ARCHIVED -  Telecom Costs Order CRTC 98-1

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Telecom Costs Order

Ottawa, 20 January 1998
Telecom Costs Order CRTC 98-1
In re: Regulation of Certain Telecommunications Services Offered by Broadcast Carriers - Telecom Public Notice CRTC 96-36
Reference: 96-2508
1. Application for costs by the Consumers' Association of Canada and the Fédération nationale des associations de consommateurs du Québec (CAC/FNACQ).
2. By letter dated 5 March 1997, CAC/FNACQ applied for costs for their participation in the proceeding initiated by Regulation of Certain Telecommunications Services Offered by Broadcast Carriers, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 96-36, 6 December 1996 (PN 96-36).
3. All interested parties were invited to respond to the application, addressing both whether or not costs should be awarded to CAC/FNACQ and which parties should be liable to pay any costs awarded.
4. Responses were received on 17 March 1997 from Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor), on 18 March 1997 from the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP), and on 24 March 1997 from the Canadian Cable Television Association (CCTA).
5. CAC/FNACQ did not reply.
Positions of the Parties
6. In their application for costs, CAC/FNACQ submitted that they meet the criteria for costs awards set out in the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules).
7. In its response, Stentor addressed the issue of the appropriate respondents to the award in the event that costs are awarded to CAC/FNACQ. Stentor submitted that the "broadcast carriers" have the most significant interest in the outcome of the proceeding initiated by PN 96-36. In Stentor's view, only "broadcast carriers" should be named as respondents. Stentor noted that none of the companies it represented in the proceeding currently hold broadcasting licences and thus cannot be considered to be "broadcast carriers" at this time. Stentor made no comment with respect to CAC/FNACQ's application, subject to its right to comment at the taxation phase in the event that it is found to be an appropriate respondent to an award of costs.
8. CAIP endorsed Stentor's position.
9. The CCTA submitted that "broadcast carriers" should not be the only ones to pay costs in relation to this proceeding. According to the CCTA, consistent with Telecom Costs Order CRTC 96-15, 16 August 1996, In re: Implementation of Regulatory Framework - Local Interconnection and Network Component Unbundling (Costs Order 96-15), costs should be apportioned based on the various parties' interests in the outcome of the proceeding. The CCTA submitted that Stentor's participation in the PN 96-36 proceeding was intended to influence the outcome of this proceeding in a manner consistent with its members' objectives. It noted that "while the Stentor telephone companies do not yet hold broadcasting licenses, two of their members have already applied for such licenses, and it is the stated intention of the Stentor member companies to apply for licenses in the future."
Commission Determinations
10. The Commission considers that CAC/FNACQ's application meets the requirements of section 56 of the Telecommunications Act (the Act) and the criteria set out in subsection 44(1) of the Rules.
11. With respect to the appropriate respondents to CAC/FNACQ's application for costs, the Commission considers that an approach similar to that taken in Costs Order 96-15 is appropriate in this case. In that Order, the Commission determined that the appropriate respondents to an award of costs were parties with a significant interest in the outcome of the proceeding and which have chosen to actively participate in the proceeding.
12. Applying this criteria, the Commission finds that the following parties should be named as respondents to this award: the Association des câblodistributeurs du Québec Inc. (ACQ); CADVision Development Corporation (CADVision); CAIP; the CCTA; the Canadian Newspaper Association; Interlog Internet Services (Interlog); Shaw Communications (Shaw); Stentor; and TotalNet Inc.
13. As in Costs Order 96-15, the Commission considers that it would be appropriate to deviate from its usual practice of apportioning costs according to the operating revenues from telecommunications activities. Given the relative significance of this proceeding for its members, the Commission is of the view that the CCTA should bear 35% of the costs awarded, Stentor should bear 30% of these costs, and the ACQ and CAIP should each bear 10 % of the costs awarded. The Commission considers that the other respondents should be responsible in equal proportion for the remaining 15%.
14. The application of CAC/FNACQ for an award of costs in respect of the above-noted proceeding is hereby approved.
15. Consistent with the reasons set out above, the Commission considers that costs awarded herein should be paid to CAC/FNACQ by the following respondents, in the proportions indicated:
CCTA 35%
Stentor 30%
ACQ 10%
CAIP 10%
CADVision 3%
Canadian Newspaper
Association 3%
Interlog 3%
Shaw 3%
TotalNet Inc. 3%
16. Costs awarded herein shall be subject to taxation in accordance with the Rules.
17. Costs awarded herein shall be taxed by Carolyn Pinsky.
18. CAC/FNACQ shall, within 30 days of the issue of this Order, submit a bill of costs and an affidavit of disbursements directly to the Taxing Officer, serving a copy on each respondent.
19. The respondents may, within two weeks of receipt of those documents, file comments directly with the Taxing Officer with respect to the costs claimed, serving a copy on CAC/FNACQ.
20. CAC/FNACQ may, within two weeks of receipt of any comments by the respondents, file a reply to the respondents' comments with the Taxing Officer, serving a copy on each of the respondents in question.
21. All documents to be filed or served by a specific date must actually be received, and not merely mailed, by that date.
Laura M. Talbot-Allan
Secretary General
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