ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8638-C12-46/00 - 2 April 2001 Meeting ofthe Committee on Bill Management Tools and Access to Telephone Service: Followup to Order CRTC 2000-393

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Ottawa, 15 March 2001

Our file: 8638-C12-46/00

To: Distribution list (see attachment)

Re: 2 April 2001 Meeting of the Committee on Bill Management Tools and Access to Telephone Service: Follow up to Order CRTC 2000-393

Dear Sir/Madam:

As announced in Order CRTC 2000-393, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is setting up a Committee to look at new initiatives to promote Bill Management Tools (BMTs) (explained in more detail below) and facilitate access to telephone service. You are invited to participate in the BMT Committee and to suggest others who could help the BMT Committee reach our objectives.

The Commission is committed to improving, in the very near term, the promotion of BMTs to ensure that customers can more easily obtain telephone service or remain on the network. The BMT Committee also provides an opportunity for us to address, together, other consumer matters relating to the provision of telephone service, including "consumer literacy" issues. For example, the Commission believes that billing improvements, such as bills that are routinely more detailed or itemized, could assist residential customers. The Commission is hopeful that the work of the BMT Committee over the next few months will result in a consensus on these and other issues. Even if the BMT Committee reaches no consensus, however, the Commission intends to move forward on these issues very promptly.

The 2 April 2001 Meeting

The first meeting of the BMT Committee will be held on Monday, 2 April 2001, in Hull, Quebec at the Place du Portage Conference Centre, Phase IV, 140 Promenade du Portage, in the Pontiac room, from 10h00 to 16h30. CRTC Chairman, David Colville, and Commissioner Barbara Cram will attend the April 2nd meeting along with Commission staff and invited consumer and telephone company representatives. Translation services will be provided.

Please confirm, no later than Monday, 19 March 2001, whether you or your delegate will be able to attend (and, if so, provide the names, titles and full contact information for all persons from your organization who will attend). You may do this by contacting the Commission's consumer policy analyst, Philippe Tousignant, who will be the BMT Committee co-ordinator, at 819-997-1334, or by fax 819-997-4610, or by e-mail:

When we have received your reply, and the replies of other invitees, we will send you a list of all participants. We expect to be able to send you this list by 21 March 2001.

What are BMTs?

BMTs are means by which a residential telephone subscriber can exercise control over his or her bill. These tools are meant to help consumers who have difficulty paying. At the present time, the Commission has required two BMTs to be offered by all telephone companies within its jurisdiction: (1) a toll-restrict option (allowing customers, without charge, to block outbound long distance calls and inbound collect calls) and (2) an installment payment plan (that allows a customer to spread connection service charges over a period of up to six months).

What are the BMT Committee's objectives?

The Commission's objectives for the BMT Committee are threefold:

To optimize Bill Management Tools (BMTs) to facilitate access to telephone service by:

better promoting existing BMTs; and

determining if additional BMTs are needed and, if so, implementing them.

To optimize the information content and design of bills to facilitate access to telephone service by measures such as:

deciding on the appropriate provision of itemized or detailed billing information; and

deciding on the need for the provision of additional consumer information via billing inserts (e.g. on topics such as information on how to complain, telemarketing restrictions and consumer rights).

To implement other "consumer literacy" improvements to facilitate consumers' access to telephone service, such as:

the review of white-pages information and design to better address needs of consumers with a focus on plain language writing (e.g. to attract the attention of consumers to BMTs, terms of service, consumer rights, and other issues);

consumer-oriented publications; and

consumer-oriented websites on telecommunication services.

What are the objectives of the first BMT Committee meeting?

It will be important for us, at the first BMT Committee meeting, to focus on how the members of the BMT Committee can most effectively proceed to achieving the objectives set out above, bearing in mind the Commission's intention to move forward on these issues very promptly. We anticipate that much of the meeting will be spent on the development of a workplan that will do just that. We expect that a second meeting will take place within a period of approximately four (4) weeks (i.e. in early May).

Background information

In order to use our time together most efficiently on April 2nd, and to ensure that all participants have important information available to them in advance of the BMT Committee meeting, the Commission requires all telephone companies who have been invited to attend to provide the following information to the Commission and to all other participants no later than Wednesday, 28 March 2001:

copies of all existing Tariff (including Terms of Service) provisions on billing, BMTs, security deposits, and deferred payment plans;

sample copies of white-pages directory information intended to provide information relevant to residential subscribers on billing, BMTs and access to telephone service;

sample bills (both itemized and non-itemized and details on how often itemized bills are sent to residential subscribers);

samples of recent billing inserts on consumer issues; and

a summary of BMTs promotion and the take-rate for each BMT offered by the company.

Your participation is most welcome

We hope that you will be able to join the BMT Committee and attend the first meeting on 2 April 2001. Please let us know by March 19th whether or not you will be there by contacting the BMT Committee Co-ordinator, Philippe Tousignant at 819-997-1334 (or by fax at 819-997-4610, or by e-mail:

You can also call Philippe should you wish to discuss any aspect of the meeting further or obtain more information. Moreover, if there are organizations that you think we should be sure to invite, please let us know so we can contact them directly.


Shirley Soehn
Executive Director


Ps: Order 2000-393 is available on the Commission web site at the following address:
Or upon request.

