ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Various Parties Interested in the Ontario Video Relay Service Committee’s Final Costs Application for Participation in Proceeding Initiated by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-188

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Ottawa, 14 January 2015

Our reference: 8665-C12-201403287

BY EMAIL;;;;;;;;;

Re: Ontario Video Relay Service Committee’s Final Costs Application for Participation in Proceeding Initiated by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-188

The Commission received a final costs application from Ontario Video Relay Service Committee (OVRSC) on 5 November 2014 in regards to OVRSC’s participation in the proceeding initiated by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-188: Establishing the structure and mandate of the video relay service (VRS) administrator.

In this proceeding, the Commission received interventions from two telecommunications service providers (TSPs), TELUS Communications Company (TCC) and MTS Allstream. Both TSPs’ participation in this proceeding was limited to a one page submission that agreed with the proposal filed by the Interim Board of Directors of the VRS Administrator (Interim Board) for the structure and mandate of the VRS administrator.

The Commission generally allocates the responsibility for payment of costs among costs respondents based on the telecommunications operating revenues as they are an indicator of the relative size and interest of the parties involved in the proceeding. However, Commission staff considers that with respect to OVRSC’s present costs application, such a strict apportionment of costs between TCC and MTS Allstream, on the basis that they were the only TSPs that submitted formal interventions, may not be appropriate.

The CRTC 2014-188 proceeding was a follow-up to Telecom Regulatory Policy 2014-187: Video Relay Service, which was initiated by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-155: Issues related to the feasibility of establishing a video relay service. The following parties actively participated in the CRTC 2013-155 proceeding : Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership (Bell Aliant); Bell Canada; Bell Mobility Inc.; KMTS; NorthernTel, Limited Partnership; and Télébec, Limited Partnership (collectively, Bell Canada et al.); Bragg Communications Inc., operating as Eastlink (Eastlink); Cogeco Cable Inc. (Cogeco); MTS Inc. (MTS) and Allstream Inc. (collectively, MTS Allstream); Northwestel Inc. (Northwestel); Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of its affiliate Videotron G.P. (Videotron); Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI); Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel); Shaw Communications Inc. (Shaw); and TCC.  In related decisions on applications for costs for participation in that proceeding, these TSPs were found to have a significant interest in its outcome and costs were allocated amongst them based on their telecommunications operating revenues.

Commission staff notes that, in its proposal of 25 July 2014, the Interim Board stated that it had held a consultation with the largest TSP stakeholders to receive feedback on its proposal on the structure, mandate and governance of the VRS Administrator. Commission staff considers that the regulatory policy arising from the CRTC 2014-188 proceeding affects the same TSPs involved in CRTC 2013-155.

Given the above, Commission staff considers that, with one departure, it may be appropriate for the same costs respondents that were respondents in Telecom Order CRTC 2014-244 to be the costs respondents to the  present OVRSC costs application.

The Commission occasionally departs from the general approach of allocating the responsibility for payment of costs among costs respondents based on their telecommunications operating revenues when it would make the collection of an award easier for the costs applicant or would require the costs applicant to collect negligible sums of money from some costs respondents. With regards to the present application, Commission staff considers that in accordance with the Guidelines for the Assessment of CostsFootnote 1 it may be appropriate in this instance to limit the number of costs respondents to six parties:

If you have any comments on the OVRSC costs application and the issues regarding appropriate respondents outlined in this letter, it is to be filed with the Commission by 26 January 2015.  OVRSC may reply to any comments no later than 5 February 2015.  A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the public record of the proceeding.

Yours Sincerely,

original signed by

Lori Pope
Legal Counsel


Footnote 1

Revision of CRTC costs award practices and procedures, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-963, 23 December 2010, Guidelines for the Assessment of Costs at section 48.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

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