ARCHIVED - Letter
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Ottawa, 18 October 2011
To: Distribution List
Re: Request for clarification with respect to the scope of the network interconnection proceeding – Telecom Notice of Consultation 2011-206
The Commission is in receipt of a letter dated 14 October 2011 from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) in respect of the Commission’s 12 October 2011 follow-up Organization and Conduct letter setting out the structure and approach for oral presentations in the network interconnection proceeding1 . In its letter, PIAC expressed concern regarding the following question posed by the Commission:
Determining the role of the Commission with respect to network interconnection for voice services as the industry increasingly moves towards an IP-based environment…
- To what extent, if any, should the Commission forbear from the regulation of network interconnection for voice services? If so, under what conditions and within which timeframe would it be appropriate for the Commission to forbear under the Telecommunications Act and consistent with the Policy Direction2
PIAC, supported by Yak Communications Corp., Distributel Communications Limited, Public Mobile, Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc. and Globility Communications Corporation3 , submitted that it raised a number of issues, including issues related to procedural fairness.
The Commission notes that the network interconnection proceeding was initiated pursuant to the Commission’s action plan4 to review existing regulatory measures in light of the Policy Direction, which requires that the Commission, when exercising its powers and performing its duties under the Telecommunications Act¸ rely on market forces to the maximum extent feasible to achieve the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives.5 The Commission explicitly notified parties in Telecom Notice of Consultation 2011-206 that it would review the matters in this proceeding in light of the Policy Direction.6 In addition, parties were asked in the notice of consultation to comment on, among other things, whether existing regimes should be modified to better reflect recent and future industry developments, such as the increasing use of IP technologies by carriers; and whether network interconnection requirements based on circuit-switched technologies should be phased out.7
The Commission is of the view that given the Policy Direction, the Commission is obligated to consider whether forbearance would be appropriate when reviewing existing regulatory measures such as in the present proceeding. The Commission also considers that the above-noted question in the Organization and Conduct follow-up letter, which asks for comment on the possibility of forbearance in the context of the industry which is increasingly moving towards an IP-based environment, is forward-looking, was foreshadowed by the references to the Policy Direction in the notice of consultation, and is consistent with other questions posed in the notice of consultation. The Commission therefore considers that the above-noted question addresses matters that are properly within the scope of the proceeding.
In light of the above, the Commission confirms that, consistent with the Organization and Conduct follow-up letter, parties will be expected to address, in a forward-looking manner, the issue of forbearance for voice services in their submissions at the oral hearing.
ORIGINAL SIGNED BY /
Robert A. Morin
1. Proceeding to review network interconnection matters, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-206, 23 March 2011, as amended by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-206-1, 3 May 2011, (NoC 2011-206).
2. Order Issuing a Direction on the CRTC on Implementing the Canadian Telecommunications Policy Objectives, P.C. 2006-1534, 14 December 2006, (Policy Direction).
3. The interventions were filed in separate letters dated 17 October 2011. Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership, Bell Canada and Télébec, Société en commandite also filed a letter on 17 October 2011 clarifying their proposals.
4. See Updated action plan for reviewing regulatory measures, Telecom Decision CRTC 2011-69, 4 February 2011, as amended by Telecom Decision CRTC 2011-69-1, 21 February 2011.
5. Policy Direction, subpara. 1(a)(i).
6. NoC 2011-206 at paras. 17, 18 and 22.
7. See Appendix to NoC 2011-206.
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