ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Mr. David Marshall (Duxbury Law Professional Corporation) and Mr. Philippe Gauvin (Bell Canada)

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Ottawa, 21 July 2016

Our reference:  8690-C210-201409219

By Email

Mr. David Marshall
Duxbury Law Professional Corporation
500 – 1 King Street West
Hamilton, Ontario  L8P 1A4

Mr. Philippe Gauvin
Bell Canada
Senior Counsel – Regulatory Law and Policy
Floor 19, 160 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario  K2P 2C4

Re: An application made on behalf of the City of Hamilton with respect to the establishment of a Municipal Access Agreement between the City and Bell Canada and associated matters – Request for clarification 

Dear Sirs,

On 13 May 2016, Bell Canada requested clarification from Commission staff concerning the application of clause 13(b) of the municipal access agreement (the MAA) between the City of Hamilton (the City) and Bell Canada that came out of Telecom Decision 2016-51.  More specifically, the parties have divergent views on the level of location information that Bell Canada is to provide to the City with respect to buried infrastructure.

Clause 13(b) of the MAA states:

The locates provided by the Company to the Municipality for pre-design shall contain sufficient design information and survey detail as reasonably required by the Commissioner, such as line and elevation of the Equipment within the alignments, but excluding information on depth. If the Company is unable to provide either the line or elevation information within an agreeable time frame, the Municipality may invoice the Company for any costs reasonably incurred by the Municipality in determining the line or elevation of the Equipment within the alignments.

Bell Canada submitted that while this clause requires it to provide elevation as a vertical measurement of how high aerial facilities are above the ground, the reference to “…but excluding information on depth.” exempts Bell Canada from providing vertical location information concerning its buried infrastructure.

The City argued that the words “elevation of the Equipment within the alignments” are not limited to aerial facilities but also include underground facilities. Accordingly, the City argued that Bell Canada should be required to provide elevation data for the underground facilities, which could be measured relative to the mean sea level.

Staff Clarification

In Commission staff’s view, the City’s interpretation would render meaningless the carve out in Clause 13(b) with respect to information on depth. Further, the carve out recognizes, based on submissions made in the proceeding that led to Telecom Decision 2016-51, that the depth of underground facilities can vary within a relatively short distance. Given this, the Commission determined that it would be unreasonable to impose on Bell Canada an obligation to provide data with respect to the depth of underground facilities.

Therefore, staff considers that clause 13(b) of the MAA between Bell Canada and the City, as worded in Telecom Decision 2016-51, does not require Bell Canada to provide vertical coordinates of underground facilities to the City.


Original signed by Lyne Renaud for

Chris Seidl
Executive Director
Telecommunications sector

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