Telecom - Commission Letter addressed to Stan Thompson (Northwestel Inc.)
Ottawa, 22 July 2022
Our reference: 8000-N1-202204923 and 8020-1/22
Chief Financial Officer & Vice-President
Northwestel Inc. (Northwestel)
3rd Floor, 301 Lambert Street
Whitehorse, Yukon - Y1A 4Y4
RE: Request for Information – Confidential
This letter sets out confidential requests for information (RFIs) directed towards Bell Mobility with respect to certain of its services. At this time, these questions are being asked for the general purpose of administration of the Telecommunications Act. This letter and any subsequent correspondence may be added to the public record of a proceeding in the future should it be determined that the information is relevant to the Commissioners’ determinations. If that occurs, parties to any relevant proceeding would be notified of the addition and given the opportunity to comment on the responses.
Your responses to the questions in this letter are due by 29 July 2022
At this time, the questions posed in this letter are being maintained in confidence. As set out in section 39 of the Telecommunications Act and in Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-961, Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, parties may designate certain information as confidential. A party designating information as confidential must provide a detailed explanation on 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 party 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
Executive Director, Telecommunications Sector
Text indicated by # text # is confidential.
Telesat informed Commission staff of issues with its Anik F2 satellite.
Telesat confirmed to Commission staff that it has also informed Northwestel of these issues.
Questions for Northwestel
Telesat indicated that some services presently supported on the satellite will be adversely impacted as early as February 2023, while others will degrade over time (depending on the size of the antennas transmitting and receiving signals from the satellite).
Telesat informed Commission staff that Northwestel’s services – broadband, enterprise, telephony – that currently use the Anik F2 satellite as transport may be “adversely impacted” as early as February 2023.
Impact on Northwestel’s services and customers
Identifying who is at risk of adverse impacts
1. List the communities that you serve using the Anik F2 satellite, and identify those that are at risk of being adversely impacted by the degradation of the Anik F2 satellite. Provide the following information for each community:
- community name
- province or territory
- services you offer
- # of subscribers
2. List the enterprise customers that you serve using the Anik F2 satellite, and identify those that are at risk of being adversely impacted by the degradation of the Anik F2 satellite. Provide the following information for each customer:
- customer name
- industry/service type (e.g. hospital/medical services, government, education, power generation, mining.
3. List the wholesale customers that you serve using the Anik F2 satellite, and identify those that are at risk of being adversely impacted by the degradation of the Anik F2 satellite. Provide the following information for each customer:
- customer name
- affected wholesale services
Identifying services or customers more at risk of adverse impacts
4. Are certain communities or customers that you serve more at risk of
- experiencing adverse impacts sooner than others?
- experiencing more significant adverse impacts? If so, explain which and why.
5. Are certain of the telecom services that you provide more at risk of
- experiencing adverse impacts sooner than others?
- experiencing more significant adverse impacts?If so, explain which and why.
6. Describe any technical challenges that Northwestel may face in adapting its network, including, but not limited to its satellite ground stations, to ensure continued connectivity for retail telecom customers.
7. Provide an overview of Northwestel’s risk mitigation strategy to ensure continued connectivity for customers (retail, wholesale, and enterprise) that it serves in affected regions. Specifically address the following, along with any other information Northwestel deems relevant:
- Detailed timeline for overall risk mitigation strategy
- All technical solutions under consideration (including associated costs and timelines)
- Notification to customers
- Whether Northwestel is collaborating with (a) Bell Canada or other Bell companies and/or (b) non-Bell companies (TSPs or otherwise) on risk mitigation and/or to ensure service continuity for impacted services or customer.
8. Explain how your new risk mitigation strategy is different from previous plans to ensure network resiliency. If applicable, provide an overview of your previous plans to ensure continued connectivity.
9-1-1 – Identifying impacts and risk mitigation
9. Provide a complete explanation of any potential impacts the degradation of the Anik F2 satellite may have on continued access to 9-1-1 in Northwestel’s serving territory.
10. Provide an overview of your risk mitigation strategy to address these impacts and ensure all 9-1-1 calls made over its network are successfully delivered to PSAPs within its serving territory.
Public Alerting – Identifying impacts and risk mitigation
11. Provide a complete explanation of how your network is currently configured to receive public alerts from the National Alert Aggregation and Dissemination (NAAD) System and distribute them to any wireless customers. Include a description of the communication channel used to access alerts (e.g. C Band Satellite, Internet TCP Streaming, Internet GeoRSS).
12. Provide a complete explanation of any potential impacts the degradation of the Anik F2 satellite may have on the continued provision of public alerts via the National Public Alerting System (NPAS), including wireless public alerting (WPA).
13. Provide an overview of your strategy to mitigate and address these impacts and ensure continued access to public alerts in affected communities.
Identifying impacts and risk mitigation
14. Provide a complete explanation of any potential impacts the degradation of the Anik F2 satellite may have on impact to Northwestel’s projects funded via the Commission’s Broadband Fund.
15. Provide an overview of your strategy to mitigate and address these impacts.
End of questions
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