Telecom - Commission Letter addressed to Imran Khan (Northwestel Inc.)
Ottawa, 29 September 2022
Our reference: 8740-N1-202203793
Chief Financial Officer & Vice-President
P.O. Box 2727
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 4Y4
Subject: Northwestel Inc. Tariff Notice 1156 - Introduction of Disaster Waiver
On 11 July 2022, the Commission received an application from Northwestel Inc.
(Northwestel), under Tariff Notice (TN) 1156 in which the company proposed to introduce General Tariff CRTC 3001 Item 1701 - Disaster Waiver.
On 22 August 2022, Commission staff requested information from Northwestel in relation to this application. The responses to these questions were filed on 31 August 2022.
Paragraph 28(1)(a) of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure provides that the Commission may require parties to file information or documents where needed.
Northwestel is requested to provide comprehensive answers, including rationale and any supporting information, to the attached supplemental questions by 7 October 2022.
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, persons may designate certain information as confidential. 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, persons may designate certain information as confidential. A person designating information as confidential must provide a detailed explanation on why the relevant information qualifies for designation as 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.
Where a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely sent, by that date. The Commission requires the response or other documents to be submitted electronically by using the secured service “My CRTC Account” (Partner Log In or GCKey) and filling the “Telecom Cover page” located on this web page.
A copy of this letter and all subsequent replies will be added to the public record of this proceeding.
Original signed by Étienne Robelin for
Director, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation
c.c.: Christine Brock, CRTC, 873-353-5852, firstname.lastname@example.org
Request for Information
Northwestel is proposing to introduce new Item 1701 - Disaster Waiver. This Item would permit the company to suspend services, waive charges, provide services at a reduced or at zero rate, or provide other such relief as may be appropriate to residential and/or small business customers affected by a Qualifying Disaster Event, which is an event beyond the reasonable control of the customer that requires evacuation of the customer premises for safety reasons for a period greater than 48 hours.
Under the terms of the tariff, where an entire community is affected, for example, by fire or flood, the company may initiate relief for affected customers.
- Specify whether a customer would be required to provide consent where the company initiates relief under the provision of the Disaster Waiver.
- In its 31 August 20222 response to question 1, Northwestel indicated that suspension of service deactivates the service while rates are waived, but without ending the customer's account. Suspension would mean the service is non-functional; i.e., for a telephone line, there would not be dial tone and no ability to make or receive calls. Further, suspension of service would be appropriate where a customer has been ordered to evacuate their premises due to potential danger (i.e., wildfire or flood conditions).
In the case where the company has suspended service with no charge to an entire community, if a customer choses not evacuate, how will the company ensure that this customer will still have access to the network in order to place emergency calls?
- Date modified: