Telecom Order CRTC 2022-97
Ottawa, 5 April 2022
Public record: Tariff Notice 59
Videotron Ltd. – Reintroduction of the aggregated Giga service and of the disaggregated Giga service and introduction of the aggregated 1.5 Giga service and of the disaggregated 1.5 Giga service
The Commission approves on a final basis the reintroduction by Videotron Ltd. (Videotron) of the aggregated wholesale third-party Internet access service “Download 501-1000 Mbps [megabits per second], Upload 0-100 Mbps.” The Commission approves on an interim basis the reintroduction of the disaggregated Giga service, as well as the introduction of the aggregated 1.5 Giga service “Download 1001-1500 Mbps, Upload 0-100 Mbps” and of the disaggregated 1.5 Giga service. The Commission also orders Videotron to submit to the Commission a cost study for the 1001 to 1500 Mbps download tier of the aggregated service within 60 days of this order.
- The Commission received an application from Quebecor Media Inc., on behalf of Videotron Ltd. (Videotron), namely Tariff Notice (TN) 59, dated 3 November 2021, to (i) reintroduce aggregated and disaggregated wholesale third-party Internet access (TPIA) services “Download 501-1000 Mbps [megabits per second], Upload 0-100 Mbps” (aggregated Giga service) up to 940 Mbps download speeds and up to 50 Mbps upload speeds, and (ii) introduce the aggregated 1.5 Giga service “Download 1001-1500 Mbps, Upload 0-100 Mbps” (aggregated 1.5 Giga service) and of the disaggregated 1.5 Giga service (disaggregated 1.5 Giga service).
- Videotron also submitted that, should the Commission approve the request for relief from Shaw Cablesystems G.P. and Shaw Telecom G.P. (collectively, Shaw),Footnote 1 Videotron wishes to reserve the right to remove the Giga and 1.5 Giga services from its TPIA tariff.
- The Commission did not receive any interventions regarding Videotron’s TN 59.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
- The introduction of the aggregated Giga, disaggregated Giga, aggregated 1.5 Giga, and disaggregated 1.5 Giga services is consistent with the speed-matching requirement under which TPIA speed offerings must be equivalent to retail service, as set out in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2010-632. The wholesale rate for the aggregated Giga service with a monthly access fee of $81.60 is based on the rate that the Commission considered reasonable and approved on a final basis in Telecom Decision 2021-181.
- With respect to the wholesale rate for the disaggregated Giga service with a monthly access fee of $75.81, this is the rate that the Commission considered reasonable and approved on an interim basis in Telecom Order 2017-312.
- With respect to the speed tier of the aggregated and disaggregated 1.5 Giga services, the Commission notes that the services have never been subject to cost studies. Videotron’s proposal to align the monthly access fees with the nearest lower speed tier ($81.60 for the aggregated 1.5 Giga service and $75.81 for the disaggregated 1.5 Giga service) is a reasonable approach that has already been adopted on an interim basis by the Commission several times. Therefore, the Commission approves on an interim basis these rates.
- However, the Commission considers that a final rate for the aggregated 1.5 Giga service must be supported by a cost study. The Commission orders Videotron to submit to the Commission a cost study for the aggregated 1.5 Giga service speed tier within 60 days of publication of this order using the principles of Phase II methodology.Footnote 2 A cost study for the disaggregated 1.5 Giga service speed tier is not required until final rates for wholesale disaggregated TPIA services are finalized.
- With respect to Videotron’s request to reserve the right to withdraw the Giga and 1.5 Giga services from its aggregated and disaggregated TPIA services in the event that the Commission approves Shaw’s request for relief,Footnote 3 the Commission notes that it would be inappropriate to grant Videotron such a right, which would exempt Videotron from the obligation to submit a destandardization request in accordance with the Phase II costing principles.
- The Commission clarifies that all destandardization requests are governed by Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-455-1, and that Videotron’s TN 59 must be evaluated independently of the pending requests for relief. The Commission notes that it is inappropriate to approve a TN with a right to withdraw services that is conditional on the Commission’s decision on a request for relief, and it is even less appropriate to grant a right of withdrawal that is conditional on a request for relief filed by a party separate from the party that submitted the TN.
