ARCHIVED - Telecom Decision CRTC 2015-532
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Ottawa, 1 December 2015
File number: 8695-C209-201508334
Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV), Inc. – Application requesting video relay service funding for 2016
The Commission approves the application submitted by the Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV), Inc. (CAV) for $5.5 million in funding from the National Contribution Fund (NCF) for 2016. The $5.5 million is to be disbursed by the NCF to the CAV in 12 equal monthly instalments, beginning in January 2016. Access to this funding will permit the CAV to continue its efforts to introduce VRS in Canada to the benefit of all Canadians, as contemplated by the Commission in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2014-187.
- Video relay service (VRS) enables people to conduct telephone calls using sign language. VRS connects a sign language user with another party via an operator who can interpret between sign language and spoken language.
- In Telecom Regulatory Policy 2014-187, the Commission
- determined that VRS must be offered in Canada;
- established a $30 million funding cap to cover all administrative and service-related costs for VRS;Footnote 1
- decided that VRS would be overseen and implemented by an independent VRS administrator; and
- set out the minimum requirements that the VRS administrator must meet in order for funds to be released from the National Contribution Fund (NCF) for VRS.
- Then, in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2014-659, the Commission approved the structure and mandate of the VRS administrator, known as the Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV), Inc. (CAV). In particular, the Commission approved the CAV funding process, whereby an annual budget would be approved by the Commission before expenditures are incurred,Footnote 2 and amounts would be disbursed in equal monthly instalments from the NCF.Footnote 3
- At the same time as that decision was issued, the Commission released Telecom Decision 2014-665, in which it approved a budget of $2.6 million for expenses related to VRS for 2014-15.Footnote 4 This amount was to be disbursed from the NCF in equal monthly instalments.
- The Commission received an application from the CAV, dated 31 July 2015, requesting that the Commission approve its proposal to seek $5.5 millionFootnote 5 in funding from the NCF for 2016. The amount represents projected expenditures for 2016, less a projected surplus for 2015, which resulted from the procurement process for the VRS platform taking longer than anticipated to implement.
- The Commission received no interventions regarding the CAV’s application. The public record of the proceeding, which closed on 8 September 2015, is available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca or by using the file number provided above.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
- Having reviewed the details of the CAV’s application, including its planned VRS related activities for the upcoming year, the Commission finds the amount of funding for 2016 to be reasonable. As such, the Commission approves the CAV’s application seeking $5.5 million in funding from the NCF for expenditures expected to be incurred in 2016. Accordingly, the Commission directs the Central Fund Administrator of the NCF to remit the approved amount of $5.5 million to the CAV in 12 equal monthly instalments starting in January 2016.
- Request for 2014-2015 video relay service funding, Telecom Decision CRTC 2014-665, 18 December 2014
- Structure and mandate of the video relay service administrator, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-659, 18 December 2014
- Video relay service, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-187, 22 April 2014
- Footnote 1
As noted in paragraph 75 of Telecom Regulatory Policy 2014-187, the Commission indicated that it could take several years for VRS to become operational, and that until the service is in operation, the required funding would primarily be for administrative purposes.
- Footnote 2
The CAV must submit its projected annual budget to the Commission by 31 July each year for approval.
- Footnote 3
See paragraph 47 of Telecom Regulatory Policy 2014-659.
- Footnote 4
The $2.6 million related to expenses incurred by the CAV in 2014 and projected expenses for 2015.
- Footnote 5
The breakdown of the requested funding was provided to the Commission in confidence.
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