Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Distribution List

ABRIDGED

Ottawa, 10 March 2017

Our reference: 8622-R28-201611781

BY EMAIL

Distribution List

Re: Application by Rogers Communications Canada Inc. alleging that Iris Technologies Inc. and Iristel are engaging in traffic stimulation

Dear Madams, Sirs:

On 16 November 2016, Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (RCCI) filed an application with the Commission alleging that Iris Technologies Inc. and Iristel (collectively, Iristel) were engaged in traffic stimulation.

Further process

Commission staff considers that additional information received through a request for information (RFI) process would assist parties and the Commission to better understand the nature of the increased traffic to the Northwest Territories, as reported by RCCI.

In light of the above, a process is hereby set out for additional RFIs. In this regard, a number of RFIs are posed to various parties and are attached in Attachment 2.These RFIs will assist the Commission in providing a fuller record.

The RFI process is set out as follows:

Parties are reminded that information necessary for the resolution of a matter before the Commission may be sought from Canadian carriers and other persons, in accordance with section 37 of the Telecommunications Act, which reads (in part) as follows:

37(1) The Commission may require a Canadian carrier

(2) Where the Commission believes that a person other than a Canadian carrier is in possession of information that the Commission considers necessary for the administration of this Act or any special Act, the Commission may require that person to submit the information to the Commission in periodic reports or in such other form and manner as the Commission specifies, unless the information is a confidence of the executive council of a province.

As set out in Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961, 23 December 2010, parties may designate certain information as confidential.Parties must provide an abridged version of the document involved, accompanied by rationale explaining how the information removed is confidential.

All submissions are to be made in accordance with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure, SOR/2010-277.

Responses to RFIs and comments are to be served on all parties to this application, including interveners, by the specified dates.Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date the document must be received, not merely sent.Copies of documents should be sent to kevin.pickell@crtc.gc.ca

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.: Kevin Pickell, CRTC, kevin.pickell@crtc.gc.ca

Attach. (1)

Distribution List

rwi_gr@rci.rogers.com; regulatory@iristel.ca; bell.regulatory@bell.ca; regulatory@cnoc.ca; Regulatory.matters@corp.eastlink.ca; eantecol@FreedomMobile.ca; andrew@isptelecom.net; nspina@keplercommunications.com; dennis.beland@quebecor.com; Regulatory@sjrb.ca; regulatory.affairs@telus.com; # #; # #

Requests for Information

A. Requests for information to Iris Technologies Inc. and Iristel (Iristel)

1. In paragraph 4(d) of RCCI’s 16 November 2016 application, RCCI requests that the Commission order the repayment of extra charges paid by RCCI to terminate long distance traffic on Iristel’s network in the Northwest Territories allegedly due to Iristel’s traffic stimulation activity (RCCI’s disputed traffic termination charges). RCCI further provided a specific reference to those extra charges in paragraph 69 of its 16 November 2016 application.

a. What percentage of RCCI’s disputed traffic termination charges were retained by Iristel?

b. Identify which entities received a portion of RCCI’s disputed traffic termination charges or compensation for such charges, and identify on what basis that those entities received a portion of or compensation for those disputed traffic termination charges.

c. What percentage of RCCI’s disputed traffic termination charges were paid out or, alternately, provided compensation, to entities other than Iristel such as AudioNow and/or # #?Provide a breakdown, if applicable, on a per-entity basis.If the exact amount cannot be determined, provide a reasonable estimate and the calculations used to establish that estimate.

d. If an entity identified in 1.b. above received a portion of RCCI’s disputed traffic termination charges or compensation for such charges on the basis of an agreement or arrangement, written or otherwise, provide (a) a copy of such agreement or arrangement, (b) any documentation related to that agreement or arrangement, and (c) any correspondence related to payments made by Iristel to an entity (or entities) as a result of or from RCCI’s disputed traffic termination charges.Iristel is not required to provide such documentation to the Commission if it is has already done so in a previous filing.

