Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2018-98-1
Reference: Telecom Notice of Consultation 2018-98
Ottawa, 10 May 2018
Public record: 1011-NOC2018-0098
Call for comments
Lower-cost data-only plans for mobile wireless services
Revised deadline for submission of interventions: 13 June 2018
Changes to procedure
- With this notice, the Commission revises the procedural dates established in Lower-cost data-only plans for mobile wireless services, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2018-98, 22 March 2018 (Telecom Notice of Consultation 2018-98).
- By letter dated 20 April 2018, the Deaf Wireless Canada Consultative Committee (DWCC), the Canadian Association of the Deaf, the Canadian National Society of the Deaf-Blind, Inc., and Deafness Access Advocacy Nova Scotia (collectively, DWCC et al.) requested that the deadline for interventions be extended from 23 May 2018 to 22 June 2018, and that the deadline for replies be extended from 7 June 2018 to 29 June 2018.
- DWCC et al. submitted that they wish to conduct a national survey to canvass the views of Deaf, deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing Canadians on the issues raised in Telecom Notice of Consultation 2018-98. They argued that the additional time was required to create the survey, solicit participants, and compile the results.
- The Canadian Hearing Society, the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, Maple Communications Group Inc., the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC), and the Society of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nova Scotians supported the extension request. PIAC submitted that if the proposed extension is granted, it would also commission a national survey focusing on Canadians’ preferences and likely demand for the packages proposed by the national wireless carriersFootnote 1 and variations on those packages.
- Bell Canada, Rogers Communications Canada Inc., and TELUS Communications Inc. did not object to the extension request but indicated that DWCC et al.’s proposal provided a shorter time period for replies compared to the time period set out in Telecom Notice of Consultation 2018-98. They submitted that, if an extension is granted, the time period between the deadlines for interventions and replies that was set out in the original notice should be maintained.
- The Commission considers that, given the importance of the issues involved, it would be appropriate to allow some additional time for parties to prepare interventions and supporting materials.
- However, this consideration must be balanced with (i) the stated goal of the present proceeding, which is to ensure that lower-cost data-only plans are widely available to Canadians, and (ii) its scope, which is to determine the attributes of lower-cost data-only plans that would address the market gap identified by the Commission, having regard to the issues raised in Order in Council P.C. 2017-0157. There is a clear public interest in ensuring that such plans are made available in a timely manner. Given the importance of this public interest and the narrow scope of the proceeding, the Commission does not consider that any extension beyond the one set out below would be appropriate.
- The Commission also considers that, in the interests of procedural fairness, the time period between the deadlines for interventions and replies that was set out in Telecom Notice of Consultation 2018-98 should be maintained.
- Accordingly, the Commission revises the procedural dates set out in Telecom Notice of Consultation 2018-98. For ease of reference, the relevant paragraphs of the notice are reproduced below, with changes highlighted in bold italics.
20. Interested persons who wish to become parties to this proceeding must file an intervention with the Commission in response to the submissions filed by the national wireless carriers no later than 13 June 2018. The intervention must be filed in accordance with section 26 of the Rules of Procedure.
23. The national wireless carriers may file reply comments by 28 June 2018.
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