ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter addressed to Patrick Tanguay and Shane Schreiber (SOREM)

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Our reference: 8662-A197-201811216

Ottawa, 18 January 2019


Patrick Tanguay
SOREM Federal Co-Chair
Public Safety Canada

Shane Schreiber
SOREM Provincial Co-Chair
Alberta Emergency Management Agency

Mr. Tanguay, Mr. Hancock:

Subject:  Part 1 Application Requesting that the Commission Amend Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-91 – Request for Information from SOREM

This is in reference to the Part 1 application to amend Implementation of the National Public Alerting System by wireless service providers to protect Canadians, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-91 in regards to Wireless Public Alerting (WPA) wherein the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management (SOREM or “the applicant”) requests that the Commission mandate that:

A minimum of one and a maximum of two wireless public alerting (WPA) visible public awareness test messages be issued per year, with one of those two visible tests taking place during Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week in May, and a second taking place in November.

In order for the Commission to properly consider SOREM’s application, you are required to provide the information/document(s) set out below on the public record by 28 January 2019. Please repeat each question in your response.

Clarification of the proposed amendment

  1. The proposed amendment, as described above, would require that Wireless Service Providers (WSPs) distribute a minimum of one WPA visible public awareness test message during Emergency Preparedness (EP) Week in May.

    The proposed amendment also appears to indicate that WSPs would have the option, rather than the obligation, to distribute a second WPA visible public test message, which would take place in November. In light of this interpretation, please provide responses to the following questions:

    1. Clarify whether the applicant’s requested relief is that of requiring all WSPs that are currently required to participate in the WPA to distribute a second annual visible WPA test message in November where an alerting authority elects to schedule such a test. If so, propose language respecting the manner in which such a requirement would be set out, should the Commission approve such relief. 
    2. Provide a detailed explanation of what remedial regulatory mechanisms should be implemented, if any, in the event that a provincial Emergency Management Organisation (EMO), or any other relevant organisation authorised to issue visible WPA test messages, determines that a visible WPA test message did not achieve success in testing WPA end-to-end functionality and in creating awareness of the existence of WPA as part of the broader National Public Alerting System (NPAS) among Canadian wireless subscribers.

WPA public awareness and education

  1. In Telecom Decision 2018-85, the Commission approved the CISC consensus report in regards to the creation of a WPA awareness and education campaign. In that decision, the Commission indicated that WSPs are expected, for the first two years of WPA implementation, to:
    • send a minimum of one text message per year to their LTE customers in regions where WPA test messages are being issued, and
    • provide all resources related to sending out these text messages and ensure that the content of the messages is consistent among WSPs.

    In its application, SOREM states that Canadians will need to be well informed of a change to the public awareness test policy that could result in a second visible WPA test. The applicant is of the view that the significant consumer and media interest generated by the May 2018 test demonstrated the newsworthiness of public alerting in Canada, and that such media coverage could be leveraged to create awareness of the changes to the schedule, if approved.

    1. Comment on the appropriateness of extending the current regulatory mechanisms pertaining the creation of WPA awareness set out in Telecom Decision 2018-85 in order to ensure that Canadians will be well informed of a change to the public awareness test policy.  Specifically, should WSPs be expected to send out two text messages to their LTE customers in regions where WPA test messages are being issued, one each prior to the visible tests in May and in November, during the second year of WPA implementation?
    2. If you are of the view that such a measure is inappropriate in regards to the new November test, (i) explain why and (ii) propose an alternative strategy or regulatory measure which would further the creation of awareness relating to the new WPA test message schedule.

The Commission requires that you submit your documents electronically using the secured service “My CRTC Account” (Partner Log In or GCKey) and fill in the “Broadcasting and Telecom Cover page” located on this web page. On this web page, you will also find a link to information on the submission of applications to the Commission “Submitting applications and other documents to the CRTC using My CRTC Account.” 

A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the public record of the proceeding.

Yours sincerely,

Nanao Kachi
Director, Policy Development and Research

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