and Guèvremont did not file comments on PIAC's request for costs. PIAC did not reply to any of the above comments.
1. The application of PIAC for an award of costs in respect of the above-noted proceeding is hereby approved.
2. The Commission considers that PIAC's application meets the requirements of section 56 of the Telecommunications Act and the criteria set out in subsection 44(1) of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules).
3. The Commission notes that PIAC addressed interrogatories, comments and reply comments in this proceeding solely towards the regulatory framework for Ontario independent telephone companies. Accordingly, only Ontario independent companies will be required to pay costs.
4. Costs are to be apportioned amongst the Ontario independent telephone companies in proportion to their operating revenues from telecommunications activities, as reported in each company's most recently audited (where applicable) financial statements. The respective liability for PIAC's costs of each Ontario independent company is as set out in the attached Appendix A.
5. The Ontario independent telephone companies are encouraged to collaborate, with respect to the payment of PIAC's costs, in the same way they collaborated in the proceeding commenced by Public Notice 95-15.
6. Costs awarded herein shall be subject to taxation in accordance with the Rules.
7. Costs awarded herein shall be taxed by Peter McCallum.
8. PIAC shall, within thirty days of the issue of this order, submit a Bill of Costs and an Affidavit of Disbursements to the Taxing Officer and serve copies thereof on (a) the OTA and (b) the PUCs (represented by Tacit and Traynor, attorneys).
9. The OTA and the PUCs may, within two weeks of receipt of those documents, file comments with the Taxing Officer with respect to the costs claimed, and serve a copy thereof on PIAC.
10. PIAC may, within two weeks of receipt of comments by the OTA and the PUCs, file a reply, serving a copy thereof on both of the latter.
11. All documents to be filed or served by a specific date must be actually received, not merely mailed, by that date.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General

Ontario Independent Telephone Companies
Abitibi-Price Inc. .09%
Amtelecom Inc. 6.12%
Brooke Telecom Co-operative Ltd. 0.63%
Cochrane Public Utilities Commission 0.98%
Coldwater Communications Inc. 0.56%
Durham Telephones Ltd. 1.29%
Gosfield North Communication Co-Operatives Ltd. 0.52%
Hay Communications Co-operative Ltd. 1.82%
Huron Telecommunications Co-Operative Ltd. 1.18%
Hurontario Telephones Ltd. 1.22%
Lansdowne Rural Telephone Co. Ltd. 1.06%
Manitoulin Tel Inc. 1.45%
Mornington Communications Co-operative Ltd. 0.92%
North Frontenac Telephone Corporation 0.91%
North Norwich Telephones Ltd. 1.19%
North Renfrew Telephone Co. Ltd. 0.70%
Northern Telephone Limited 29.16%
Otonabee Telephones Ltd. 0.89%
People's Telephone Co. of Forest Ltd. 2.36%
Quadro Communications Co-Operative Inc. 2.07%
Roxborough Telephone Company Ltd. 0.26%
South Bruce Rural Telephone Company 1.26%
Tuckersmith Communications Co-operative Ltd. 0.87%
Westport Telephone Co. Ltd. 0.99%
Wightman Telephone Ltd. 1.63%
Sub-Total (OTA) 60.13%
Bruce Municipal Telephone System 5.38%
Dryden Municipal Telephone System 2.24%
Kenora Municipal Telephone System 2.70%
Keewatin Municipal Telephone System 0.30%
Thunder Bay Telephone 29.25%
Sub-Total (PUCs) 39.87%
Total - Ontario 100.00%
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