ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter addressed to Stephen Schmidt (TELUS Communications Company)

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Our file: 8665-C12-201403907

Ottawa, 19 September 2014


Mr. Stephen Schmidt   

RE: Clarification of response provided by TELUS Communications Company

Dear Mr. Schmidt:

On 14 August 2014, Commission staff sent a letter to remind TELUS Communications Company (Telus) and other telecommunications service providers that, pursuant to Commission staff’s 6 May 2014 letter, measurement of the identified indicators for message relay service (MRS)Footnote 1 is to start as of 1 September 2014 at the latest.

Commission staff has additional questions in reference to Telus’ response dated
30 June 2013, to Commission staff’s letter dated 6 May 2014. These questions refer to Telus’ wholesale and retail provision of MRS.

The response to the following must be submitted by 26 September 2014:

  1. Paragraph 8 of your response indicates that a “high typing speed is part of the list of criteria that any applicant must meet in order to be hired as an operator at Telus”. Please indicate what qualifies as a “high typing speed” and how this is confirmed or tested by Telus.

The response to the following must be submitted by 29 November 2014:

  1. Paragraphs 9, 10 and 15 of your response explain why Telus does not and will not formally measure the average operator typing speed on an ongoing basis. Telus also indicates that typing speed, or any issues caused by typing speed, would be adequately addressed through its complaints process.

    Staff acknowledges that the implementation of a tool to track operator typing speed on an ongoing basis could be onerous, given that a standardized test would need to be created and each operator would have to be routinely tested and their results documented and tracked on an individual basis. However, typing skills are a fundamental component of message relay services. Specifically, the speed of typing facilitates the flow of conversation while the accuracy of typing ensures that the conversation is correctly relayed.

    The average speed of a voice conversation is approximately 170 words per minute and the closer an operator is to such a speed, the more fluid and natural the MRS relayed conversation.

    Furthermore, staff notes that Telus provides wholesale services to #      #

    Accordingly, in light of the above, in order for the Commission to understand the nature of the service being offered, Commission staff requests that Telus conduct a one-time typing test of all of its relay operators and provide the results of this test by 29 November 2014. The scores of these tests may be averaged over all of Telus’ relay operators for (a) English and (b) French operators. The results of this one-time test is to indicate both (i) average speed (words per minute), as well as (ii) average accuracy (percentage). If an operator is bilingual and processes calls in both English and French, the operator should be tested in both official languages.

Commission staff acknowledges that such a test will require time and resources on Telus’ part, however, this information is an important quality of service indicator for MRS.

Should you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact Kay Saicheua at

819-934-1358 or by email at



Nanao Kachi
Director, Social and Consumer Policy


Footnote 1

MRS includes both teletypewriter (TTY) relay and Internet Protocol (IP) relay.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

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