Distribution list of letter, follow-up CRTC Order 2000-393, BMT Committee
Liste de distribution, suivi de l'ordonnance CRTC 2000-393, Comité OGEC

Aliant Telecom Inc.
Fort William Building
P.O. Box 2110
5th Floor
St. John's, NF A1C 5H6

Mr. Mark Connors
Manager, Regulatory Matters and Tariffs
Fax: (709) 739-3122

Bell Canada
105, rue Hôtel de Ville
5ième étage
Hull, QC J8X 4H7

Mr. Robert F. Farmer
Vice President, Regulatory Matters
Tel (819) 773-5503
Fax (819) 773-5629

MTT/ Island Telecom Inc.
MT&T/Island Tel Regulatory
P.O. Box 880
Halifax, NS B3J 2W3

Mr. Donald D. MacDonald
Manager - Regulatory Matters
Tel (902) 487-4672
Fax (902) 487-1538

MTS Communications Inc.
333 Main Street - MP19C
PO Box 6666
Winnipeg, MB R3C 3V6

Mr. Roy Bruckshaw
Director - Regulatory Affairs
Tel (204) 941-8566
Fax (204) 775-2560

NBTel Inc.
One Brunswick Square (BS 10)
P.O. Box 1430
Saint John, NB E2L 4K2

Mr. Richard A. Stephen
Director - Regulatory Matters
Tel (506) 694-6512
Fax (506) 694-2473

NewTel Communications Inc.
PO BOX 2110
Floor 5, Fort William Building
St. John's, NF A1C 5H6

Mr. Mark Connors
Manager - Regulatory Policy
Tel (709) 739-3189
Fax (709) 739-3122

Northwestel Inc.
P.O. Bag 2727
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 4Y4

Mr. Dallas Yeulett
Manager, Regulatory Affairs
Tel (867) 393-7650
Fax (867) 668-7674

9, rue Jules-A.-Brillant, C.P. 903
Département R0901
Rimouski, QC G5L 7C9

M. Alain Carmicheal
Directeur - Réglementation
Tel (418) 722-5330
Fax (418) 722-2154

TELUS Communications Inc.
10020 - 100 Street
Floor 31
Edmonton, AB T5J 0N5

Mr. Willie Grieve
Vice President Government & Regulatory Affairs
Tel (780) 493-6590
Fax (780) 493-6519

Télébec ltée
Service de la Réglementation
7151, Jean-Talon est
Bureau 506
Anjou, QC H1M 3N8

Diane Ward
Directrice - Réglementation
Tel (514) 493-5340
Fax (514) 493-5379

SaskTel-Regulatory Affairs
2121 Saskatchewan Drive
12th Floor
Regina, SK S4P 3Y2

Document Control
Tel (306) 777-4208
Fax (306) 565-6216

Association des Compagnies de Téléphone
du Québec inc. (A.C.T.Q.)
228, rue Petit-Bourg
Repentigny, QC J6A 7C1

M. Serge D Desy
Directeur général
Tel (450) 582-0011
Fax (450) 582-2101

O.N. Telcom
555 Oak Street East
North Bay, ON P1B 8L3

Mr. Rick Cushing
Director Business Developments & Regulatory Matters
Tel (705) 472-4500 ext. 343
Fax (705) 472-6765

Société d'administration des tarifs
d'accès des télécommunicateurs (SATAT)
212, rue Henriot
Drummondville, QC N0B 1G0

M. Stephen Bray
Tel (819) 477-6311
Fax (819) 477-8379

Northern Telephone Limited
25 Paget Street - P.O. Box 4000
New Liskeard, ON
P0J 1P0

Ms. Molly Slywchuk
Tel (705) 647-3433
Fax (705) 647-3420

Ontario Telecommunications Association (OTA)
150 Isabella Street
Suite 301
Ottawa, ON K1S 1V7

Mr. Garry E. Mallette
Regulatory & Settlement Manager
Tel (613) 239-0610
Fax (613) 239-0611

Public Interest Advocacy Centre
1204 - 1 Nicholas Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7

Mr. Michael Janigan
Executive Director
Tel (613) 562-4002 ext. 26
Fax (613) 562-0007

Action Réseau Consommateur et
Fédération des Associations coopératives d'économie familiale du Québec
Nathalie St-Pierre
Directrice Générale
1215 de la Visitation, bureau 103
H2L 3B5
Tel (514) 521-6820
Fax (514) 521-0736

National Anti-Poverty Organisation
Mr. Bruce Tate,
Executive Director
440-325 Dalhousie Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Tel: (613) 789-0096
Fax: 613-789-0141

Consumer Association of Canada
Association des Consommateurs du Canada
Yaroslaw Zajac
Executive Director
Box 9300,
Ottawa Ontario
K1G 3T9

Phone: (613) 238-2533
Fax: (613) 563-2254

c/o Public Interest Law Centre
402-294 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0B9

Mr. Byron Williams
Attorney, Public Interest
Tel (204) 985-8533
Fax (204) 985-8544

Canada's Association for the Fifty-Plus
27 Queen St. East
Suite 1304
Toronto, ON M5C 2M6

Mr. William Gleberzon
Associate Executive Director
Tel (416) 363-8748
Fax (416) 363-8747

B.C. Old Age Pensioners' Organization
C/O B.C. Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Barrister & Solicitor
815-815 West Hasting Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1B4

Mr. Richard J Gathercole
Executive Director
Tel (604) 687-3063
Fax (604) 682-7896

Government of the Northwest Territories
P.O. BOX 1320
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9

Mr. Peter Dunn
Director, Systems & Communications
Tel (867) 873-7107
Fax (867) 873-0192

Government of Nunavut
Department of Finance & Administration
PO Bag 800
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0

Mr. Ken O'Neill
Chief Informatics Officer
Tel (867) 975-5825
Fax (867) 975-5844

Government of Yukon
Box 2703
4141 - 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Whitehorse, YT  Y1A 2C6

Mr. Terry Hayden
Director, Technology and Telecommunications
Tel (867) 393-7166
Fax (867) 393-6218

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