Telecom - Commission Letter addressed to Philippe Gauvin (Bell Canada) and the Distribution List

Ottawa, 10 December 2020 

Our reference: 8638-B2-202006345


Philippe Gauvin
Assistant General Counsel
Bell Canada
Floor 19, 160 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2C4

Distribution List

RE: Part 1 application by Bell Canada for Commission approval to allow Bell Companies to continue to block certain fraudulent and scam voice calls on a permanent basis.

Dear Mr. Gauvin:

This is further to the Part 1 Application, dated 25 September 2020, filed by Bell Canada on its own behalf and on behalf of all of its subsidiaries (Bell Canada) that carry voice traffic seeking the Commission's permanent approval to block fraudulent and scam voice telephony calls using the methodology previously approved in Compliance and Enforcement and Telecom Decision CRTC 2020-125 (CETD 2020-125) to block Wangiri fraud calls (the "Wangiri Call Blocking Trial"), and in CETD 2020-185 to conduct a 90-day trial to block Wangiri and other fraud and scam call blocking (the "90-day Call Blocking Trial).

As you know, the record of the process leading to CETD 2020-185 included responses by  Bell Canada to requests for information (RFI) set out in a letter to Bell Canada dated 16 August 2019 as well as in Appendix 3 of CETD 2020-7.  The RFIs sought additional detail on the proposed call blocking mechanism. 

As the current Part 1 Application is proposing to use the same call blocking mechanism as was approved on a trial basis in CETD 2020-185, the Commission may wish to take into account in its deliberations in the current process Bell Canada’s RFI responses from the previous proceeding.  Commission staff therefore requests that Bell Canada update its responses to the RFIs in question as may be necessary to reflect the circumstances of this application, and to file them on the record of this proceeding by 21 December 2020, serving a copy on all parties that have to date filed a submission in relation to the present application (‘‘interested parties”).   Any revisions or updates to Bell Canada’s responses should be identified.

In addition, please file your responses to the requests for information set out in Appendix 1 to this letter, serving a copy on all interested parties, by 21December 2020

Requests for disclosure must be filed by 6 January 2021, and served on Bell Canada by that date.  Bell Canada may file its reply to any such requests, serving a copy on interested parties, by 13 January 2021.

Commission staff notes that the reports (the ‘’trial reports’’) filed in confidence with the Commission by Bell Canada in compliance with CETD 2020-125 and CETD 2020-185 concerning the results of its call blocking trial will also be considered by the Commission and form part of the record in this proceeding.   

We note that the RFIs set out in Attachment 1 are abridged in accordance with the requests for confidentiality made by Bell Canada in its application and do not reflect staff’s conclusions regarding those requests.   Determinations regarding the requests for confidentiality and other procedural requests made by Bell Canada, and other parties, on the record of this proceeding will be issued in due course.

Yours sincerely

‘Original signed by’

Alain Garneau
Director, Telecommunications Enforcement
Compliance and Enforcement Sector

cc. Confidential version to Bell Canada,
cc. Abridged version to Bell Canada and interested parties.

Appendix 1

  1. In CETD 2020-185, the Commission addressed the issue of false positives. In this regard:
    1. If a number is inadvertently blocked (i.e. false positive), what circumstances would lead a customer to suspect that their number has been blocked?
    2. What circumstances would lead a customer to suspect that they are # # that has been blocked?
    3. Did Bell inform their customers about the call blocking trial? If yes, describe in detail how and what customers were advised.
    4. Does Bell intend to inform its customers about permanent call blocking?
    5. With respect to false positives during the trial, Bell indicated that # #. Provide some clarification regarding # #:  Did the # # relate to call blocking # #?   # #?
    1. Table 1 of Bell’s application indicates that during the period from 15 July to 14 August and 15 August to 13 September 66.407 M and 134.176 M calls, respectively, were blocked. Table 1 of the report dated 27 October 2020 indicates that,# # calls were blocked. In Bell’s assessment, is that augmentation linked to an augmentation of fraudulent activities, a better performance of the blocking system, a combination of both or other reasons?   Provide detailed support for your answer.
    2. Bell reported on 20 November 2020 that # # calls were blocked from # #.   In Bell’s assessment, what accounts for this significant decrease in numbers blocked?  Is it due to a change in behavior in fraudulent call activity, a diminution of fraudulent activities or any other reasons?
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