Telecom Commission Letter addressed to the distribution list
Ottawa, 21 October 2020
Our reference: 1011-NOC2019-0420
RE: Call for comments – Access to in-building wire in multi-dwelling units, Telecom Notice of Consultation 2019-420, as amended – Requests for information
Pursuant to the procedure set out in Call for comments – Access to in-building wire in multi-dwelling units, Telecom Notice of Consultation 2019-420, 16 December 2019, as amended, attached are requests for information to the attached distribution list.
Anyone, including persons not currently parties to the proceeding, may provide a response to these questions. Those not already a party to the proceeding should request to become one as part of their submissions.
Responses to the requests for information are to be filed with the Commission by November 20, 2020.
Responses are to be provided in a single document to facilitate accessibility and administrative processing. However, any information provided in spreadsheet format should be attached as an appendix, in MS Excel format.
As set out in section 39 of the Telecommunications Act and in Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961, as amended by Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-961-1, persons may designate certain information as confidential. A person designating information as confidential must provide a detailed explanation of why the designated information is confidential and why its disclosure would not be in the public interest, including why the specific direct harm that would be likely to result from the disclosure would outweigh the public interest in disclosure. Furthermore, a person designating information as confidential must either file an abridged version of the document, omitting only the information designated as confidential, or provide reasons why an abridged version cannot be filed.
Original signed by
c.c.: Laurie Ventura, CRTC, Laurie.Ventura@crtc.gc.ca
Ethan Townsend, CRTC, Ethan.Townsend@crtc.gc.ca
Bell Canada (email@example.com)
Beanfield Technologies Inc. (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Canadian Communication Systems Alliance (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org),
Cloudwifi Inc. (email@example.com),
Cogeco Communications Inc. (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org),
Independent Telecommunications Providers Association (email@example.com),
Mayers, Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Novus Entertainment Inc. (email@example.com; Dave.Kershaw@novusnow.ca),
Vidéotron ltée. (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org),
Saskatchewan Telecommunications (email@example.com),
Shaw Cablesystems G.P. (Regulatory@sjrb.ca),
TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (firstname.lastname@example.org),
TELUS Communications Inc. (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org),
UPTélé Inc. (email@example.com),
Xplornet Communications Inc. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Request for Information
Questions for all parties, as well as persons not currently parties to the proceeding
- In Telecom Regulatory Policy 2015-326, the Commission established its current framework for determining whether the Commission should mandate the provision of a wholesale service. The Commission stated that, for regulated wholesale services, it would base its decision on two elements: (i) the Essentiality Test, and (ii) a set of policy considerations that could modify or support its decision.
- Several parties have submitted that fibre in-building wire (IBW) is not an essential service and should not be mandated. Should the Commission determine that this question is within the scope of this proceeding, provide the following information with respect to the Essentiality Test and the relevant policy considerations in the context of fibre IBW in multi-dwelling units (MDUs) (if your company has not already done so):
- What is the appropriate service description for fibre IBW?
- What is the appropriate product market for fibre IBW?
- What would be the appropriate geographic market for fibre IBW?
- Notwithstanding the appropriate geographic market, would it be reasonable to aggregate it? If so, to what extent and why?
- Based on the identified product and geographic markets, provide an analysis as to whether fibre IBW would meet the following components of the Essentiality Test:
- Input component
- Competition component
- Duplicability component
- Explain whether your view would change if there was only fibre IBW in the MDU. If so, how?
- Explain whether your view would change if there was a lack of riser space. If so, how?
- Provide an analysis regarding how the following associated policy considerations apply in the context of fibre IBW:
- Public good
- Innovation and investment
- If the Commission were to determine that fibre IBW should no longer be mandated, should it then forbear from regulating it? If so, to what extent and why?
- Several interveners submitted that TSPs are able to install their own fibre IBW in MDUs.
- Indicate whether your company is aware of a specific case(s) where a company has been unable to install its own fibre IBW, and provide rationale as to why it could not. If your company has experienced this issue, provide supporting details, including whether there were barriers pre- or post-construction, whether other options were available to you to serve end-users, and why you did or did not pursue those options.
- Provide comments on the feasibility of entrants to the MDU market installing their own fibre IBW, as well as the constraints that these entrants would face.
- In its reply comments, Bell Canada included the results of its inspection of MDU locations as new evidence. Does this additional information change your company’s views regarding access to fibre IBW? If so, how?
- Several interveners suggested that rates, terms, and conditions should be negotiated between the connecting carriers, rather than be subject to a tariff. Should the Commission permit carriers to negotiate rates, terms, and conditions? If so, under what circumstances?
- Bell Canada proposed that if the Commission continues to mandate access to fibre IBW, rates should be established on a commercially negotiated basis, backstopped by Final Offer Arbitration. Provide your views on the suitability of this approach.
- Several parties submitted that it would be appropriate to implement a cost-sharing model for access to fibre IBW. Provide your views on the suitability and the potential operationalization of this approach.
- Cogeco submitted that in order to allow competition and consumer choice, a minimum of two fibre strands should be installed from the main terminal room (MTR) to individual suites so that each end-user can have access to services offered by two different telecommunications companies.
- Provide your view on the suitability of this approach. How many strands deployed from the MTR to individual suites would be sufficient for competition for fibre IBW?
- How does your company currently ensure the redundancy and reliability of fibre IBW? How many strands deployed from the MTR to individual suites per TSP would be sufficient for reliability and redundancy for fibre IBW?
- Telecom Decision 2003-45 referred to residential and business markets and commercial MDUs/properties/office space. Should there be any distinction regarding access to fibre IBW in commercial vs. residential buildings and, if so, what distinction should be made and why?
