Telecom - Commission Letter addressed to Distribution List
Ottawa, 22 December 2022
Our reference: 8661-B2-202209923
RE: PIAC Procedural Request to merge proceedings, change process, and extend timelines
On 21 November 2022, Bell Canada (Bell) filed a Part 1 application with respect to non-payment of 9-1-1 fees by Vidéotron in violation of Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-182, Next-generation 9-1-1 – Modernizing 9-1-1 networks to meet the public safety needs of Canadians. In the application, Bell submitted that Videotron was refusing to pay for the Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) and Next generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) services that Bell was providing to Videotron in accordance with the NG9-1-1 regulatory framework.Footnote1 Consequently, Bell requested that the Commission order Videotron pay all outstanding and future 9-1-1 tariff charges.
On 9 December 2022, Footnote2 Québecor Media Inc. (Québecor), on behalf of Vidéotron, filed a Part 1 application regarding the obligation to pay all charges for both existing 9-1-1 services and for NG9-1-1 services. Québecor cited numerous issues with NG9-1-1 implementation and the NG9-1-1 regulatory framework where they pertain to the E9-1-1 and NG9-1-1 tariff rate regimes which will exist in parallel during the transition from E9-1-1 to NG9-1-1. As such, Québecor requested that the Commission order Bell and the other ILECs to (i) charge 9-1-1 fees according to the telecommunications service providers’ (TSPs) actual usage, (ii) refund to the TSPs all NG9-1-1 fees collected since 1 March 2022 and to begin to charge the new 9-1-1 fees only once the migration of emergency calls to the NG9-1-1 system has begun, and (iii) disclose the confidential information contained in their cost studies, and (iv) submit new cost studies for the existing 9-1-1 services.
On 16 December 2022, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) filed a procedural request in response to both the Bell and Québecor Part 1 applications, submitting that while the relief requested by both parties is diametrically opposed, the underlying facts and the policy rationale at issue are the same. Further, PIAC indicated its interest in responding to both applications but submitted that responding to both separately would be inefficient and unwieldy for the applicants and respondents. In light of this, PIAC suggested that the Commission merge the two Part 1 proceedings, allow each party and all intervenors equal opportunities to comment and reply on submissions, and to accommodate these changes with a revision of the timelines with the following new deadlines:
- The deadline for the receipt of interventions to be changed from 16 January 2022 to 31 January 2023 for the merged proceeding; and
- The deadline to file replies for the merged proceeding to be changed from the usual periods under the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (Rules of Procedure) to 28 February 2023.
On 19 December 2022, both Québecor and Bell filed responses to PIAC’s procedural request. Québecor indicated that it was not opposed to the merging of the two Part 1 applications, though it submitted that a third deadline should be observed whereby Québecor and Bell would file final replies by 10 March 2023. Bell opposed PIAC’s proposal, submitting that the scope of the two applications differed sufficiently to keep the proceedings separate. Bell also alluded to the Commission’s consideration of Québecor’s application having a delaying impact on their own application.
Given that both the Bell and Québecor Part 1 applications centre on the same NG9-1-1 regulatory issue, the dual E9-1-1 and NG9-1-1 tariff rate regime during the three-year transition period, Commission staff agrees that merging the two proceedings would be more effective and efficient for the applicants and all intervenors. Staff notes Bell’s concerns with regards to the potential delays incurred relative to its application but considers that the benefits to the intervenors of merging the two applications outweigh these delays.
Staff also accepts the 31 January 2023 deadline proposed by PIAC and Québecor. However, Commission staff is not convinced that consideration for the matters at hand requires the introduction of additional deadlines above what is accounted for in the Rules of Practice and Procedures. Therefore, staff is of the view that it is reasonable to maintain the deadline by which applicants may file their replies to interventions at 10 days after the intervention deadline.
As such, Commission staff hereby
- Closes 8661-B2-202209535 – Part 1 Application from Bell Canada with respect to non-payment of 9-1-1 fees by Videotron, in violation of Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2017-182, Next-generation 9-1-1 – Modernizing 9-1-1 networks to meet the public safety needs of Canadians, and 8661-V3-202209809 – Part 1 Application from Québecor Media Inc. regarding the obligation to pay all charges for both existing 9-1-1 services and for next-generation 9-1-1 services and merges them into a single proceeding;
- Initiates a new merged record under file number 8661-B2-202209923 – Merged proceeding for Bell Canada and Québecor Media Inc. Part 1 applications regarding payment of concurrent E9-1-1 and NG9-1-1 tariff rates; and
- Establishes new procedural deadlines as follows:
- All interested parties, including Bell and Québecor are to file their responses to the applications by 31 January 2023; and
- The applicants Bell and Québecor are to file their final replies by 10 February 2023. In doing so, Bell and Québecor are to limit their reply comments to the interventions in respect of the matters raised within their own respective initial Part 1 applications.
Parties are to file their submissions using file number 8661-B2-202209923.Both Part 1 applications (8661-B2-202209535 and 8661-V3-202209809), PIAC’s procedural request, and the subsequent responses will be transferred to the record of the merged proceeding.
Original signed by
Director, Dispute Resolution and Regulatory Implementation
c.c.: Étienne Robelin, CRTC, firstname.lastname@example.org, 873-354-4325
- Date modified: