Telecom - Commission letter addressed to Distribution List

Ottawa, 4 December 2019

Our reference: 1011-NOC2019-0057


BY EMAIL

Ms. Lisa Anderson; Mr. Darryl Hackett
Deaf Wireless Canada Consultative Committee-Comité pour les Services Sans fil des Sourds du Canada
chair@deafwireless.ca

Mr. Jim Roots
Executive Director, Canadian Association of the Deaf-Association des Sourds du Canada
jroots@cad.ca

Ms. Megan McHugh
President, Canadian National Society of the Deaf-Blind
mchugh.mm@gmail.com

Elliott Richman
Executive Director, Deafness Advocacy Association Nova Scotia
daans@ns.sympatico.ca


Subject: Accessibility issues in Telecom Notice of Consultation 2019-57, Review of mobile wireless services


Dear Madams, Sirs,

On 28 February 2019, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the Commission) published Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-57 (TNOC 2019-57) initiating a review of mobile wireless services.

On 15 May 2019, the Commission received an intervention from DWCC et al.Footnote1 and on 22 November 2019, DWCC et al. filed further comments. In its interventions, DWCC et al. commented exclusively on issues faced by the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing communities with regards to the offering and provision of retail mobile wireless telecommunications services. DWCC et al. focused, in particular, on the availability and suitability of wireless service plans, and related devices, for persons with disabilities.  DWCC et al. also requested to appear at the public hearing associated with the TNOC 2019-57 proceeding to discuss these issues.

The Commission has reviewed DWCC et al.’s interventions with interest and considers that the issues raised are of significant importance and warrant a close examination. Further, the Commission notes the recent enactment of the Accessible Canada Act,Footnote2 which seeks the creation of a barrier-free Canada and indicates that persons with disabilities are to be involved in the development of, among other things, laws, policies and services.

Accordingly, the Commission considers that it would be appropriate to initiate a separate proceeding dedicated to consideration of accessibility-related mobile wireless service issues of the kind raised by DWCC et al., rather than to continue to consider these issues within the context of the broader review of mobile wireless services. As a result, the Commission will, in early 2020, publish a Notice of Consultation initiating this new proceeding and setting out in detail the matters to be considered and the associated processes.

The Commission will transfer DWCC et al.’s interventions filed in the context of the TNOC 2019-57 proceeding to the record of the forthcoming proceeding to ensure that DWCC et al.’s submissions on these accessibility-related wireless issues are considered in the most suitable forum. A formal announcement to this effect will be set out in the Notice of Consultation that will be published in early 2020.

This new proceeding will better allow DWCC et al., and all other interested persons, to contribute more detailed submissions on accessibility-related issues than is likely to occur should these matters be maintained for consideration as part of the general TNOC 2019-57 proceeding.

The Commission notes that in a staff letter dated 21 November 2019, DWCC et al. was provided with an extension of time to file a survey.  Given the determinations set out in this letter, the Commission considers that this survey should be submitted on the record of the forthcoming proceeding. In this regard, DWCC et al. may file its survey and may choose to make additional submissions on the relevant matters in accordance with the procedures set out in the relevant Notice of Consultation.

In light of all of the above, including the scope of DWCC et al.’s interventions and the forthcoming initiation of a dedicated proceeding, the Commission considers that DWCC et al.’s appearance at the public hearing associated with TNOC 2019-57 is no longer necessary.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jade Roy, Supervisor, Public Hearings at jade.roy@crtc.gc.ca or 819-953-7927.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Claude Doucet
Secretary General

c.c. Philippe Kent, CRTC; Nanao Kachi, CRTC

Distribution List

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