2. In paragraph 32 of Iristel’s 2 December 2016 answer, Iristel states that it has assigned Direct Inward Dial lines (DIDs) to # #. Further, in paragraph 36 of that answer, Iristel goes on to state that it has a service agreement with # # which contemplates revenue sharing.

a. Is # # a customer of Iristel, or are there any other agreements or arrangements, shared personnel, and/or affiliations between the two companies, for example, but not limited to, related to ownership, executive officers, board members, etc?Describe in detail any and all relationships between Iristel and # #.

b. Identify and provide a summary of all telecommunications services provided by Iristel to # #, and identify which services are used to route traffic from RCCI callers to # # and/or AudioNow.Include, if applicable, references to tariffs for any services provided.

3. In paragraph 33 of Iristel’s 2 December 2016 answer, Iristel states that it has no revenue sharing arrangement with AudioNow.

a. Is AudioNow a customer of Iristel, and are there any other agreements or arrangements, shared personnel, and/or affiliations between the two companies, for example, but not limited to, related to ownership, executive officers, board members, etc? Describe in detail any and all relationships between Iristel and AudioNow.

b. Identify and provide a summary of all telecommunications services provided by Iristel to AudioNow. Include, if applicable, references to tariffs for any services provided.

4. In RCCI’s application, RCCI submits that its subscribers are calling numbers provided by AudioNow to use AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service. RCCI alleges that those calls are routed to RCCI’s point of interconnection (POI) with Iristel, and from there Iristel routes the calls to the Northwest Territories where the calls are terminated.

a. What is the traffic flow of a call made by a RCCI customer to an 867 NXX provided by AudioNow for its “Call-to-Listen” service, where the call terminates in the Northwest Territories?Support this description by providing evidence in the form of switch and trunk information.

b. Provide a network diagram illustrating the traffic flow from an RCCI customer to the point where Iristel routes traffic to AudioNow and/or # # and identifying the geographic location of all points of presence via which the traffic is routed.  Include all switch and trunk information related to the traffic flow.

5. In paragraph 43 of Iristel’s 2 December 2016 answer, Iristel states that from its perspective, the traffic destined to the numbers assigned to # # is terminated in the Northwest Territories in accordance with the Commission’s call termination framework and all other applicable laws.

a. What is the termination point for calls made by a RCCI customer to an 867 NXX provided by AudioNow for its “Call-to-Listen” service?What is the geographic location of the termination point?Provide the specific building address where the termination occurs.

b. Where and how is the call traffic routed from Iristel to # # and/or AudioNow?  What equipment is used, by Iristel, # #, or AudioNow to terminate such a call or route that call to a different entity?

c. Is # # and/or AudioNow terminating calls in the Northwest Territories?  If so, what is the service that Iristel is providing such that it can charge RCCI for providing toll termination service in the Northwest Territories?

B. Requests for information to AudioNow

In paragraph 33 of Iristel’s 2 December 2016 answer, Iristel states that it has no revenue sharing arrangement with AudioNow. In paragraph 34 of that answer, Iristel goes on to say that it is not engaged in any arrangement with AudioNow to take advantage of RCCI’s Canada-wide and unlimited calling plan.

In paragraph 32 of Iristel’s 2 December 2016 answer, Iristel further states that the phone numbers that appear to be used by AudioNow were assigned by Iristel to a third-party entity and that, presumably, AudioNow was a customer or user of that entity’s services.

1. In paragraph 32 of Iristel’s 2 December 2016 answer, Iristel states that it is not aware of whether there is any possible affiliation between the third-party entity and AudioNow.

a. What entity, or entities, provides AudioNow with the underlying numbers and/or telecommunications services that AudioNow uses to provide its “Call-to-Listen” service in Canada?  Identify and provide a summary of all telecommunications services provided between AudioNow and the entity that provides such services.

b. Are there other agreements or arrangements, shared personnel, and/or affiliations between AudioNow and the entity or entities referred to in the question above, for example, but not limited to, related to ownership, executive officers, board members, etc?  Describe in detail any and all relationships between AudioNow and the entity or entities.

2. In RCCI’s application, RCCI submits that its subscribers are calling numbers provided by AudioNow to use AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service. RCCI alleges that those calls are routed to RCCI’s point of interconnection (POI) with Iristel, and from there Iristel routes the calls to the Northwest Territories where the calls are terminated.

