Telecom Commission Letter addressed to Distribution list
Ottawa, 11 June 2020
Our reference: 8662-C182-201809534
RE: Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc. Part 1 Application to Review and Vary Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-326 and Telecom Decision CRTC 2016-379 – Commission Decision
In a letter dated 7 November 2018, Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc. (CNOC) filed a Part 1 Application (the Application) to review and vary Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-326, Review of wholesale wireline services and associated policies (Regulatory Policy), and Telecom Decision CRTC 2016-379, Follow-up to Telecom Regulatory Policy 2015-326 Implementation of a disaggregated wholesale high-speed access service, including over fibre-to-the-premises access facilities (Follow-up Decision).
In the Regulatory Policy, the Commission determined, among other things, that the provision of aggregated wholesale high-speed access (HSA) services will no longer be mandated and will be phased out in conjunction with the implementation of a disaggregated wholesale HSA service. In the Follow-up Decision, the Commission made determinations on the disaggregated wholesale HSA service configurations of Bell Canada and the cable carriers in Ontario and Quebec (i.e. Cogeco Communications Inc. [Cogeco], Rogers Communications Canada Inc. [RCCI] and Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of Vidéotron Ltd. [Vidéotron]).
In the Application, CNOC requested that the Commission’s findings in the Regulatory Policy and Follow-up Decision be varied as follows:
- the removal of the 100 megabits per second (Mbps) speed cap on aggregated HSA services on an expedited basis;
- the establishment of a significantly reduced level of disaggregation on the Bell Canada network, and possibly on those of Cogeco, Vidéotron, and RCCI (collectively, the incumbents);
- the addition of port and fibre strand sharing functionality for all incumbent disaggregated HSA services; and
- the access to fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) facilities over aggregated HSA services, whereby such access will be phased-out subject to a forbearance framework.
In a letter dated 20 March 2019, the Commission granted CNOC’s request for interim relief related to the speed cap. The Commission expressed concerns that implementing the speed cap as planned could prove disruptive for consumers in a growing segment of the retail Internet services market and suspended the implementation of the speed cap until the Commission makes final determinations on the Application.
Commission’s assessment and determinations
The Commission finds that CNOC’s Part 1 application raises serious questions with respect to the regulatory framework for wholesale wireline services, as well as the deployment of, and transition to disaggregated HSA services.
The Commission considers that these issues would require a fulsome analysis with wide participation from the industry across Canada. The Commission further considers it is important to ensure that the wholesale regulatory framework remains effective and relevant, particularly with respect to the implementation of the disaggregated wholesale HSA regime and the transition from the aggregated wholesale HSA regime to the disaggregated wholesale regime.
Accordingly, the Commission is closing the proceeding arising from CNOC’s Part 1 application and is issuing today a Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2020-187 (the notice), to consider the appropriate level of and configurations for a disaggregated HSA regime for all incumbent carriers across the country.
The Commission is suspending the proceeding to set final rates, terms and conditions for disaggregated wholesale HSA services in Ontario and Quebec, as set out in the notice. The existing interim rates and terms and conditions for disaggregated HSA services established in Telecom Order CRTC 2017-312 will remain in effect.
The suspension of the implementation of the speed cap will continue until the Commission makes its determinations with respect to the wholesale disaggregated HSA services’ tariffs on a final basis.
With respect to other issues not addressed in the notice and raised by CNOC in its application, namely the addition of port and fibre strand sharing functionality for all incumbent disaggregated HSA services, and access to FTTP facilities over aggregated HSA services, the Commission considers that it would be appropriate to address those in future proceedings.
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