ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter - 8638-C12-200602708

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Ottawa, 20 October 2006

File: 8638-C12-200615586


Mr. James Roots
Executive Director
Canadian Association of the Deaf
251 Bank Street, Suite 203
Ottawa , Ontario
K2P 1X3

Re:   Follow-up to Disposition of funds in the deferral accounts , Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-9 - broadband expansion and accessibility proposals           

The Commission is in receipt of a submission dated 31 August 2006 from the Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD), on behalf of itself, the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf (CCSD), and Sign Relay Canada - Service de Relais Canada Inc. (SRC).   CAD indicated that its submission was made in relation to Disposition of funds in the deferral accounts , Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-9, 16 February 2006 (Decision 2006-9) and that it was also and simultaneously presented as an application under Part VII of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure .

CAD proposed that $15 million of the funds in the deferral accounts be transferred to SRC for the purpose of establishing and operating a national Video Relay Service in Canada, and that the SRC be granted the sole right to operate this VRS for a renewable period of five years.   CAD indicated that the $15 million would cover the costs for the first two years, and that by the middle of the second year of a five-year period, it would be in a position to submit a proposal for ongoing funding which would include contributions from wireless and cellular service providers.

In Decision 2006-9, the Commission determined that initiatives to 1) expand broadband services to rural and remote communities and 2) improve accessibility to telecommunications services for persons with disabilities, were appropriate uses of funds in the deferral accounts.   At paragraph 262 of Decision 2006-9, the Commission directed each incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC), to file, by 30 June 2006 , its initiatives to dispose of the funds accumulated in its deferral account (the directives).   At paragraph 50 of Decision 2006-9, the Commission also determined that draw-downs from each ILEC's deferral account must be applied within its own territory.

In a letter dated 22 June 2006 , the Commission modified the deadline set out in Decision 2006-9 for the filing of the ILECs' initiatives from 30 June 2006 to 1 September 2006 .

Commission staff notes that under the directives, only the ILECs were invited to file initiatives.   CAD's submission is not consistent with the directives in that it was not submitted by an ILEC and proposes to use the funds in the deferral accounts on a national basis.   For this reason, Commission staff is returning CAD's submission dated 31 August 2006 and removing it from the public record.

Commission staff also notes that Decision 2006-9 indicates that further process would be determined once the proposals were filed.   CAD will have an opportunity to submit its comments in respect of the proposals submitted by the ILECs and raise its concerns regarding the proposals in accordance with that process after it is announced.

With regard to CAD's indication that it was simultaneously submitting under Part VII, given that the Commission already has a proceeding under way to dispose of the funds in the deferral accounts, Commission staff is of the view that CAD's submission with respect to the use of deferral account funds should be considered in the context of that proceeding rather than a separate Part VII proceeding.   Commission staff further notes that, to the extent that CAD's proposal is beyond the scope of this proceeding or the uses to which the funds in the deferral account may be put, CAD would have the opportunity to make submissions in the context of the proceeding identified in the Commission's 3-year work plan to address unresolved accessibility issues for persons with disabilities, currently planned to commence in fiscal year 2007-2008.


'Original signed by S. Bédard '

Suzanne Bédard
Senior Manager, Tariffs

cc.:    Gerry Lylyk, CRTC, 819-953-0434
          Michel Murray, CRTC, 819-997-9300
          Renée Gauthier, CRTC, 819-994-5174
          Interested parties to Public Notice 2004-1 

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Date Modified: 2006-10-20
Date modified: