ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Various Parties

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Ottawa, 1 November 2016

Our reference:  8638-C12-201509663


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

Mr. Michel Messier
Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, Telecom
Cogeco Communications
5 Place Ville Marie, Suite 1700
Montreal, Quebec  H3B 0B3

Mr. Howard Slawner
Vice President – Regulatory Telecom
Rogers Communications Canada Inc.
350 Bloor Street East, 6th Floor
Toronto, Ontario  M4W 1G9

Mr. Dennis Béland
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Québecor Media
612 rue St-Jacques, 15th Floor
Montreal, Quebec  H3C 4M8

RE:  Follow-up to Telecom Decision CRTC 2016-379, Follow-up to Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-326, Implementation of a disaggregated wholesale high-speed access service, including over FTTP access facilities – Request for Extension

Dear Sirs,

The Commission is in receipt of a letter from Bell Canada dated 30 September 2016 requesting an extension of the filing date set out in Telecom Decision 2016-379 (TD 2016-379) for tariff filings and supporting cost studies for disaggregated wholesale high-speed access (HSA) services. Specifically, Bell Canada requested that the filing date be extended from 21 November 2016 to 31 January 2017 and be applied to all parties who are required to file tariffs and supporting cost studies for the disaggregated wholesale HSA services.

Bell Canada submitted that it required roughly 14 weeks from the date of the decision, excluding the Commission's four week holiday period, to complete the cost studies that it was being asked to develop. Execution of the studies requires the company to identify the specific network components, processes and activities associated with the work involved to be able to offer the services, to develop and validate the cost inputs and studies, and to prepare the related filing package. Also, Bell Canada stated that critical resources would not be available during November 2016.

Bell Canada submitted that if it were required to respond to requests for information related to the cost studies filed in support of their proposed aggregated HSA service rates in the follow-up to Telecom Decision 2016-117 (the aggregated HSA proceeding) or to similar requests related to wireless wholesale roaming cost studies filed pursuant to Telecom Regulatory Policy 2015-177 (the wireless proceeding), the company would need additional time to provide tariff filings and cost studies in response to TD 2016-379.

Bell Canada submitted that it would file a separate request for a revised due date for filing tariffs and associated cost studies for the meet-me point after it had assessed what solution would best meet the requirement.

Cogeco Communications Inc., Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (RCCI) and Quebecor Media Inc, on behalf of its subsidiary Videotron (Videotron) (collectively the Cablecos) all supported Bell Canada’s extension request. The Cablecos cited the complexity of the cost study process and the challenges of assembling the information to produce the requested tariffs and costing studies as reasons for requiring the extension.

The Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc. (CNOC) opposed Bell Canada’s request. CNOC submitted that Bell Canada had not justified its requests, submitting that the ability of incumbent carriers to comply with regulatory requirements in a timely manner is a fundamental responsibility. CNOC further submitted that granting Bell Canada’s request would harm competition and consumers as it would delay competitors’ ability to compete in the growing market served by next generation networks such as fibre-to-the premises (FTTP) networks.

CNOC submitted that it considered a revised deadline of 9 January 2017 more appropriate, provided that all costing information required by Commission in TD 2016-379, including meet-me point costing information is filed and that the filings are complete and adhere to the Commission’s requirements.
Distributel submitted that sufficient time should be allowed to produce accurate cost models but that unnecessary delays should not be allowed. With delay, consumers are denied competitive choices and incumbents can sign up more customers and make it more difficult for competitors to win customers for their services when the disaggregated service is available. Distributel submitted that it would support CNOC’s proposed filing date if the Commission agrees that additional time is required.

The British Columbia Broadband Association echoed CNOC’s concern regarding competitive harm, and submitted that any delay in the current process will delay implementation of HSA services in western Canada.

Vaxination proposed that the original deadline be maintained for the filing of tariffs while an extension until 31 January 2017 be granted for filing cost studies.

Commission’s analysis and determinations

As indicated in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2105-326, the provision of disaggregated wholesale HSA services to competitors is a significant element in the Commission’s wholesale regime as it will incent more facilities-based competition. These services will also enable competitors to have greater control over their costs, provide the ability to offer high-quality innovative retail services and provide access to end-users served by FTTP access facilities.

The filing of tariffs, supported by cost studies is a necessary component of the regulatory work that needs to be done before the services can be provided, thereby allowing competitors’ access to consumers served by FTTP facilities. Accordingly, it is in the public interest that the filings be made in a timely manner. It is also in the public interest that the regulatory filings of Bell Canada and the Cablecos be complete and supported by robust evidence.

Accordingly, in assessing Bell Canada’s request, it is necessary to strike an appropriate balance between the timeliness factor and the desirability of solid evidence to support the regulatory filings.

As a preliminary matter, the Commission considers that Bell Canada’s reliance on the 4 week holiday period identified in the Rules of Procedure is misplaced. Section 12 (1) (c)Footnote 1 is engaged when a deadline is expressed in number of days and the days in question fall within the period between 21 December and 7 January. However, the holiday period does not apply when the deadline is expressed as a fixed date. Further, even if it did apply, the Commission has the specific authority under the Rules to dispense with the Rules.

In light of the identified areas of complexity that will require additional time to file tariff applications supported by adequate cost studies, the Commission recognizes that the current deadline of 21 November 2016 may not be appropriate. However, the new deadline proposed by Bell Canada is not reasonable as it fails to strike the appropriate balance noted above.

With respect to the Cablecos’ corresponding request for an extension, the Commission considers that the work for the Cablecos is of similar magnitude and complexity as that of Bell Canada, and therefore it is appropriate that any extension granted to Bell Canada should also be granted to the Cablecos.

The Commission considers that the deadline of 9 January 2017, as proposed by CNOC, strikes an appropriate balance between the timeliness factor and the desirability of having solid evidence.

With respect to the meet-me point tariff application, this is an efficient interconnection option that could stimulate migration to the disaggregated service. Therefore, it should be made available as soon as possible. Because the filing requirement for the meet-me point applies only to Bell Canada, the Commission considers that the company should be provided additional time to file proposed tariffs and cost studies for the meet-me point.

Given Bell Canada’s experience with co-location and interconnection with other carriers, the Commission considers that a 31 January 2017 deadline would be appropriate and reasonable for the submission of Bell Canada’s proposed tariffs and supporting cost studies for the meet-me point.

With respect to Bell Canada’s submission that if it receives any requests for information relating to costs in other proceedings it will need more time to file the submissions at issue, the Commission considers that, absent very extraordinary circumstances, the Commission does not contemplate further changes to the filing dates set out below.

Accordingly, the Commission revises filing dates set out in TD 2016-379 as follows:


Original signed by

Danielle May-Cuconato
Secretary General

c.c.: Distribution List ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;;; ; ; ;


Footnote 1

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure, Section 12:
12 (1) Sections 26 to 29 of the Interpretation Act apply to the computation of a time period set out in these Rules or a decision, notice of consultation, regulatory policy or information bulletin, except that

  1.  Saturday is considered to be a holiday;
  2.  a time period for the filing of a document with the Commission ends at 5:00 p.m., Vancouver time; and
  3.  the period beginning on December 21 in one year and ending on January 7 in the following year must not be included in the computation of a time period.

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