ARCHIVED -  Telecom Costs Order CRTC 99-5

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Telecom Costs Order

Ottawa, 22 June 1999

Telecom Costs Order CRTC 99-5

In re: Internet Forbearance - Telecom Public Notice CRTC 98-17

File No.: 8640-C12-01/98

1.Application for costs by the British Columbia Old Age Pensioners' Organization et al. (BCOAPO et al.).


2.By letter dated 24 November 1998, BCOAPO et al. applied for an award of costs in the above-mentioned proceeding, submitting that they have satisfied the criteria for an award of costs set out in Section 44 of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules).

3.BCOAPO et al. requested that the Commission dispense with the taxation process and fix the costs in its costs order. It was submitted that the short paper proceeding and the size of the BCOAPO et al.'s claim in the amount of $921.71, which resulted from their participation in the proceeding, justified the streamlined approach set out in the New Procedure for Telecom Costs Awards, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 98-11 (PN 98-11).


4.Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor) objected to an award of costs on behalf of BC TEL, Bell Canada (Bell), Island Telecom Inc. (Island Tel), Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, MTS Communications Inc. (MTS), NBTel Inc., NewTel Communications Inc. and TELUS Communications Inc., and submitted that this application for costs should be dismissed.

5.Stentor submitted that BCOAPO et al. did not contribute to a better understanding of the issues identified in Telecom Public Notice CRTC 98-17 relating to general competitiveness in Internet services (IS) markets and forbearance from regulation of IS provided by Canadian carriers. Hence, it was submitted that BCOAPO et al. did not comply with Section 44(1)c) of the Rules.

6.Stentor suggested that only a small portion of BCOAPO et al.'s submissions were relevant and contained largely general, unsubstantiated opinions as to the competitiveness of the IS market. As for the remainder of the submissions, it was submitted that it mainly focused on issues relating to access to the Information Highway for disadvantaged Canadians and did not meaningfully assist the Commission in determining whether the market forces are sufficient to protect the interests of IS users.

7.In reply, BCOAPO et al. submitted that they met the criteria for an award of costs and noted that their participation significantly assisted the Commission in understanding the issue of internet forbearance from the position of low-income and middle-income subscribers.

8.Stentor further submitted that any costs awarded should be apportioned equally among all parties who were made parties to the proceeding.


9.The Commission considers that BCOAPO et al. have contributed to the better understanding of the issues by the Commission and have satisfied all the criteria for an award of costs set out in Section 44 of the Rules.

10.Given the size of BCOAPO et al.'s claim and the relative brevity of this paper proceeding, the Commission considers that this is an appropriate case to dispense with taxation and to fix the costs in accordance with the new streamlined procedure set out in PN 98-11.

11.In the circumstances, and having regard to the de minimis nature of the claim, the Commission considers it appropriate to name the following respondents for costs: Bell, BC TEL, Island Tel and MTS.


12.The Commission hereby approves the application for costs filed by BCOAPO et al. in respect of this proceeding.

13.The Commission hereby fixes the costs to be paid to BCOAPO et al. at $921.71.

14.Costs awarded herein shall be apportioned equally among the respondents for costs, Bell, BC TEL, Island Tel and MTS, and shall be paid forthwith.

Secretary General

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