ARCHIVED - Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2004-6

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Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2004-6

  Ottawa, 23 November 2004

Northwestel Inc. - Annual review of supplemental funding for 2004 and 2005

  Reference: 8695-C12-200413625
  With this Public Notice, the Commission initiates a proceeding to determine Northwestel Inc.'s 2004 and 2005 supplemental funding requirements, assess the roll-out of the company's service improvement plan, and assess the company's recent quality of service results.



In Northwestel Inc. - Supplemental funding requirement for 2003, Telecom Decision CRTC 2004-64, 30 September 2004 (Decision 2004-64), the Commission determined that Northwestel Inc.'s (Northwestel's) supplemental funding amounts for 2004 and 2005 should be dealt with in a single process that would focus only on matters that are essential to determining those amounts. The Commission also indicated that it would subsequently undertake a review of the company's 2006 supplemental funding and its regulatory framework. Accordingly, the Commission determined, among other things, that the current regulatory framework for Northwestel would remain in place until the end of 2006. The current regulatory framework includes the continuation of a rate base/rate of return form of regulation, the maintenance of a bundled, subsidized carrier access tariff (CAT) rate of $0.07, the maintenance of a revenue deferral account, and the continuation of no earnings sharing for amounts earned in excess of the top of the company's rate of return on equity range.


In Decision 2004-64, as amended by Decision 2004-64-1, the Commission approved, on a final basis, supplemental funding for Northwestel in the amount of $9.6 million for 2003, and approved an interim 2004 supplemental funding amount of $9.6 million, effective 1 January 2004. The Commission also determined that the review to establish Northwestel's 2004 and 2005 supplemental funding requirements would be limited in scope.


The Commission notes that although there is no built-in incentive in the current form of regulation to minimize the company's revenue requirement, the annual review ensures that Northwestel's forecasts are scrutinized by the Commission and interested parties, so that the expenses included in the supplemental funding calculation reflect the expected productivity and the forecast of revenues are supported by economic and market forecasts. The Commission considers that competition and the impact of the CAT rate on facilities-based competition are complex issues that cannot be properly addressed in a streamlined proceeding such as the one set out in this Public Notice. Further, as competitive issues and the company's regulatory framework are interlinked, the Commission considers that it would be appropriate to review competitive issues in the regulatory framework review proceeding.

Scope of the proceeding


The Commission hereby initiates a proceeding to determine Northwestel's 2004 and 2005 supplemental funding requirements. The determination of the 2004 and 2005 supplemental funding requirements will include an assessment of (a) variances in the company's capital plan, (b) productivity measures, (c) any changes to depreciation life characteristics, (d) equal access expenditures, (e) the roll-out of the company's service improvement plan, (f) recent quality of service results, (g) roll-out of long distance competition, and (h) major significant matters that may have a material impact on the company's supplemental funding.


In light of the Commission's determination in Decision 2004-64 that Northwestel's current regulatory framework and revenue deferral account would remain in place until the end of 2006, issues with respect to the form of regulation, the CAT rate, earnings sharing, competition, and the revenue deferral account mechanism will not be addressed in this proceeding.



Northwestel is made a party to this proceeding. Other parties wishing to participate fully in this proceeding must notify the Commission of their intention to do so by 9 December 2004. They should contact the Secretary General by mail at CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2; by fax at (819) 953-0795; or by email at They are to indicate in the notice their email address where available. If parties do not have access to the Internet, they are to indicate in their notice whether they wish to receive disk versions of hard copy filings.


The Commission will issue, as soon as possible after the registration date, a complete list of interested parties and their mailing addresses (including their email addresses, if available), identifying those parties who wish to receive disk versions.


The Commission directs Northwestel to notify its subscribers of this proceeding and to outline the scope, the issues, and the deadlines for public comments. Subscriber notification is to take the form of newspaper notices to be published no later than 21 January 2005. The Commission also directs Northwestel to file its proposed newspaper notices for approval by 6 January 2005.


Any party, who wishes merely to file written comments, without receiving copies of the various submissions, may do so by writing to the Commission at the address noted in paragraph 6 by 24 March 2005.


Northwestel is directed to file with the Commission responses to the initial interrogatories sent on the date of this public notice, and to serve copies of these responses on all parties by 6 January 2005.


Northwestel is to file with the Commission, serving copies on all parties, its evidence on all matters within the scope of this proceeding. All such material is to be filed with the Commission and served on all parties by 6 January 2005.


Interested parties may address interrogatories to Northwestel. Any such interrogatories must be filed with the Commission and served on the company by 3 February 2005.


Responses to those interrogatories are to be filed with the Commission and served on all interested parties by 3 March 2005.


Requests by interested parties for further responses to their interrogatories, specifying in each case why a further response is both relevant and necessary, and requests for public disclosure of information for which confidentiality has been claimed, setting out in each case the reasons for disclosure, must be filed with the Commission and served on Northwestel by 17 March 2005.


Written responses to requests for further responses to interrogatories and for public disclosure must be filed with the Commission and served on the party who made the request by 24 March 2005.


A determination with respect to requests for further information and public disclosure will be made as soon as possible. Any information to be provided pursuant to that determination must be filed with the Commission and served on all interested parties by 24 March 2005.


Northwestel and interested parties may file arguments with the Commission on any matters within the scope of this proceeding, serving copies on all other parties, by 14 April 2005.


All parties may file reply arguments with the Commission, serving a copy on all other parties, by 28 April 2005.


Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely sent, by that date.


Parties may file their submissions electronically or on paper. Submissions longer than five pages should include a summary.


Where the submission is filed by electronic means, the line ***End of document*** should be entered following the last paragraph of the document, as an indication that the document has not been damaged during electronic transmission.


Please note that only those submissions electronically filed will be placed on the Commission's Web site and only in the official language and format in which they are submitted.


Each paragraph of each submission should be numbered.


The Commission also encourages interested parties to monitor the record of this proceeding (and/or the Commission's Web site) for additional information that they may find useful when preparing their submissions.

Location of CRTC offices


Submissions may be examined or will be made available promptly upon request at the Commission offices during normal business hours:
  Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage, Room 206
Gatineau, Quebec J8X 4B1
Tel: (819) 997-2429 - TDD: 994-0423
Fax: (819) 994-0218
  10405 Jasper Avenue, Suite 520
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3N4
Tel: (780) 495-3224
Fax: (780) 495-3214
  580 Hornby Street, Suite 530
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3B6
Tel: (604) 666-2111 - TDD: 666-0778
Fax: (604) 666-8322
  Secretary General
  This document is available in alternative format upon request and may also be examined at the following Internet site:

Date Modified: 2004-11-23

Date modified: