ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter - 8678-C12-200615578

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Ottawa, 20 March 2007

File No.: 8678-C12-200615578


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

Dear Mr. Roots:

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

The Commission is in receipt of a letter dated 2 February 2007 from the Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD), acting on behalf of itself, the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf, and Sign Relay Canada - Service de Relais Canada Inc.   In its letter, CAD expressed concerns with respect to the proceeding associated with Review of proposals to dispose of the funds accumulated in the deferral accounts , Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2006-15, 30 November 2006 (PN 2006-15), and requested that the proceeding be amended immediately to permit the submission, interrogation, and fair consideration of the proposals of CAD and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind dated 31 August 2006 and 1 September 2006, respectively.

The Commission notes CAD's concerns with regard to the Video Relay Service (VRS) initiatives under review as part of the PN 2006-15 proceeding.   The Commission also recognizes the interest of CAD and its constituents in the development of VRS in Canada .   The Commission notes, however, that the PN 2006-15 proceeding reflects the Commission's previous determinations in Disposition of funds in the deferral accounts , Telecom Decision CRTC 2006-9, 16 February 2006 (Decision 2006-9).   The PN 2006-15 proceeding is designed to allow the Commission to assess the initiatives as proposed by incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), including the VRS initiatives, and make evidential determinations as to their suitability.   Interested parties to the PN 2006-15 proceeding, such as CAD, are invited to contribute to this review by addressing interrogatories to the ILECs and other parties and by commenting on the initiatives contained in the ILECs' proposals.   At the conclusion of the proceeding, only those initiatives that the Commission deems appropriate and consistent with the determinations in Decision 2006-9 will be approved.

As indicated in Commission staff's 20 October 2006 letter to CAD, the submission from CAD dated 31 August 2006 was not consistent with the Commission's directives in Decision 2006-9.   In the course of the proceeding that led to Decision 2006-9, interested parties, including CAD, were given the opportunity to make proposals regarding the use of the funds accumulated in the deferral accounts.   After careful consideration of all proposals, the Commission determined that the funds should be spent on broadband expansion and accessibility initiatives.   The Commission directed the ILECs to file for approval initiatives consistent with its determinations.   With respect to improving accessibility to telecommunications services, the Commission directed the ILECs to consult and work with the appropriate advocacy organizations for persons with disabilities prior to submitting proposals for approval.   Given that the Commission has already considered various proposals in Decision 2006-9 before concluding that only ILECs would file initiatives for approval, it would not be appropriate at this time to consider concurrent proposals by other parties.

The Commission concluded in Decision 2006-9 that the funds had to be spent within each ILEC's own territory.   It is therefore beyond the scope of this proceeding to entertain proposals on a national basis.   In this respect, the Commission notes that most funds in the deferral accounts were accumulated from rates charged to residential local service subscribers in each ILEC's territory.   An ILEC's territory, for the purpose of Decision 2006-9, refers to the geographical location where the company operates as the incumbent local exchange carrier.   The Commission also notes that deferral account funds are not available in all provinces and territories for the pursuit of broadband and accessibility initiatives as contemplated in Decision 2006-9.

In light of the above, the Commission denies CAD's request to amend the PN 2006-15 proceeding to permit the submission, interrogation, and consideration of proposals made by parties other than the ILECs.   However, CAD is encouraged to contribute to the assessment of the proposals filed by the ILECs, and make its views and those of its constituents known, within the framework established for the PN 2006-15 proceeding.

Yours sincerely,

'Original signed by D. Rhéaume'

Diane Rhéaume
Secretary General

cc:   Michel Murray, CRTC (819) 997-9300,
        Interested Parties to Public Notice 2006-15 (Attached email address)

E-MAIL ADDRESSES: ;  ;  stark.chris@rogers.comDavobergeron@yahoo.caanderson4200@shaw.cagphoeppner@shaw.catakachin_69@ ;

Date Modified: 2007-03-20
Date modified: