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Our Reference: 8690-C12-200910408
Ottawa, 11 February 2010
Ms. Natalie MacDonald
Bragg Communications Inc.
6080 Young Street, Suite 801
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K5M3
Mr. Christopher Edwards
Corporate & Regulatory
Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.
447 Gondola Point Road
Quispamsis, New Brunswick E2E1E1
Mr. Yves Mayrand
Cogeco Cable Inc.
5 Place Ville Marie
Montréal, Québec H3B0B3
Mr. Dennis Béland
Director, Regulatory Affairs, Telecom
Quebecor Media Inc.
612 St. Jacques Street
Montreal, Québec H3C4M8
Mr. Ken Engelhart
Senior Vice President
Rogers Communications Inc.
333 Bloor Street East
Toronto, Ontario M4W1G9
Mr. Jean Brazeau
Senior Vice President
Shaw Communications Inc.
630 – 3rd Avenue SW, Suite 900
Calgary, Alberta T2P4L4
Re: Call for comments-Review of the large incumbent local exchange carriers’ support structure service rates, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-432, 21 July 2009 – Cable Carriers’ request to make existing rates final
Dear Madam, Sirs:
In Call for comments – review of the large incumbent local exchange carriers support structure service rates, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-432, 21 July 2009 as amended by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-432-1, 20 August 2009 (the Notice), the Commission initiated a proceeding to review the support structure rates for Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership, Bell Canada, MTS Allstream Inc., Télébec, société en commandite, and TELUS Communications Company (collectively, the ILECs). The Commission also approved the ILECs’ existing support structure rates on an interim basis.
In Telecom Order CRTC 2009-731, 27 November 2009, the Commission directed each ILEC to file updated support structure costs on the public record by 18 January 2010.
On 11 January 2010, Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership, Bell Canada and Télébec, Société en commandite (collectively, the Companies), supported by TELUS Communications Company (TELUS) on 12 January 2010, requested a three-week extension to the filing date for updated support structure costs, submitting that the workload involved in updating the cost studies prevented them from filing the requested information until 8 February 2010.
On 14 January 2010, Bragg Communications Inc., the Canadian Cable Systems Alliance, Cogeco Cable Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Shaw Communications Inc., and
Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of its affiliate Videotron Ltd. (collectively, the Cable Carriers) filed a response to the ILEC extension request and submitted that, if the extension was granted, the Commission should remove the interim status of support structure rates and make them final at their current levels. The Cable Carriers submitted that maintaining the current interim status of these rates would not be appropriate because the magnitude of anticipated support structure rate increases is unknown. They submitted further that interim rates create undue uncertainty regarding the length of time during which increased rates may be applied retroactively.
The extension requested by ILECs was granted in a Commission staff letter dated 15 January 2010, given the extent of the information required. In addition, parties were advised that the Cable Carriers’ request for final rates would be addressed separately.
The Companies and TELUS filed replies dated 20 and 25 January 2010, respectively, opposing the Cable Carriers’ request. The Companies submitted that their request for a three-week extension was reasonable and that the Cable Carriers were using this reasonable request as the basis to suggest that the Commission reverse its decision to approve support structure rates on an interim basis, effective 21 July 2009. The Companies further submitted that the Cable Carriers appeared to concede, in their 14 January 2010 letter, the potential for an increase in costs and associated rates as a result of this proceeding, thus substantiating the appropriateness of the Commission’s determination to approve rates on an interim basis.
Analysis and determination
The Commission notes that in Telecom Order CRTC 2009-731, 27 November 2009, it denied a request by Xittel Telecommunications Inc. to make final support structure rates that had been made interim in the Notice. In that Order, the Commission stated that it did not consider that the proceeding had been unduly long and therefore it was neither necessary nor appropriate to finalize the support structure rates at that time.
With respect to the Cable Carriers’ request, the Commission is of the view that, given the extent of the information required, the three-week extension is not a lengthy delay and notes that it is the only request to extend the process since the Commission’s decision taken with respect to the Xittel request. Further, the Commission maintains its view, as stated in the Notice, that based on its preliminary review of each ILEC’s cost study, it appeared that costs had increased and that rates may therefore increase.
In light of the foregoing, the Commission is of the view that it continues to be appropriate to retain the current support structure service rates on an interim basis.
Accordingly, the Commission denies the Cable Carriers’ request that existing ILEC support structure rates be made final.
The Commission also notes that parties will have the opportunity to make submissions regarding the appropriate effective date for any revisions to support structures rates, prior to the Commission’s disposition, on a final basis, of the ILECs’ requests to review support structure rates.
Original signed by Allan Rosenzveig
Robert A. Morin
c.c.: Daphne Fry, CRTC email@example.com
Richard Pagé, CRTC firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela Cormier, CRTC email@example.com
Interested parties to Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2009-432
List of Parties
AGBriggs Consulting: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bell Aliant: email@example.com
Bell Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org
Distributel Communications Limited: email@example.com
Giganomics Consulting Inc.: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maskatel and Drummond: email@example.com
Ministère de la Culture et des communications: firstname.lastname@example.org
MTO Telecom: email@example.com
MTS Allstream: firstname.lastname@example.org
O.N. Tel : email@example.com
OTA : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tacit, Christian: email@example.com
View Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wall Communications Inc.: Lefebvre@rogers.com
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