Further, in paragraph 43 of Iristel’s 2 December 2016 answer, Iristel states that from its perspective, the traffic destined to the numbers assigned to the third-party entity that AudioNow is using for its “Call-to-Listen” service is terminated in the Northwest Territories in accordance with the Commission’s call termination framework and all other applicable laws.

a. What is the geographic location of the termination point for calls made by a RCCI customer to an 867 NXX provided by AudioNow for its “Call-to-Listen” service?Provide the specific building address where the termination occurs.

b. What is the geographic location of AudioNow’s servers, where it connects Canadian callers to its “Call-to-Listen” service?Provide the specific building address where such equipment is present. If such equipment is not located in the Northwest Territories, why does AudioNow route calls to its “Call-to-Listen” service to the Northwest Territories?

c. If the geographic location for the termination point and the geographic location where AudioNow connects a caller to AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service is different, explain why such a discrepancy exists. How does such traffic get routed outside of the Northwest Territories when calls are reportedly terminated in the Northwest Territories?

d. Where and how is call traffic routed from Iristel to AudioNow? Is traffic ever routed to another entity?If so, where, how, and why does such a routing occur?

e. What equipment is used by AudioNow and/or the entity or entities that provides the underlying telecommunications service(s) for AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service to terminate calls from Canadian callers to AudioNow’s services?

f.  Why does AudioNow route calls to its “Call-to-Listen” service to the Northwest Territories?

g. Describe the importance of toll termination revenues for calls terminated in the Northwest Territories to AudioNow’s business model.

h. Provide the volume of traffic in minutes, on a monthly basis for the six-month period from August 2016 to January 2017, that AudioNow has routed to the Northwest Territories as a result of its services.

3. In RCCI’s application, RCCI alleges that AudioNow and Iristel are picking high-cost local telephone exchanges in order to stimulate traffic termination revenue, and that Iristel is sharing that revenue in some manner with AudioNow.

In paragraph 33 of Iristel’s 2 December 2016 answer, Iristel states that it has no revenue sharing arrangement with AudioNow.

a. Do AudioNow and the entity or entities that provides the underlying telecommunications service(s) for AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service have an agreement or arrangement between them, in any form, that contemplates revenue sharing, for example, for toll termination revenues?If yes, provide a copy of that agreement or arrangement, as well as any e-mails or documentation related to that agreement or arrangement that are related to the conclusion of and continued operation of the agreement or arrangement.

b. Does AudioNow receive any toll termination revenues or compensation for toll termination revenues from any entity for calls made to AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service in Canada?If the answer is yes;

i) What entity or entities sends such revenues or compensation to AudioNow?

ii) What percentage of toll revenues or compensation are paid to AudioNow as a result of its “Call-to-Listen” service in Canada?

iii) Provide a copy of any agreement or arrangement, as well as any e-mails or documentation related to that agreement or arrangement that are related to the conclusion of and continued operation of the agreement or arrangement, that contemplate the payment of any portion of or compensation for toll termination revenues to AudioNow.

c. Provide a detailed explanation of the revenue stream(s) for AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service, such that AudioNow is able to provide its service to Canadian callers for free and, presumably, still earn a profit.To the extent that AudioNow receives any revenue related to telecommunications services not contemplated in questions a. and b. above, provide details of how and from whom it receives such revenue.

4. In paragraph 4 of Freedom Mobile’s 2 December 2016 intervention, Freedom Mobile suggests that there was an automated effort to generate minutes of use to Iristel phone numbers in area code 867. Further, if AudioNow’s business plan for its “Call-to-Listen” service is to generate a profit based on earning toll termination revenues that exceed its costs to provide that service, conceivably AudioNow could see an increase in its profits if traffic is artificially generated to its service.

a. Does AudioNow have any evidence of automated efforts to artificially generate minutes to its “Call-to-Listen” service?If yes, provide evidence of such automated efforts.

b. Does AudioNow have any equipment capable of making automated calls?

c. Does AudioNow use automated efforts to artificially generate minutes to its “Call-to-Listen” service?If yes, describe the process used by AudioNow in order to do so.

d. Does AudioNow have any safeguards that prevent automated efforts, either external to the company or internal to it, from artificially generating minutes to its “Call-to-Listen” service?If yes, explain what those safeguards are and how they are enforced.