- Should the Commission require a standard sharing/access agreement that would apply to all use of fibre IBW? What is the best approach to developing such an agreement?
- Cogeco proposed that each company that is authorized to serve end-users in an MDU should have exclusive distribution equipment in the MTR, while Videotron proposed that installing a neutral distribution cabinet would eliminate the need for a competitor to access the cabinet belonging to the company that installed the in-building fibre. Provide your views on the feasibility of each of these suggestions.
- Several interveners submitted that access to fibre IBW should only be available in the MTR. Provide your views on the suitability of this approach.
- Bell Canada proposed that the definition of MDU be updated to reflect how its MDUs are wired, to the effect that multi-unit properties containing less than six units are excluded from the definition of MDU. Provide your views on this proposal.
- In its intervention, Bell Canada described its various categories of MDUs, where “small” MDUs are MDUs with more than six, but less than 49 units and “large” MDUs are MDUs with greater than 49 units
- If applicable, describe how your company distinguishes among various categories of MDUs.
- Explain any differences in how each category of MDU is wired.
- Describe any constraints in installing IBW fibre in these various categories of MDUs.
- If your company serves end-customers in MDUs via fibre IBW, provide the following information in Excel format for all relevant MDUs:Footnote1
Company name Province Number of end-units served by using company’s own fibre IBW in 2017 Number of end-units served by using company’s own fibre IBW in 2018 Number of end-units served by using company’s own fibre IBW in 2019 Number of end-units served in the MDU by using another company’s fibre IBW in 2017 Number of end-units served in the MDU by using another company’s fibre IBW in 2018 Number of end-units served in the MDU by using another company’s fibre IBW in 2019 [insert name] [insert province] [insert #] [insert #] [insert #] [insert #] [insert #] [insert #]
Questions for IBW owners
- It has been suggested that local exchange carriers (LECs) have largely recovered their initial investment from installing fibre IBW in MDUs. Provide your views on whether the statement is true, both for your company and for LECs and/or IBW owners in general. If the initial investment has not been recovered for your company, what is the magnitude of the investment and the portion of it which has not yet been recovered? What is the life expectancy of fibre IBW in MDUs? What is the average age of fibre IBW that has been installed in MDUs for your company?
- It has been suggested that the rates, terms, and conditions for access to fibre IBW should be different from existing tariffed terms and conditions for access to copper IBW, due to the higher cost of fibre IBW. Provide information on the magnitude of the cost difference between fibre IBW versus copper IBW, including any cost comparisons available.
- Complete the following table in Excel format:Footnote2
Company name Percent of MDUs served via only Copper/ Coaxial Cable IBW in 2017 Percent of MDUs served via only Copper/ Coaxial Cable IBW in 2018 Percent of MDUs served via only Copper/ Coaxial Cable IBW in 2019 Percent of MDUs served via only Fibre IBW in 2017 Percent of MDUs served via only Fibre IBW in 2018 Percent of MDUs served via only Fibre IBW in 2019 Percent of MDUs served via Fibre and Copper/ Coaxial Cable IBW in 2017 Percent of MDUs served via Fibre and Copper/ Coaxial Cable IBW in 2018 Percent of MDUs served via Fibre and Copper/ Coaxial Cable IBW in 2019 [insert name] [insert %] [insert %] [insert %] [insert %] [insert %] [insert %] [insert %] [insert %] [insert %]
Questions for companies who want access to another company`s fibre IBW
- Explain why a company might choose to use another company’s fibre IBW to connect to an end-unit in an MDU, versus installing its own facilities. Include any information available on the cost of using another company’s fibre IBW versus building your own fibre IBW.
- Does your company have any other options to provide high-speed Internet access to an end-customer’s unit in an MDU aside from fibre IBW? For example, could the company provide services through disaggregated wholesale high speed access services? If so, why might a company choose to provide high-speed Internet access to an end-customer’s unit in a MDU over fibre IBW instead of those other options?
Questions for Cloudwifi Inc.
- At paragraph 42 of Cloudwifi’s intervention, the company suggested that LECs have largely recovered their initial investment following the installation of fibre IBW. Provide any supporting evidence.
- At paragraph 39 of Cloudwifi’s intervention, the company proposed that the owner of the fibre inside wire ensure that there is a hole in the bulkhead panel section of the service enclosure sufficient to enable the competitive local exchange carrier to access the fibre inside wire. Should the owner of the inside wire be permitted to recover any one-time costs associated with enabling access to the fibre IBW?
Question for UPTélé Inc.
- At paragraph 5 of its intervention, UPTélé submitted that the cost of deploying fibre IBW is lower than the cost of deploying coaxial IBW. Provide any supporting evidence, including any cost comparisons available.
Question for Bell Canada
- In its intervention, Bell Canada submitted that “the MDU Access Condition and all rights and obligations under the MDU Regulatory Framework should be symmetrically and equivalently extended to other LECs, Carrier ISPs and other TSPs, but fibre IBW should be excluded as it is a non-essential facility.”
- Setting aside the essentiality issue, clarify whether, in Bell Canada’s view, the MDU access condition and associated obligations should be extended to all TSPs, including non-facilities-based TSPs, or only to facilities-based TSPs.
Question for Saskatchewan Telecommunications
- In its intervention, SaskTel submitted that it “is willing to permit other ISPs and TSPs to use its in-building fibre and expects to be able to use other ISP’s and TSP’s in-building fibre on the same terms and conditions. Anyone who is allowing third parties to use inside wire they own should be fairly compensated. SaskTel supports the development of industry standards for connecting to fibre in-building wire.
- Setting aside the essentiality issue, clarify whether, in SaskTel’s view, the MDU access condition and associated obligations should be extended to all TSPs, including non-facilities-based TSPs, or only to facilities-based TSPs.
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