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Ottawa, 9 May 2012

File No.: 8662-N1-201201574


To: Distribution list

RE:   Application by Northwestel Inc. to Review and Vary Telecom Decision CRTC 2012-4 and to Stay Paragraph 20

Dear Sir/Madam:

Commission staff is of the view that additional information is required for the Commission to make determinations on the matters raised in the above-noted proceeding. Northwestel Inc. (Northwestel) is to therefore respond to the attached request for information, serving copies on all parties to this proceeding, no later than 29 May 2012.

Other parties will have an opportunity to address the new evidence filed by Northwestel in its responses, as set-out in the following process.

Parties may file requests for disclosure and further information on the responses submitted by Northwestel no later than 4 June 2012.  Northwestel may file responses to requests for disclosure and further information no later than 14 June 2012. Commission staff will notify parties of any additional information that is to be filed as soon as possible thereafter. Any information to be provided pursuant to those determinations is to be filed by 19 June 2012.

Parties may file comments on the responses filed by Northwestel no later than 3 July 2012. Northwestel may file reply comments no later than 10 July 2012.

Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be received, and not merely sent, by that date.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Mario Bertrand
Director, Competition Implementation and Technology

Distribution list:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; MFORSEY@DAL.CA;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Appendix 1


In its 6 February 2012 application, Northwestel requested that, in the event the Commission finds that it did not err in Telecom Decision 2012-4, the Commission should grant alternate relief to Northwestel by forbearing from V-Connect on a prospective basis.

Having regard to the forbearance criteria outlined in section III of Telecom Decision 94-19, and to section 34 of the Telecommunications Act, Northwestel is to respond to the following:

  1. Northwestel indicated at paragraph 14 of its application that V-Connect is a corporate IP VPN service.
    1. Clarify whether Northwestel’s position is that, for the purposes of assessing forbearance, the relevant product market for V-Connect is corporate IP VPN services.
    2. If not, what should be the relevant product market for V-Connect for the purposes of assessing forbearance?
  2. What should be the relevant geographic market for V-Connect for the purposes of assessing forbearance?
  3. Northwestel indicated at paragraph 14 of its application that it “faces competition from alternative suppliers, using various technologies, in the market for corporate IP VPN services.” Provide a list of these alternate suppliers. For each supplier, identify the specific technology that they use to provide corporate IP VPN services, and the communities in which they operate.
  4. Northwestel indicated at paragraph 14 of its application that “equivalent competitive IP VPN services can be and are provided independently of Northwestel’s network using satellite technology”. Discuss whether services provisioned over satellite facilities are a substitute to services provisioned over terrestrial facilities, particularly with respect to factors such as cost, speed and reliability.
  5. Provide evidence of the market conditions for V-Connect service including responses to the following:
    1. The number of Northwestel end-customers that subscribed to V-Connect, by community, for each of the years 2006 to 2011. For each community, indicate what type of facilities it is served by (i.e. fibre, satellite or other).
    2. Northwestel’s revenue from V-Connect for each of the years 2006 to 2011.
    3. The monthly rates charged for V-Connect for each of the years 2006 to 2011, by bandwidth option and by community type (i.e. Type A, B or C).
    4. Are competitors currently offering a service comparable to V-Connect in Northwestel’s serving territory?  If so, for each of the years 2006 to 2011, how many of Northwestel’s V-Connect customers, and the corresponding annual revenues, have been lost to competitors? Of those lost customers, how many were lost following a competitive bidding process?
  6. How many of Northwestel’s retail V-Connect subscribers will be covered by the geographic footprint of Wholesale Connect, and what percentage of total V-Connect subscribers does this represent?
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