ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter - 8663-C12-200610924
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Ottawa, 1 November 2006
Our File: 8663-C12-200610924
To: Distribution list
Re: Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-12 - Proceeding to reassess certain aspects of the local forbearance framework established in Decision 2006-15 (Public Notice 2006-12): Request to extend reply comments deadline
In a letter dated 27 October 2006 , TELUS Communications Company (TCC) stated that the Consumers' Association of Canada and National Anti-Poverty Organization (the Consumer Groups) and Cogeco Cable Inc., Quebecor Media Inc., Rogers Communications INC. and Shaw Communications Inc. (the Competitors) had filed expert evidence as part of their 26 October 2006 comments in this proceeding.
TCC proposed that the deadline for reply comments be extended from 2 November to 9 November 2006 in order to provide parties with the opportunity to commission expert evidence in reply.
In a letter dated 30 October 2006 , the Competitors submitted that all parties had sufficient time to commission expert evidence to support their position. The Competitors further submitted that permitting TCC to file expert evidence in the final reply phase would be unfair because new arguments and evidence would likely be introduced and there would be no opportunity to test and respond to this new material.
The Competitors submitted that TCCs' request for an extension to the filing deadline for reply comments should be denied; however, if such a request were to be granted, all parties should be afforded a minimum of one week to respond to any new evidence introduced by the expert evidence filed by TCC in its reply comments. Absent this additional process, the Competitors submitted that expert evidence filed by TCC should be disregarded as it would be untested.
In a letter dated 30 October 2006 , the Consumer Groups did not object to to an extension of time so that TELUS and other parties may file expert evidence in the proceeding. However, the Consumer Groups submitted that the process should be amended to permit such evidence to be filed as additional comments, as distinct from reply comments, and that an interrogatory phase be added prior to the reply comment stage to permit the testing of the evidence in question.
In a letter dated 31 October 2006 , MTS Allstream Inc. agreed with the Competitors' submissions, while Bell Canada , in a letter also dated 31 October 2006 , expressed its support for TCC's request.
In a letter dated 31 October 2006 , TCC objected to the process suggested by the Consumer Groups and, with respect to the concerns expressed by the Competitors and the Consumer Groups, noted that rules of procedural fairness preclude the raising of new evidence in reply comments.
Commission staff has carefully considered the comments of all the parties who made submissions with respect to the extension sought by TCC.
In the circumstances, Commission staff considers that an extension to the deadline for the filing and serving of reply comments is appropriate. As noted by TCC, parties may not raise new evidence in their reply comments.
In light of the above, paragraph 24 of Public Notice 2006-12 is revised as follows:
Parties are reminded that their reply comments are to be actually received, not merely mailed, by the above deadline.
Original signed by
c.c: Adam Mills (819) 997-4574
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