Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-406-1

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Reference: 2019-406

Ottawa, 20 December 2019

Public record: 1011-NOC2019-0406

Call for comments regarding potential barriers to the deployment of broadband-capable networks in underserved areas in Canada – Changes to procedure

Revised deadline for submission of interventions: 23 April 2020
Revised deadline for replies to interventions: 11 May 2020
Revised deadline for requests for information: 8 June 2020
Revised deadline for responses to requests for information: 29 June 2020
Revised deadline for requests for further responses to interrogatories and public disclosure of confidential information: 6 July 2020

Introduction

  1. In Telecom Notice of Consultation 2019-406 (the notice), the Commission initiated a proceeding to examine barriers to the deployment of broadband-capable networks in underserved areas of Canada (this proceeding).
  2. By letter dated 12 December 2019, SSi Micro Ltd. (SSi Micro) requested a 90-day extension to the 24 January 2020 deadline for filing initial interventions, as well as to all subsequent procedural dates proposed by the Commission.

SSi Micro’s 90-day extension request

Positions of parties

  1. SSi Micro noted that the dates established in the notice overlapped with the deadline for filing responses to the second call for applications to the Broadband Fund, set out in Telecom Notice of Consultation 2019-372, as well as with the revised deadlines for the review of mobile wireless services, set out in Telecom Notice of Consultation 2019-57-1.
  2. SSi Micro submitted that the negative impact of overlapping dates on these multiple procedures would be especially acute in the case of smaller parties and newer competitors, who have limited regulatory and business development resources.
  3. Various parties, including the British Columbia Broadband Association; the Canadian Communication Systems Alliance; the Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc.; the Federation of Canadian Municipalities; the Independent Telecommunications Providers Association; Iristel Inc., on behalf of itself and its affiliate Ice Wireless Inc.; and Saskatchewan Telecommunications, filed letters in support of SSi Micro’s request for extension.

Commission’s analysis and determinations

  1. The Commission considers that the request to extend the deadline for filing initial interventions and to revise all subsequent procedural dates accordingly, such that the deadlines of other large proceedings do not overlap with those of this proceeding, is reasonable under the circumstances.
  2. In order to strike a balance between the need for more time, especially for smaller players, and procedural efficiency, the Commission is extending the deadline for initial interventions by 90 days. The Commission is also revising all subsequent procedural dates accordingly.

Conclusion

  1. In light of the above, the Commission amends the procedural dates set out in paragraphs 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, and 21 of the notice, as indicated below:

    14. All TSPs are made parties to this proceeding and may file interventions with the Commission by 23 April 2020.

    15. Interested persons who wish to become parties to this proceeding must file an intervention with the Commission regarding the above-noted issues by 23 April 2020. The intervention must be filed in accordance with section 26 of the Rules of Procedure.

    18. All parties may file replies to interventions with the Commission by 11 May 2020.

    19. The Commission and parties may request information, in the form of interrogatories, from any party to the proceeding. The requesting party must file its request for information with the Commission, and serve the request on the party to whom it is addressed, by 8 June 2020.

    20. Responses to requests for information are to be filed with the Commission, and served on all parties, by 29 June 2020.

    21. Parties may request (i) further responses to interrogatories, specifying in each case why a further response is necessary, and (ii) the public disclosure of information that has been designated confidential, setting out in each case the reasons for disclosure. These requests must be filed with the Commission, and served on the parties to whom they are addressed, by 6 July 2020.

  2. The Commission will announce a further process at a future date. That process will include the dates by which parties are to file final submissions and final replies.

Secretary General

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