ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Dallas Yeulett (Northwestel Inc.)

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Ottawa, 7 August 2014

Our reference:  8638-C12-201400499


Mr. Dallas Yeulett
Senior Manager, Regulatory Compliance
Northwestel Inc.
PO Box 2727
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 4Y4

RE: Northwestel - Progress Report for 2013 and Revised Modernization Plan for 2014 - 2017 – FWV switch challenges and proposed LIR configuration

Dear Sir:

On 31 March 2014, the Commission received Northwestel’s Network Modernization progress report for 2013 and revised Modernization Plan for 2014-2017, pursuant to the Commission’s directives in Northwestel Inc. – Regulatory Framework, Modernization Plan, and related matters, Telecom Regulatory Policy 2013-711, 18 December 2013 (TRP 2013-711).

In the revised Modernization plan, Northwestel indicated that a number of challenges remain in regards to the deployment of fixed wireless voice (FWV) switches in its network. The company indicated that it had concerns related to quality of service impacts on customers, and was very cautious about deploying those switches until it was fully confident of their service capabilities.

The company stated that due to these concerns, it would be postponing the deployment of FWV switches in seven satellite communities in its operating territory from 2014 to 2015.  The company also stated that it would be deploying wireline switches in 24 terrestrial

communities that were previously identified as FWV candidates, requiring changes to Local Interconnection Regions (LIRs) (i.e. Carmacks LIR communities would now be homed off Whitehorse, and the Carmacks LIR would therefore be dissolved).

The Commission received comments from interested persons requesting that the Commission follow-up on FWV switch challenges and alternatives. Ice Wireless & Iristel indicated their concern with delays in Local Number portability (LNP) implementation that impede a competitor from implementing local competition in the affected communities as well as impose additional uncertainty and costs. The Government of the Northwest Territories expressed its concern with the FWV switch implementation delay, as well as the delayed roll-out of LNP and Enhanced Calling Features (ECF) in some communities, and proposed that Northwestel be directed to submit, as part of next year’s Modernization Plan update, an alternative plan to meet its LNP and ECF commitments in a timely manner.

Given the concerns about the limitations of FWV switches, and in order to ensure that FWV switch implementation risks are being mitigated, Northwestel is requested to file with the Commission an update on FWV switch testing and the Company’s risk mitigation strategy, by no later than 30 September 2014.

In addition, Northwestel is requested to file a tariff application to update the LIR section in its Local Network Interconnection tariff to reflect the changes with respect to the Carmacks communities and the removal of the Carmacks LIR.


Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.: Ice Wireless & Iristel,
Government of the Northwest Territories,
Imen Arfaoui, CRTC, 819-997-4663,

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