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Ottawa, 28 January 2010
File No.: 8638-C12-200817505
Mr. Denis E. Henry
Vice-President – Legal, Regulatory and Government Affairs
& Chief of Privacy
Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership
160 Elgin St., 19th Floor
Ottawa, ON K2P 2C4
Mr. Mirko Bibic
Senior Vice-President – Government & Regulatory Affairs
160 Elgin St., 19th Floor
Ottawa, ON K2P
Dear Mr. Henry and Mr. Bibic:
Re: Follow-up to Use of deferral accounts to improve access to telecommunications services for persons with disabilities and to expand broadband services to rural and remote communities, Telecom Decision CRTC 2008-1
On 15 January 2010, the Commission received a submission from Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership (Bell Aliant) and Bell Canada (collectively, the Bell companies) providing details of the Bell companies’proposed deferral-account funded broadband expansion program and the services to be offered as part of that program.
The Bell companies have proposed a single Retail Wireless Broadband Service that would provide a monthly maximum download speed of 2 megabits per second (2 Mbps) and a monthly usage allowance (transfer limit) of 2 gigabytes (GB) at the rate of $31.95 per month (the proposed Retail Wireless Broadband Service). The Bell companies have also proposed a Wholesale Wireless Broadband Service that would provide a monthly maximum download speed of 2 Mbps and a monthly usage allowance (transfer limit) of 2 GB at the rate of $22.00 per month (the proposed Wholesale Wireless Broadband Service).
To assist the Commission in considering your proposed broadband services, the Bell companies are requested to provide a response to the attached interrogatories by 18 February 2010.
Original signed by
Competition, Costing & Tariffs
cc: Donald Heale, CRTC, (819) 997-2755, email@example.com
1. In their 1 September 2006 submission setting out their broadband expansion proposal, the Bell companies stated that services offered to potential customers will be comparable to those provided by Bell Canada and Bell Aliant via their respective commercial broadband programs in Ontario and Quebec. These services would include the full suite of services then available to retail and wholesale broadband service customers.
a. Explain why the Bell companies are no longer prepared to offer customers in these rural communities the full suite of services available to the Bell companies’ retail customers in urban areas.
b. Explain why the Bell companies’ proposed Retail Wireless Broadband Service outlined in its 15 January 2010 submission is limited only to one service option.
c. Explain how the Bell companies proposed Retail Wireless Broadband Service will satisfy the service requirements of small, medium, and large users in the rural communities in question, such that they will receive service comparable to services provided to similar users in urban areas.
2. Provide the Bell companies’ position with supporting rationale with respect to the following adjustments to the proposed Retail Wireless Broadband Service:
a. The provision of bundled rates that match those offered in the Bell companies’ urban areas; and
b. the provision of:
i.a usage insurance plan related to the monthly transfer limit equivalent to the one currently offered by the Bell companies in urban areas (i.e. up to 40 GB per month at a rate of $5 per month); and
ii.caps on the maximum charge for additional usage above the usage allowance.
3. With respect to the proposed Wholesale Wireless Broadband Service, Commission staff notes that the usage allowance cap of 2 GB is considerably lower than the current usage allowance cap of 20 GB for the Bell companies’ Gateway Access Service (GAS) available in urban areas. In light of the Canadian average usage of 12.3 GB in 2008, as reported in the 2009 Communications Monitoring Report, it is apparent that few customers of this service would fall under a cap of 2 GB. Provide the Bell companies’ position and rationale with respect to adjusting the cap of the proposed Wholesale Wireless Broadband Service to match GAS service at 20 GB per month.
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