C. Requests for information to # #

1. In paragraph 32 of Iristel’s 2 December 2016 answer, Iristel states that it is not aware of whether there is any possible affiliation between # # and AudioNow.

a. Is AudioNow a customer of # #, and/or vice-versa?If yes, identify and provide a summary of all telecommunications services provided between AudioNow and # #.

b. Are there any other agreements or arrangements, shared personnel, and/or affiliations between the two companies, for example, but not limited to, related to ownership, executive officers, board members, etc? Describe in detail any and all relationships between AudioNow # #.

c. Do AudioNow and # # have an agreement or arrangement between them, in any form, that contemplates revenue sharing or compensation, for example, for toll termination revenues? If yes, provide a copy of that agreement or arrangement, as well as any e-mails or documentation related to that agreement or arrangement that are related to the conclusion of and continued operation of the agreement or arrangement.

2. In RCCI’s application, RCCI submits that its subscribers are calling numbers provided by AudioNow to use AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service. RCCI alleges that those calls are routed to RCCI’s point of interconnection (POI) with Iristel, and from there Iristel routes the calls to the Northwest Territories where the calls are terminated.

Further, in paragraph 43 of Iristel’s 2 December 2016 answer, Iristel states that from its perspective, the traffic destined to the numbers assigned to # # is terminated in the Northwest Territories in accordance with the Commission’s call termination framework and all other applicable laws.

a. When calls to AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service are routed from an RCCI caller to AudioNow, are those calls ever routed to # # network and/or equipment?If yes, provide in detail:

i.  where, geographically, including the specific building address, this occurs;

ii. what equipment owned by # # is involved;

ii. what function # # performs in the provision of AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service; and

iii. where such traffic flows before and after that traffic is on # # network and/or equipment.

b. Does # # terminate calls on behalf of AudioNow for AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service?If yes, where, geographically, does # # terminate such calls? Provide the specific building address where the termination occurs.

3. In RCCI’s application, RCCI submits that its subscribers are calling numbers provided by AudioNow to use AudioNow’s “Call-to-Listen” service. RCCI alleges that those calls are routed to RCCI’s point of interconnection (POI) with Iristel, and from there Iristel routes the calls to the Northwest Territories where the calls are terminated.

a. Does # # provide telecommunications services in Canada?If yes, fully describe all telecommunications services provided by # # in Canada.If not, explain why the services provided by # # are not telecommunications services?

    b. Identify any call-in services provided by # # in Canada.

b. Where is traffic to # # call-in service(s) from Canadian customers routed to for termination? List all exchanges where # # routes such traffic for termination.

c. What is the geographic location of # # servers used to provide its call-in service(s) to Canadian customers?

c. Provide the volume of traffic in minutes, on a monthly basis for the six-month period from August 2016 to January 2017, that # # has routed to the Northwest Territories as a result of its services.

d. What entity (or entities) terminates traffic in Canada for # # service on behalf of # #?

e. Does # # receive a portion of or compensation for toll termination revenues as a result of that traffic?If yes, what entity (or entities) provides # # with a portion of or compensation for toll termination revenues?

i) Provide a copy of any agreement or arrangement associated with the payment of or compensation for toll termination revenues, as well as any e-mails or documentation related to that agreement or arrangement that are related to the conclusion of and continued operation of the agreement or arrangement.

D. Requests for information to RCCI

1. In paragraph 39 of RCCI’s 21 February 2017 final reply, RCCI submits that 84% of the total traffic volume destined to all 867-NXXs is destined to 35 Iristel telephone numbers.

a. Provide the 35 telephone numbers referred to by RCCI in its final reply, as well as the service provided at those numbers.

b. Provide the volume of traffic in minutes, on a monthly basis for the six-month period from August 2016 to January 2017, that RCCI has routed to each of these 35 telephone numbers.

E. Requests for information to the Bell companies, Freedom Mobile, RCCI, and TCC

1. In paragraph 4 of Freedom Mobile’s 2 December 2016 intervention, Freedom Mobile alleges that there was an automated effort to generate minutes of use to Iristel phone numbers in area code 867.

a. Provide any evidence of automated calls made to Iristel phone numbers in area code 867.

b. Identify the source of any automated calls made to Iristel phone numbers in area code 867 that may be resulting in artificial traffic stimulation.

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