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Ottawa, 11 April 2014

Our reference:


Association des centres d’urgence du Québec
400, avenue Sirois
Rimouski Québec G5l 6E2

OIC ’E’ Division Operational Communications Center (OCCs)
RCMP ’E’ Division Headquarters
14200 Green Timbers Way, Mail Stop #1409
Surrey, British Columbia V3T 6P3

Emergency Communications Centre
120, 19th Street North
Brandon, Manitoba R7B 3X6

Communications and Technology Services Bureau
Lincoln M. Alexander Building
777 Memorial Ave.
Orillia Ontario L3V 7V3

Re: Text with 9-1-1 service user registration

Dear Madam/Sirs:

In January 2013, the Commission issued Telecom Decision 2013-22 in which it decided that, subsequent to a successful trial of the Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1) service with members of the speech and hearing impaired community, this service was to be implemented nation-wide. The Commission directed telecommunications service providers to offer the service and also encouraged all municipal and provincial governments to expeditiously make the changes required to Public Safety Answering Points’ (PSAP) systems in order to support the service.

In its decision, the Commission stated its expectation that when all T9-1-1 stakeholders (wireless carriers, telecommunications service providers, and PSAPs) are ready to support the T9-1-1 service in a particular PSAP’s serving area, the service will immediately be made available in that area.

Wireless carriers, with the support of representatives of the speech and hearing impaired community and PSAPs participating in the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee’s Emergency Services Working Group (CISC ESWG), have implemented T9-1-1 in a way that permitted T9-1-1 users throughout the country to register for the service as soon as the first PSAP in Canada was able to provide the service. This implementation approach was favored because it allows registered users across the country to gain access to this potentially life-saving service immediately, where the service is available, as opposed to waiting until the end of a multi-year province-wide or nation-wide roll-out.

In March 2014, the Commission received letters from the Ontario Provincial Police, the Emergency Communications Centre located in Brandon, Manitoba, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police OIC ‘E’ Division Operational Communication Centre in Surrey, BC, and l’ Association des Centres d’urgence du Québec. The letters requested that the Commission re-assess the decision to allow T9-1-1 users to register for the service in areas where T9-1-1 is not yet available. It was also suggested that T9-1-1 should only be made available to users in a particular province when all PSAPs in said province are ready to provide the service.

Commission staff notes that the main issue of concern expressed in the letters is that registered T9-1-1 users may be confused concerning the availability of the T9-1-1 service in their area and attempt to place T9-1-1 calls in areas of the country that are not yet T9-1-1 enabled. In order to mitigate such a risk the Commission, when it mandated T9-1-1 implementation, requested that the CISC ESWG, in conjunction with all stakeholders, develop a T9-1-1 service communication plan and education program to inform subscribers and the general public about T9-1-1. As part of that plan, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association developed a comprehensive website ( providing registrants with information on where T9-1-1 service is currently available across the country along with information on the service itself and how to register.

Commission staff also notes that some PSAPs have developed policies and best practices to address these potential situations and are sharing this information during CISC ESWG meetings, more specifically as part of the work of the ESWG’s sub-working group on PSAP Operational Requirements for T9-1-1 (Task Identification Form 67). For example, several PSAPs have issued local press releases reminding potential T9-1-1 users that, although registration is available, the service is not yet up-and-running in their area. Commission staff encourages all PSAPs to fully participate in those discussions and sharing of best practices.

Commission staff considers that, given the continuing efforts of wireless carriers, telecommunications service providers, PSAPs and representatives of the hearing and speech impaired communities to work together to successfully roll-out T9-1-1 for speech and hearing impaired Canadians as expeditiously as possible, Commission intervention is unnecessary at this time.


Original signed by

Chris Seidl
Executive Director
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.: Michel Murray, CRTC, 819-997-9300,
Chris Kellet, 468-663 Denali Court Kelowna, British Columbia V1V 2R3
Ashlee Smith, 80 Elgin Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6R2

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