Telecom Decision CRTC 2022-54
Ottawa, 25 February 2022
Public record: 8621-C12-01/08
CISC Emergency Services Working Group – Consensus letter on handset-based location technology implementation for 9-1-1 in Canada – Suspension of deadlines
The Commission approves, with one modification, the recommendations contained in the CISC Emergency Services Working Group’s (ESWG) consensus letter regarding the suspension of deadlines for the implementation of next-generation 9-1-1 handset-based location technology. Accordingly, the Commission suspends all deadlines set out in Telecom Decision 2021-210. Further, the Commission requests the ESWG to submit a report recommending new timelines, and additional amendments as warranted, by 28 March 2022.
- On 14 June 2021, the Commission issued Telecom Decision 2021-199, which re-established several deadlines related to the implementation of next-generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) in Canada that had previously been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those deadlines was for the launch of NG9-1-1 Voice services by 1 March 2022.
- On 23 June 2021, the Commission issued Telecom Decision 2021-210, which also established various deadlines related to the implementation of NG9-1-1 services. In particular, 1 March 2022 was set as the deadline for the completion of various activities related to the implementation of handset-based location technology in Canada.
- Subsequent to the issuance of those decisions, the Emergency Services Working Group (ESWG) of the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC)Footnote 1 assessed their impacts, especially with regard to the 1 March 2022 deadline that was set for the implementation of both NG9-1-1 Voice and handset-based location technology.
- On 29 September 2021, the ESWG submitted a consensus letter to the Commission (the ESWG letter) in which it requested that the Commission suspend all deadlines imposed as part of Telecom Decision 2021-210. The ESWG also requested the Commission’s approval to submit a follow-up report recommending new timelines, and additional amendments to that decision as warranted, by 11 February 2022.
The ESWG letter
- In its letter, the EWSG stated that when it recommended a deadline of 1 March 2022 for the implementation of the new handset-based location protocol,Footnote 2 it had assumed that the deadline for the implementation of NG 9-1-1 Voice would be finalized as 31 March 2021, based on the Commission’s previously stated preliminary view.Footnote 3 It noted, however, that the deadlines for NG9-1-1 Voice implementation and handset-based location technology implementation are now the same.
- The ESWG explained that the same limited resources, of both wireless service providers (WSPs) and NG9-1-1 network providers, are responsible for both implementations. Given the tremendous amount of work that has been conducted to date towards the implementation of NG9-1-1 Voice, and the scope of its application, the ESWG submitted that the implementation of NG9-1-1 Voice must take place first.
- Regarding its request to propose other amendments to Telecom Decision 2021-210, the ESWG explained that it has received new information regarding agreements between Google and data aggregators, which has implications for the Commission’s directions to WSPs set out in that decision. Based on that new information, the ESWG may request a change in the entities that execute such agreements.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
- The Commission notes that the ESWG submitted its original recommended deadlines regarding handset-based location technology on 15 October 2020. The deadline of 1 March 2022 for the implementation of NG9-1-1 Voice was finalized and published well after that, on 14 June 2021.
- Given that the same limited resources of both WSPs and NG9-1-1 network providers are working on both initiatives, and that NG9-1-1 Voice is the first priority, the Commission considers it reasonable that extra time be provided to finalize handset-based location technology.
- The Commission also acknowledges that additional time may be necessary given the ongoing work with Google and data aggregators.
- Given that the ESWG’s requested date of 11 February 2022 to submit an updated report has already passed, the Commission considers that the date requested should be modified, such that the updated report would be submitted by 30 days from the date of this decision.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission
- approves, with one modification, the recommendations contained in the ESWG letter;
- suspends all deadlines set out in Telecom Decision 2021-210; and
- requests the ESWG to submit a follow-up report recommending new timelines, and additional amendments as warranted, by 28 March 2022.
- In accordance with subparagraph 1(b)(i) of the 2006 Policy Direction,Footnote 4 the Commission considers that approval of the recommendations in the ESWG letter will advance the policy objectives set out in paragraphs 7(g) and (h) of the Telecommunications Act.Footnote 5 The recommendations in the ESWG letter, as modified by the Commission, represent a competitively neutral and symmetrical approach to implementing NG9-1-1, and specifically handset-based location technology, which affects all facilities-based WSPs.
- The 2019 Policy Direction,Footnote 6 which complements the 2006 Policy Direction, states that the Commission must consider and specify how its determinations can promote competition, affordability, consumer interests, or innovation, as applicable. In approving the recommendations in the ESWG letter, the Commission is promoting innovation, because it is exercising leadership in a coordinated nationwide transition to NG9-1-1 networks and services, to the benefit, first and foremost, of all Canadians. As technology and consumer expectations evolve, it is imperative that 9-1-1 networks maintain the path towards NG9-1-1, and that innovations in this field remain responsive to the public safety needs of Canadians.
- CISC Emergency Services Working Group – Consensus report ESRE0092 related to handset-based location implementation, Telecom Decision CRTC 2021-210, 23 June 2021
- Establishment of new deadlines for Canada’s transition to next generation 9-1-1, Telecom Decision CRTC 2021-199, 14 June 2021
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