- In Telecom Order 2021-57 regarding Shaw’s TN 34,Footnote 4 the Commission determined that Shaw’s TN 34 should be considered independently from the request for relief. In addition, in Telecom Order 2021-57, the Commission reiterated considerations about consistency and the lack of uncertainty for wholesale customers with respect to TPIA services. The Commission maintains that consistency and certainty are equally important with respect to the availability of the Giga and 1.5 Giga services for Videotron’s TPIA service customers.
- In Telecom Order 2021-57, the Commission noted that there is no significant uncertainty regarding Shaw’s 1 gigabit per second TPIA service that would provide Shaw with a unique treatment with respect to the 60-day filing requirement for destandardization or withdrawal. The Commission determines that there is no significant uncertainty regarding Videotron’s Giga and 1.5 Giga services that would provide a unique treatment for their destandardization or withdrawal.
- The Commission reminds Videotron that, as set out in Telecom Order 2021-57, a destandardization application must, among other things, be filed with the Commission at least 60 calendar days before the proposed effective date and must include a cover letter and any supporting documentation required by the Commission. The Commission notes that the 60-day filing requirement for destandardization applications is essential to allow the Commission and other parties to evaluate the destandardization or withdrawal applications to ensure that they comply with all applicable requirements. The 60-day filing requirement further ensures that competitors have sufficient notice to plan and prepare for the destandardization or withdrawal of a TPIA service. It is also an important safeguard for consumers to ensure that they do not suddenly lose service and that they are properly notified.
- In arriving at its conclusions, the Commission has considered the 2019 Policy DirectionFootnote 5 and the policy objectives set out in paragraphs 7(a), (b), (c), (f), and (h) of the Telecommunications Act (the Act).Footnote 6 The Commission considers that the implementation of the Giga and 1.5 Giga services would be in line with the policy objectives set out in paragraphs 7(a), (b), (c), (f), and (h) of the Act.
- The 2006 Policy DirectionFootnote 7 requires the Commission to rely on market forces to the greatest extent possible and regulate, where there is still a need to do so, in a manner that interferes with the operation of market forces to the minimum extent necessary to meet the policy objectives of the Act. It also requires the Commission to specify, when relying on regulatory measures, the policy objective that is advanced by those measures. The above determinations support the policy objectives set out in paragraphs 7(a), (b), (c), (f), and (h) of the Act.
- Specifically, Videotron offering Giga and 1.5 Giga services to its competitors increases competition in Canada for the provision of high-end Internet access services and has the potential to provide Canadians with greater freedom of choice in their Internet service provider for market-leading telecommunications services.
- The 2019 Policy Direction states that, in exercising its powers and duties under the Act, the Commission should consider how its decisions can promote competition, affordability, consumer interests, and innovation. The Commission considers that the expectations set out in this order are consistent with this Policy Direction, particularly with respect to subparagraphs 1(a)(i), (ii), (iii), (v), and (vi).Footnote 8 Specifically, Videotron offering Giga and 1.5 Giga services to its competitors at a reasonable access rate encourages competition; promotes lower prices, particularly where Videotron exercises market power on download speeds between 500 Mbps and 1500 Mbps; ensures that access to state-of-the-art telecommunications services is available in new areas of Canada; reduces barriers to entry for competitors on these speeds; and enables innovation in telecommunications services and new technologies by providing outstanding download speeds for retail consumers.
- Requests to review and vary Telecom Order 2019-288 regarding final rates for aggregated wholesale high-speed access services, Telecom Decision CRTC 2021-181, 27 May 2021
- Shaw Cablesystems G.P. – Introduction of Internet 1000 wholesale high-speed access service, Telecom Order CRTC 2021-57, 11 February 2021
- Call for comments – Review of the approach to rate setting for wholesale telecommunications services, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2020-131, 24 April 2020, as amended by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2020-131-1, 7 July 2020, as amended by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2020-131-2, 19 October 2020
- Interim rates for disaggregated wholesale high-speed access services in Ontario and Quebec, Telecom Order CRTC 2017-312, 29 August 2017, as amended by Telecom Order CRTC 2017-312-1, 12 September 2017
- Approval processes for tariff applications and intercarrier agreements, Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-455-1, 19 February 2016
- Wholesale high-speed access services proceeding, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-632, 30 August 2010
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