ARCHIVED -  Telecom Costs Order CRTC 97-9

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Telecom Costs Order

Ottawa, 3 March 1997
Telecom Costs Order CRTC 97-9
In re: Price Cap Regulation and Related Issues - Telecom Public Notice CRTC 96-8
Reference: 4754-097
Application for costs by the Consumers' Association of Canada, Alberta Branch (CAC Alta).
Positions of Parties
In its final argument filed on 13 November 1996, CAC Alta included an application for an award of costs for its participation in this proceeding.
In a letter dated 22 November 1996, Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor) objected to CAC Alta's application on the basis (i) that CAC Alta did not address the criteria for an award of costs, and (ii) CAC Alta's participation in the proceeding was extremely limited and did not contribute to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission as is required by paragraph 44(1)(c) of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure(the Rules). Stentor also submitted that CAC Alta's final argument did not demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the issues in this case.
In its letter of 22 November 1996, TELUS Communications Inc. (TCI) also submitted that CAC Alta's application should be denied on the basis that it did not contribute to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission. TCI noted, in this respect, that a large portion of CAC Alta's argument addressed quality of service issues which are being considered in the proceeding initiated by Telecom Public Notice CRTC 94-50, dated 21 October 1994, Review of the Quality of Service Indicators (PN 94-50).
In its reply, dated 4 December 1996, CAC Alta addressed the criteria for an award of costs in more detail. In response to the arguments that it had not contributed to a better understanding of the issues, CAC Alta submitted that through its participation, it made known to the Commission the views of its constituency, critiqued opposing positions, and advanced its own position. CAC Alta submitted that its participation added to the Commission's understanding of the issues.
In response to TCI's concern, CAC Alta noted that while a portion of its argument was quoted from its submission in the PN 94-50 proceeding, the content of the quotation was relevant to the issues under discussion in the price caps proceeding.
Stentor filed an additional letter on 12 December 1996 in which it submitted that CAC Alta's reply should be disregarded by the Commission as it was not filed within the ten day period stated in the Rules.
CAC Alta's reply was filed 12 days after Stentor's answer. The Commission is of the view that Stentor has not been prejudiced by the lateness of CAC Alta's reply, and that it would be appropriate in the present case to make an exception to the time limit set out in the Rules. Accordingly, the Commission denies Stentor's request to have CAC Alta's reply disregarded.
Commission Ruling
In the Commission's view, CAC Alta's submissions in this case lacked a detailed treatment of the issues, and added little to the record of the proceeding. The Commission notes in this respect, that portions of CAC Alta's reply argument merely restated positions put forward by other parties in argument, and that some of CAC Alta's submissions were not relevant to this proceeding. With respect to this latter point, the Commission notes CAC Alta's argument in relation to basket structure which dealt with the need for a Q-factor in the price cap formula. This issue was expressly moved from the price caps proceeding to the PN 94-50 proceeding.
In light of the above, the Commission is of the view that CAC Alta's participation in this proceeding did not contribute to a better understanding of the issues by the Commission, and consequently, has not satisfied the requirement in paragraph 44(1)(c) of the Rules for an award of costs.
Accordingly, CAC Alta's application in this proceeding is denied.
Allan J. Darling
Secretary General
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