Telecom - Procedural letter addressed to Richard Polishak (CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee Network Working Group)

Ottawa, 2 September 2020

Our reference: 1011-NOC2017-0033


Mr. Richard Polishak
Chair – CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee Network Working Group

RE: Extension request submitted by the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee for a report on real-time text technology over wireless networks

Dear Mr. Polishak,

On 11 December 2019, the Commission received a letter from the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) requesting an extension to the submission deadline for a report requested by the Commission in Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2018-466 (the MRS Policy) to examine a number of topics related to the implementation of RTT technology and the provision of real-time text (RTT) relay service on wireless networks.

CISC originally requested an extension to 14 June 2020. However, given the further clarifications it is seeking, discussed below, as well as the various disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission hereby grants an extension to 14 October 2020 for the submission of the CISC report on the technical issues to be addressed to facilitate the implementation of RTT on wireless networks.

In its 11 December 2019 letter, CISC also raised questions relating to the scope of the Commission’s request to support the development of a standard intercarrier RTT network-to-network interface (NNI). Specifically, CISC asked whether it was intended to examine the development of an RTT Relay interface with an RTT Relay service provider.

While the MRS Policy is focused on message relay services, the Commission stated in that regulatory policy that more information was needed before it could make a determination as to whether or not it should intervene to facilitate the implementation of RTT and the provision of RTT service on wireless networks. Given that RTT technology itself is not guaranteed to work across different wireless carrier and relay service provider networks, the requests to CISC were made in a general context that was concerned with the feasibility of the underlying RTT technology itself rather than the implementation of a specific use-case, such as an RTT-based relay service.

In other words, before the Commission can come to a decision as to whether or not to mandate any service that relies on RTT as its underlying technology (such as RTT relay service), CISC is to first examine whether RTT is even feasible on wireless carrier and relay service provider networks, and, if so, arrive at a commonly agreed upon set of standards or protocols that would enable RTT communication between those networks.

The Commission also notes that the working group participants have indicated a preference to use a relay service as a reference service in preparing its report. The Commission agrees that using a relay service as a reference service is appropriate so long as the general question of technological feasibility is also addressed.

In the MRS policy, the Commission also made three further requests of CISC: that CISC evaluate (i) how RTT over mobile wireless networks could be implemented, (ii) within what timelines it could be implemented, and (iii) whether it is feasible to implement it. Although these requests were non-contentious, CISC has made minimal progress on these issues. The Commission encourages the working group participants to submit contributions to CISC on these topics to enable discussion and report-drafting. Additionally, the Commission also clarifies that these three requests are to be approached with regards to RTT technology in general, in the same manner as discussed above.

Yours sincerely,

Originally signed by

Claude Doucet
Secretary General

Date modified: