Telecom Procedural Letter Addressed to Philippe Gauvin (Bell Canada)

Ottawa, 19 April 2016

Our reference:8661-C12-201504829, 8661-C182-201503946

BY EMAIL

Mr. Philippe Gauvin
Senior Legal Counsel
Bell Canada
160 Elgin Street, 19th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario  K2P 2C4
bell.regulatory@bell.ca

RE:  Telecom Decision CRTC 2016-117, Review of costing inputs and the application process for wholesale high-speed access services (Decision 2016-117) – Request for Extension

Dear Sir,

The Commission is in receipt of a letter dated 8 April 2016, submitted by Bell Canada, requesting an extension to the current due date of 16 May 2016 (representing 45 days from the date of the decision) for the filing of new tariff applications and supporting cost studies with respect to Review of costing inputs and the application process for wholesale high-speed access services, Telecom Decision CRTC 2016-117, dated 31 March 2016 (Telecom Decision 2016-117).

Bell Canada submitted that they are not able to prepare the new tariff applications within the allotted timeframe and seek approval to extend the filing date to 2 August 2016, for themselves and for all wholesale high-speed access (HSA) service providers that are required to file tariffs and supporting cost studies pursuant to Telecom Decision 2016-117.

Bell Canada cited the following reasons in support of their position: the large number of cost studies that they are being asked to develop as a result of Commission requirements; HSA cost studies have not been updated for many years; the need to develop and validate the supporting models and associated filing details; the additional supporting detail required by the Commission, and the resulting costing challenges as a result of the restructuring that took place when Bell Aliant was wound up into Bell Canada.

The Commission received comments from Cogeco Cable Inc. (Cogeco), Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel), MTS Inc. (MTS), Shaw Cablesystems G.P. (Shaw), Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of Videotron G.P. (Videotron), Rogers Communications Partnership (RCP), TELUS Communications Company (TCC) and Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc. (CNOC). Cogeco, SaskTel, MTS, Shaw, Videotron, RCP, and TCC supported the request of Bell Canada provided that any extension be also granted to all parties who are required to file revised tariff applications with supporting cost studies as a result of Telecom Decision 2016-117.

CNOC recognized the significant effort required for filling the Commission requested tariff applications and supporting costing information and indicated that it did not object to an extension to the filing date. However, CNOC did expressed concern with the length of the extension request and the regulatory uncertainty created as a result of a lengthy delay. CNOC was also concerned with how the extension may adversely impact other proceedings such as establishing rates for disaggregated wholesale HSA services.

CNOC proposed that the Commission strike a balance between the concerns they have raised while allowing the wholesale HSA service providers enough time to produce complete tariff filings and costing information. CNOC suggests that an additional 45 day extension would strike such a balance.

The Commission acknowledges the extent of the filing requirements that have been imposed on the wholesale HSA service providers as a result of Telecom Decision 2016-117 and it was for this reason that wholesale HSA service providers were given a 45 day timeframe to prepare and file the proposed tariff applications and associated cost studies. However, the Commission considers the 12 week extension sought by Bell Canada is not reasonable as it would delay the process by which cost-based rates can be examined and ultimately ruled upon.

At the same time, the Commission appreciates that the tariff filing process will likely proceed more efficiently if the regulatory filings of the wholesale HSA service providers are complete and are supported by robust evidence.

In light of the above, the Commission determines that an additional 45 days, as suggested by CNOC, would represent a more reasonable timeframe. This amount of time strikes an appropriate balance with the needs of wholesale HSA service providers to prepare the requested information and the additional regulatory uncertainty resulting from an extension to the filing deadlines. The Commission also considers that the extension of the filing date should be granted to all parties who are required to file revised tariffs with supporting cost studies.

Accordingly, the Commission amends the filing date. All wholesale HSA service providers are to file new tariff applications and associated cost studies for banded non-legacy wholesale HSA service speeds, as well as the monthly capacity rate per 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) service [for wholesale HSA service providers using the capacity-based billing (CBB) model], within 90 days of the publication of the Decision 2016-117 (30 June 2016), reflecting the Commissions determinations made in that decision.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Danielle May-Cuconato
Secretary General

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