ARCHIVED - Telecom Procedural Letter Addressed to the Distribution List
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Ottawa, 24 April 2015
File number: 8638-C12-201501833
To: Distribution List
Re: Call for comments – Consumer safeguards for payphones – Public notification policy for the removal of the last payphone in a community
Dear Sir or Madam:
On 26 February 2015, the Commission issued Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-66Footnote 1 and called for comments on improving the public notification policy for the removal of the last payphone in a community set out in Telecom Decision 2004-47Footnote 2.
Specifically, the Commission proposed the following modifications to the existing policy for the removal of certain payphones set out in that decision:
- modify the definition of a “community” to include, in addition to the last payphone in an area served by a wire centre, the last payphone in a municipality and the last payphone in a First Nations reserve;
- require that the notification requirement also be triggered for the removal of any payphone that is in a location, determined by street address, that does not have access to mobile wireless service by any carrier; and
- require that the notification requirement (triggered by the removal of the last payphone in a community and by the removal of any payphone in a location that does not have access to mobile wireless service) apply to all ILECs.
Definition of a community
Commission staff notes that interveners, including user groups and service providers, voiced concerns with the suggestion to modify the definition of a “community” to include the concept of a “municipality” and did so for varied reasons.
The main concerns for most interveners seemed to be that a “municipality” is a fluid concept, decided by local governments, occasionally modified, and not always representative of population centers.
User groups and local governments provided different alternative proposals that they considered would be in the best interest of Canadians while service providers generally argued the current practice of notifying for the last payphone in a wire center was sufficient.
Further, providers generally argued that their current payphone management systems were not built to take into account the level of specificity necessary both for the Commission’s proposal and for the proposals put forward by user groups. For example, in response to CAC-COSCO-PIAC’s suggestion that the notification be triggered by specific distance criteria, Bell submitted that:
“CAC-COSCO-PIAC asserts that "mapping technology has significantly advanced".Footnote 3 This may be correct; however, it remains a fact that our systems, which have been in place to support our installed legacy base of payphones over several decades, do not support these new technologies, and significant investment would be required to essentially remap every payphone installed across our serving territory.”Footnote 4
Access to mobile wireless service
While most interveners on the record, including user groups, local governments, and some service providers, agreed that the Commission’s proposal was reasonable and in line with consumer objectives, Bell noted that:
“… such a requirement would introduce an inefficient and disproportionate regulatory measure that is not necessary to ensure that adequate notification takes place to inform consumers that payphone service will no longer be available in a community.”Footnote 5
MTS also noted that, while they are not opposed to the proposal, such a requirement “would increase the ILECs’ costs to their detriment, with the corresponding benefits being uncertain given the existing notification requirement already in place”Footnote 6 and further noted that “the Commission should offer clarity on how wireless coverage is to be defined so that it can be applied and implemented in as effective a manner as possible.”Footnote 7 Some user groups noted similar concern regarding how it would be determined that a location does not have access to mobile wireless access.
Request for Additional Comment
Staff notes that the Commission will dispose of the issues on which it called for comment in Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-66 in due course. However, in light of the interventions and reply comments received in the proceeding, Commission staff is of the view that additional information is required on the public record of the proceeding.
Staff notes that most providers argued in this proceeding that payphones are a declining industry and that significant investments in the management of payphones could make some payphones even less profitable.
Staff notes that Canadians, local governments, and user groups took the position that payphones are still of importance to some segments of the Canadian population and that the safeguards around payphone removals need to be determined keeping in mind the individuals who rely on them and the situations where they may be a useful additional means, or even the only means to access the telecommunications system.
Given the above, Commission staff seeks comment on the following alternative proposal that, in its view, may address the concerns of parties who intervened:
- A new, streamlined notification requirement for all payphone removals, whereby service providers would be required to post a notice on any payphone scheduled for removal, wherever it is located, for at least 30 days prior to removal, with the same required information as the existing notice requirementFootnote 8 .
Staff is of the opinion that this proposal could ensure that Canadians get an opportunity to voice their concerns that a specific payphone is scheduled for removal while not requiring service providers to modify their payphone management systems in a potentially inefficient manner.
Parties may file a reply to this request by no later than 8 May 2015.
This letter and all subsequent correspondence form part of a public record. As set out in Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961, Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, parties may designate certain information as confidential. Parties must provide an abridged version of the document involved, accompanied by a detailed rationale to explain why the disclosure of the information is not in the public interest.
All submissions are to be made in accordance with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure, SOR/2010-277.Footnote 9
Should you have any questions concerning any of the above, please contact Guillaume Leclerc by telephone at 819-934-4342 or by e-mail at email@example.com
ORIGINAL SIGNED BY/ Stephen Harroun for
Director, Social and Consumer Policy, CRTC
c.c.: Guillaume Leclerc, CRTC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary-Louise Hayward, CRTC, email@example.com
All interveners in Telecom Notices of Consultation CRTC 2015-66 and 2015-67 as of 24 April 2015
- Footnote 1
Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-66 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2015/2015-66.htm
- Footnote 2
Telecom Decision CRTC 2004-47 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2004/dt2004-47.htm
- Footnote 3
CAC-COSCO-PIAC Intervention, paragraph 23.
- Footnote 4
Bell Reply, paragraph 9
- Footnote 5
Bell Intervention, paragraph 19
- Footnote 6
MTS Reply, paragraph 4
- Footnote 7
MTS Reply, paragraph 4
- Footnote 8
As required in Telecom Decision 2004-47 and restated in Telecom Notice of Consultation 20015-66: “The notice must clearly indicate the pending removal in large enough format to attract users’ attention and must include the date of removal, the ILEC’s name, address, and toll-free number, as well as directions to, and the location of, the nearest payphone.”
- Footnote 9
- Date modified: