ARCHIVED - Letter
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Ottawa, 8 November 2012
John Lawford, Counsel for PIAC/CAC (email@example.com)
Jean-François Mezei, Vaxination Informatique (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Re: Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-557 – Request for Extension and Expanded Scope
The Commission is in receipt of a request by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre on its own behalf and as counsel for the Consumers’ Association of Canada (collectively PIAC/CAC), filed on 12 October 2012, that the Commission extend the deadlines for filing interventions and replies as well as the hearing date in the above noted proceeding by two weeks. PIAC/CAC argued that this short extension would allow public interest representatives to organize their representation as well as properly correspond with their membership and instruct counsel. Rogers, TELUS and Bell supported this request.
The Commission considers that an extension of time to allow parties additional time to participate is reasonable. The Commission has carefully considered its hearing schedule, the Christmas holiday and other restrictions, and revises the timeline for the proceeding as follows:
Interventions: 4 December 2012
Reply comments: 18 December 2012
Public Hearing: 11 February 2013
These amendments are set out in the amended Notice of Consultation for this proceeding, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2012-557-1.
The Commission is also in receipt of a request by Vaxination Informatique (Vaxination) to expand the scope of the above mentioned proceeding to include comment on how the Code could address any other business practice which points to a failure of market forces or which impedes competition in the wireless industry. Vaxination indicated that such topics could include the locking of phones which render it difficult to change service provider, undue preference caused by wireless service providers who offer exclusive television services to their customer, and caps on roaming fees. Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel) objected to Vaxination’s request, arguing that expanding the scope would be contrary to the Commission’s determinations in Telecom Decision 2012-556 that competition in the wireless market continues to be sufficient to protect the interests of users with respect to rates and choice of competitive service providers and would remove focus in the proceeding from the clarity and content of retail mobile services contracts.
The Commission notes that its preliminary view as to the contents of the Code includes “the conditions under which a handset may be unlocked.” The Commission also notes that the Notice of Consultation does not limit submissions to issues set out in the preliminary view as to the Code, as it specifically asks for comment on “any other specific provisions that would enable consumers to better understand their rights with respect to mobile wireless services.”
However, the Commission’s determination in Telecom Decision 2012-556, made after conducting a public process, was that its intervention was not necessary with respect to mobile wireless service rates or competitiveness in the wireless market. As a result, the proceeding initiated by Notice of Consultation 2012-557 relates only to a Code designed to improve the relationship between Canadian consumers and their wireless service providers and does not include issues related to the competitive relationship between wireless service providers. In light of the above, the Commission denies the request by Vaxination to expand the scope of the above noted proceeding to include mobile wireless service rates or competitiveness in the wireless market.
A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the public record of the proceeding.
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