ARCHIVED - Telecom Procedural Letter Addressed to Distribution List

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Ottawa, 21 December 2015

Our reference:  8663-C12-201503186



Re:   Review of basic telecommunications services, Telecom Notice of Consultation 2015-134Footnote 1 – Request to rule equal access out of scope or modify the procedure

Dear Madam, Sir:

By letter dated 19 October 2015, Yak Communications (Canada) Corp. (Yak) requested that the Commission issue a letter to notify parties that the provision of equal accessFootnote 2 as a wholesale service is not within the scope of the proceeding initiated by Telecom Notice of Consultation 2015-134 (the Notice). Yak requested that in the alternative, the Commission revise the schedule to permit parties that are not participating in the proceeding to pose interrogatories and file comments on this issue.

Yak submitted that it does not believe that it was the Commission’s intention to review equal access as a tariffed wholesale service in this proceeding; otherwise it would have made the language of the Notice clearer and would have identified the conditions for the provision of equal access.

Yak submitted that the proposal to eliminate equal access appeared inconsistent with Telecom Regulatory Policy 2015-326Footnote 3 and that there was no indication in the Notice that any wholesale services would be reconsidered.

Positions of parties
The Commission received comments from Bell et al.,Footnote 4 Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc. (CNOC), OpenMedia, TELUS Communications Company (TCC) and Vaxination Informatique.

Bell et al. and TCC opposed Yak’s request, submitting that equal access is within the scope of the issues identified in the Notice. However, the companies were not opposed to Yak’s participation in the proceeding.

CNOC and OpenMedia supported Yak’s application, arguing that equal access cannot be reasonably read into any of the issues set out in the Notice, particularly since the Commission recently ruled on the regulatory status of this wholesale service in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2015-326. 

Commission’s analysis and determinations

The proceeding initiated by the Notice is reviewing, among other things, the telecommunications services required by Canadians to participate in the digital economy, which services should be considered to be basic telecommunications services, and whether changes should be made to the basic service objective. As a result, the issue of whether a basic telecommunications service policy should include the choice of long distance service provider is within the scope of the proceeding.

Equal access functionality is a wholesale regulatory measure imposed on incumbent local exchange carriers and most competitive local exchange carriers to implement the obligation to provide access to a choice of long distance service provider. The Commission considers that it is appropriate to first make a determination in this proceeding regarding whether a basic telecommunications service policy should include a choice of long distance service provider, before any reconsideration of the wholesale service used to implement that obligation. Accordingly, the equal access wholesale service is not within the scope of the proceeding.

In addition, the Commission considers that it would be appropriate to permit Yak and other interested persons who have not already intervened in the proceeding an opportunity to comment on the issue of whether the choice of long distance service provider should form part of a basic telecommunications service policy.

Accordingly, interested persons may comment specifically on the issue of whether a basic telecommunications service policy should include a choice of long distance service provider by filing an intervention by no later than 1 February 2016. At the same time, they may also indicate their intention to appear at the hearing, if they so wish, accompanied by reasons as to why an appearance is necessary. 

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Danielle May-Cuconato
Secretary General

c.c.: Christine Bailey, CRTC, 819-997-4557,

Distribution list



Footnote 1

Review of basic telecommunications services, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134, 9 April 2015, as amended by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2015-134-1, 3 June 2015

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Footnote 2

Equal access is a wholesale service which enables a customer to make a long distance call by using a service provider other than their current local service provider.

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Footnote 3

Review of wholesale wireline services and associated policies, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-326, 22 July 2015

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Footnote 4

Bell Canada, on its own behalf, and on behalf of its affiliates Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership (which effective 1 July 2015 was wound-up into Bell Canada, and is now operated as a division of Bell Canada), Bell Mobility Inc., Câblevision du Nord du Québec inc. (CVQ), DMTS, KMTS, NorthernTel, Limited Partnership, Northwestel Inc., Ontera and Télébec, Société en commandite.

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