ARCHIVED - Decision CRTC 2001-196

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Decision CRTC 2001-196

Ottawa, 27 March 2001

PN 2000-17: CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) Administrative Guidelines

The Commission approves, subject to the modifications set out herein, the CISC Administrative Guidelines (the Guidelines) developed by the Ad Hoc Committee on the CISC and submitted to the Commission by the CISC Steering Committee (SC).

The purpose of the Guidelines is to describe the mandate of the CISC and its working groups, for current and future purposes, its organization and the procedures that will apply to its working groups and ad hoc committees.

1. The Commission issued Public Notice 2000-17 requesting public comments on the proposed Guidelines. Comments were received from BCT.TELUS Communications Inc. (Telus), on behalf of TELUS Communications and TELUS Communications (BC) Inc.; Bell ExpressVu Limited Partnership (ExpressVu); Mr. François Menard; and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) on behalf of Action Réseau Consommateur, the Consumers' Association of Canada, and the National Anti-Poverty Organization.

2. ExpressVu indicated that the Cable Wiring Group does not have the relationship with the SC as suggested by the Guidelines. ExpressVu suggested that the Guidelines could be modified to indicate that the SC could delegate its functions to the Chair of a working group (WG).

3. The Commission notes that the SC establishes the mandate of each WG and has the discretion to provide a WG Chair with specific functions, where appropriate. The Guidelines will be amended to clarify that the SC can delegate any of its functions to the WG.

4. Mr. Menard was of the view that the CISC should implement a new working group to develop the necessary consensus on how to implement Internet points of interconnection (POIs). Mr. Menard also considered that CCTA-CAIP negotiations happening subsequent to Decision 99-8 "should be brought under the umbrella of CISC in order to represent true industry consensus". The Commission notes that CISC's purpose is to solve technical, operational, etc. problems to permit efficient implementation of CRTC regulatory frameworks and policies. The Commission is of the view that it would be appropriate for CISC to address network implementation issues related to Internet POIs and e-commerce to the extent that the Commission has established a policy framework governing the broad subject matter.

As for CCTA-CAIP negotiations, the Commission notes that a CISC ad-hoc group is dealing with issues related to Order CRTC 2000-789 on cable high-speed third-party access.

5. PIAC submitted that some key principles are missing from the CISC Operating Principles. In particular, PIAC proposed the following additional principles:

"The CISC shall.

  • recognizing that most CISC work is highly technical and therefore of limited interest to consumers, make reasonable efforts to ensure that consumer representatives are aware of any consumer issues arising in the CISC; and
  • not substitute for ultimate decision-making by the CRTC. All resolutions achieved by the CISC are subject to CRTC approval, and may be subjected to a further public process by the CRTC in order to ensure that all relevant interests have been adequately heard"

6. The Commission notes that the Guidelines recognize the two principles. The Guidelines state on page 33: "It is imperative that activities of the various groups be documented and made available to the public in order to ensure that there is awareness among members and the public of all activities being undertaken. Documents must be available to the public in the Commission's public examination rooms and they also should be posted on the Commission Web site." Similar wording is found in section 7. In addition, all new tasks, reports, and disputes are forwarded to the SC for approval. Thus, the Guidelines make extensive provision for representatives of any and all interested groups, including consumer groups, to be aware of issues being discussed at the CISC.

7. The Commission agrees with PIAC's comments that participation in the CISC activities require certain levels of expertise, a fair amount of commitment and can be costly. The Commission further agrees that consumers, and the public in general, may have an interest in some issues that are examined in CISC. In the Commission's view, consumer organizations are in the best position to identify which issues are of particular concern to consumers. Nonetheless, the Commission agrees that CISC should make reasonable efforts to advise consumer organisations when they are examining issues that could be of particular interest to consumers.

8. Accordingly, the Commission considers that it is appropriate to modify the CISC Operating Principles to indicate that reasonable effort will be made to inform consumer representatives of issues that, in CISC's view, may be of interest to consumers' groups. With regard to PIAC's suggestions for modifications to section 7, the Commission notes that section 7 makes specific provision for the placing of CISC documentation on the website and in the public examination room. In these circumstances, the Commission is of the view that PIAC's concern is fully met.

9. While the wording of the CISC mandate contemplates that a task could be originated by the public, the Commission agrees with PIAC's comments that the mandate could be clarified to make it clear that all issues examined by CISC must fall within the Commission's jurisdiction. In addition, for clarification purposes, CISC Operating Principles should also indicate clearly that the CISC should not substitute for ultimate decision-making by the CRTC.

10. PIAC further proposed the following additional item to the list of responsibilities of Working Groups:

"h) filing meeting minutes and other formal documentation in a timely fashion with the CRTC for posting to the CRTC Web site."

11. The Commission notes that posting documents to the Commission Web site is the responsibility of the WG Chair as indicated in section 4.2 and Appendix 9 of the Guidelines.

12. The Commission notes that several new groups were created since PN 2000-17 was issued and therefore the Guidelines should be modified accordingly. The Commission also notes that minor changes may be needed to the Guidelines in the future. The Commission is asking the Commission's staff to perform those modifications without the need to come back to the Commission for its approval.

13. Finally, the Commission notes that the Ad-Hoc Committee proposed to change the name of CISC from "the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee" to "the CRTC Industry Steering Committee". This proposal was based on the fact that CISC deals with more than just interconnection issues. However, the Commission's view is that calling CISC a CRTC "Industry" committee may indicate that CISC is an industry committee or an exclusive forum for the industry. The Commission notes that since the CISC acronym is well recognized, it would be difficult to change it. Therefore, the Commission is of the view that the name of CISC should be retained as "the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee" for the time being.

14. The Commission considers other modifications suggested by parties are neither necessary nor appropriate.

15. In light of the above, the Commission approves and adopts the Guidelines with the following changes set out below:

- Change the CISC mandate to read:

" The mandate of the CISC is to undertake tasks related to technological, administrative and operational issues on matters assigned by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) or originated by the public, that fall within the CRTC's jurisdiction."

- Add the following to section 3 - Operating Principles:

"The CISC shall ...

  • recognizing that most CISC work is highly technical and therefore of limited interest to consumers, make reasonable efforts to inform consumer representatives of any consumer issues arising in the CISC; and
  • not substitute for ultimate decision-making by the CRTC. All resolutions achieved by the CISC are subject to CRTC approval, and may be subjected by the CRTC to a further public process in order to ensure that all relevant interests have been adequately heard.

- Add to section 4.1(1)(a) the following:

a) Establishing the mandate of WGs. The SC may delegate to a particular working group any of its functions in relation to the work of that group.

- Change section 5.2 (1)(a) to read:

a) The WG Chair registers the TIF with the SC Chair for acceptance.

- Change the third paragraph of section 7.13 to read:

"CRTC administrative staff is responsible for posting documents to the CRTC CISC Web page. When sending electronic documents to Commission staff for posting, WG Chairs should indicate where on the CISC page the documents are to be placed, and should provide other information as outlined below."

- Add the following Working Groups to Appendices 1 and 10:


Exchange Consolidation

Network of Networks

Cable Access

CCM Implementation

NPA Relief

16. The Commission notes that a new version of the Guidelines (ver. 1.1) that reflects those changes will be issued and posted on the Commission's web site. The Commission may, where appropriate, dispense with, vary or supplement any of the provisions in these Guidelines.

Ursula Menke,
Secretary General

Date Modified: 2001-03-27

Date modified: