ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter - 8678-C12-200615578

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Ottawa, 5 December 2006

File No.:   8638-C12-200602708


Mr. Richard A. Stephen
Director, Regulatory Matters
Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership
Brunswick Square , Floor 5
Saint John , New Brunswick
E2L 4K2

Dear Mr. Stephen:

RE: Review of proposals to dispose of the funds accumulated in the deferral accounts, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-15

Pursuant to the procedure specified at paragraph 20 of Review of proposals to dispose of the funds accumulated in the deferral accounts , Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-15, 30 November 2006 (Public Notice 2006-15), attached are interrogatories associated with this proceeding.   These interrogatories are in reference to Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership's (Bell Aliant) proposal, with respect to the operating territory of its predecessor company Aliant Telecom Inc. (Aliant Telecom), to allocate funds from its deferral account to improving accessibility to telecommunications services for persons with disabilities, submitted to the Commission on 1 September 2006 (accessibility proposal).

Bell Aliant is requested to file its responses to these interrogatories with the Commission, and serve them on the interested parties to this proceeding, by 19 January 2007 .   These r esponses are to be received, and not merely sent, by this date.   In providing responses, Bell Aliant is requested to provide separate responses for each sub-part of each question.

Commission staff notes that in Attachment 1 to a letter filed by Aliant Telecom with the Commission on 7 June 2006, Aliant Telecom proposed to draw down the available funds from the accumulated amount in its deferral account, after allocating five percent of the balance to initiatives to improve access to telecommunications services for persons with disabilities, to partially clear the estimated recurring shortfall in its account.   Commission staff also notes that on 18 October 2006 , Bell Aliant filed an application, pursuant to Part VII of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure , requesting exogenous treatment of the estimated annual recurring shortfall in its deferral account.

Commission staff hereby informs Bell Aliant that, while a reference to the company's accessibility proposal was included in Public Notice 2006-15, and interrogatories related to this same proposal are enclosed, the Commission has not yet made any determination on the substance of Bell Aliant's proposed treatment of the amounts in its deferral account.   Such reference should not be construed as indicating the potential outcome of Bell Aliant's Part VII request.   These matters will be addressed separately from Public Notice 2006-15.

Yours sincerely,

'Original signed by P. Godin'

Paul Godin
A/Director General
Competition, costing and tariffs

cc:   Michel Murray, CRTC (819) 997-9300
       Interested Parties to PN 2006-15


5 December 2006


Proposed accessibility initiatives

601    Refer to paragraphs 18 to 21, enhanced accessibility of

a)   Confirm that, through the proposed website enhancements, the content of Bell Aliant's entire website will be made accessible to persons with disabilities in conformance with the guidelines recommended by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).   If the information accessible to persons with disabilities will be limited to that contained in a separate accessibility section of the company's website:

i)   describe how a customer will be able to reach the accessibility section from the Bell Aliant home page;

ii)   indicate whether a customer with a disability will have access to all of the same information and functionalities (e.g. ordering service, accessing account information, etc.) through the accessibility section as other customers have through the regular Bell Aliant website; and

iii)   identify and provide the rationale for any information and/or functionalities that will not be accessible through the enhanced website.

b)   Refer to paragraph 20.   Describe the additional service enhancements and WAI recommended guidelines that Bell Aliant will consider implementing if funding permits.

602    Refer to paragraph 22, creation of a customer contact centre of excellence for persons with disabilities.

a)   Provide a detailed description of the services that will be provided by the centre of excellence as they relate to each of the types of disability that the centre will serve; and

b)   Describe how the proposed centre will differ from Bell Aliant's existing contact and assistance provisions for persons with disabilities.

Financial information

701    In paragraph 21 of its submission, Bell Aliant identifies the funding required to enhance the accessibility of its website,, by implementing guidelines recommended by the WAI.   With respect to the submitted costing information, provide the following:

a)   The cost study assumptions, including:

i)   financial parameters;

ii)   portfolio loading factor;

iii)   annual productivity increase factor; and

iv)   annual expense and capital increase factors.

b)   Regarding the proposed capital costs that are causal to demand and to service, provide the following information for each major type of capital equipment:

i)   associated costing methodology and assumptions;

ii)   life estimates;

iii)   fill factor values; and

iv)   the vintage date of the raw data used to develop the unit cost inputs, an explanation of the methods and assumptions used to express each of the capital unit costs in 2006 dollars as appropriate, and retrospective cost increase factors, if any were used.

c)   Regarding the proposed expenses that are causal to demand and to the service, provide explanations of how each of the expense estimates were developed, including a listing of all activities and associated costing assumptions (e.g. time estimates, labour unit costs).

Date Modified: 2006-12-05
Date modified: