ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Bill Abbott (Bell Canada)
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Ottawa, 19 June 2015
File No: 8665-B2-201413343
Mr. Bill Abbott
Senior Legal Counsel
Floor 19, 160 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2C4
By email: email@example.com
Re: Follow-up to Decision 2014-527, the Bell Show Cause Proceeding
Dear Mr. Abbott:
Please see the attached Request for Information (Interrogatory).
- Bell Canada (Bell) is requested to provide its response by 13 July 2015, serving a copy on the distribution list set out below.
- Interveners to this process may provide comment on Bell’s response by 24 July 2015, serving a copy on the distribution list set out below.
Documents to be filed and served in accordance with the above process must be received, not merely sent, by the dates indicated.
Original signed by/
Director, Social and Consumer Policy
Consumer Affairs and Strategic Policy
cc. Mary-Louise.Hayward@crtc.gc.ca; Jennifer.Eustace@crtc.gc.ca
firstname.lastname@example.org; Canadian Association of the Deaf email@example.com; Ontario College of Art and Design, Treviranus, firstname.lastname@example.org; ARCH email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Council of Canadians with Disabilities, email@example.com; Council of Canadians with Disabilities, firstname.lastname@example.org; Independent Living Canada, email@example.com; Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org; Canadian Council of the Blind, email@example.com; Ottawa Deaf Centre, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ontario Association of the Deaf, email@example.com; The Canadian Hearing Society, firstname.lastname@example.org; Canadian Association for Community Living, email@example.com; Centre québécois de la déficience auditive, firstname.lastname@example.org; Public Interest Law Centre, email@example.com; Disability and Information Technologies (Dis-IT), firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians/L'Alliance pour l'égalité des aveugles canadiens, Farah.firstname.lastname@example.org; Neil Squire Society, email@example.com; harryl.@neilsquire.ca; firstname.lastname@example.org; Chris Stark, email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Clayton Zekelman, clayton@MNSi.Net; Beverley Milligan, Media Access Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org; Confédération des organismes de personnes handicapées du Québec, email@example.com; Diane Bergeron, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lui Greco, email@example.com
Bell Canada (CRTC) 13 July 2015
In Decision 2014-527, the Commission approved Bell’s use of $4.9 million of deferral account funds for initiatives to improve access to telecommunications for persons with disabilities.
The Commission also directed Bell at paragraph 74 of that decision to show cause, including the provision of detailed costing information, why it should not be required to use all of the $1.6 million of its unallocated deferral account funds for some or all of six initiatives that were identified on the record of the proceeding.
Four of these initiatives addressed barriers – socio-economic and technological – facing persons with disabilities when accessing telecommunications services, today and into the future, and were not allocated funds by Bell in its show cause response:
- Provide the accessible Feature Phone at a price lower than that proposed by Bell Canada;
- Increase, beyond five years, lifecycle support for the Feature Phone or a comparable phone at a price similar to the proposed price;
- Put together basic packages of the Mobile Accessibility App and compatible smartphones/tablets, and the Tecla Access Solution and compatible smartphone/tablets, and offer these packages as lower-priced options; and
- Offer and support a smartphone with USB OTG technology for at least five years.
Commission staff notes, with respect to the accessible Feature Phone, at paragraph 28 of its 19 December 2014 Comments, Bell submitted that it:
“...had not been able to source a suitable handset in the timeframe since the issuance of Decision 2014-527 yet, and therefore, it is premature to comment on whether a lower price could be offered. Once such a handset is sourced, it will file an update cost study with the Commission that will outline the exact costs associated with the handset and potentially reassess the pricing of the handset.”
Bell is to provide responses to the following questions:
- Explain how Bell proposes to address the socio-economic and technological barriers that the four aforementioned initiatives, which were identified on the record of Decision 2014-527, through its deferral accounts.
- Confirm that Bell has been able to source and procure a suitable Feature Phone. If yes:
- Provide details on the handset and demonstrate how it meets the functionality and requirements for the Accessible feature phone approved by the Commission as set out in Appendix A of 2014-527
- Provide an updated cost study that provides exact costs associated with the handset as well as how the handset will be priced and promoted to Bell’s customers with disabilities.
- Provide details as to the date when the handset will be offered (made publically available). Confirm that Bell will provide a five-year lifecycle support for the handset from date of offer.
- Date modified: