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ARCHIVED -  Telecom Commission Letter - 8665-C12-200807943

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Letter

Ottawa, 10 June 2008

File No.  8665-C12-200807943

By email

To.  Distribution List (attached)

Re: Unresolved issues related to the accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services for persons with disabilities, Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2008-8 and Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2008-8

Pursuant to the procedures specified at paragraph 20 of Unresolved issues related to the accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services for persons with disabilities, Broadcasting Notice of Public Hearing CRTC 2008-8 and Telecom Public Notice CRTC 2008-8, 10 June 2008, attached are the interrogatories associated with this proceeding.

Parties are requested to file their responses with the Commission by 10 July 2008.  These responses are to be received, and not merely sent, by this date.  In providing responses, parties are requested to take into consideration all of the company's relevant operations in telecommunications and broadcasting.

Parties may contact Jennifer Eustace (jennifer.eustace@crtc.gc.ca) at 819-997-1328 should they have any questions in regard to this process.

Attachment 1 contains the distribution list for the interrogatories.
Attachment 2 contains the format for responding to the interrogatories and the interrogatories.

Yours sincerely,
Original signed by

Kathleen Taylor
Project Manager
Consumer Affairs

c.c. : Mary-Louise Hayward, CRTC 819­953­7274
        Jennifer Eustace, CRTC 819-997-1328

Attach:  Attachment 1 and 2.

Attachment 1

DISTRIBUTION LIST

BROADCASTING

Broadcasters

Television
Astral Media Inc.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Canwest Media Inc.
Corus Entertainment Inc.
CTVglobemedia Inc.
Quebecor Media Inc.
Rogers Broadcasting Limited
TQS Inc.

Radio
Cogeco Diffusion Inc.
Corus Radio Company
Golden West Broadcasting Ltd.
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership
Maritime Broadcasting System Limited
Newcap Inc.
Rawlco Radio Ltd.

Broadcasting Distribution Undertakings
Access Communications Co-operative Ltd.
Bell Canada
Bragg Communications Inc.
Cable-Axion Digitel Inc.
Cogeco Inc.
Mountain Cablevision Inc.
MTS Allstream Inc.
Rogers Communications Inc.
SaskTel
Shaw Communications Inc.
Star Choice Communications Inc.
TELUS Communications Company
Quebecor Media Inc.
Canadian Cable Systems Alliance Inc.

Telecommunications

Telecommunications Service Providers

Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers
Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership
Bell Canada
MTS Allstream Inc.
Northwestel Inc.
SaskTel
Télébec, Limited Partnership
TELUS Communications Company

Small Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers
Amtelecom Limited Partnership
Brooke Telecom Co-operative Ltd.
Bruce Telecom
CityWest Telephone Corporation
Cochrane Telecom Services
Compagnie de téléphone Nantes Inc.
CoopTel
Dryden Municipal Telephone System
Execulink Telecom Inc.
Gosfield North Communications Co-operative Limited
Hay Communications Co-operative Limited
Huron Telecommunications Co-operative Limited
Kenora Municipal Telephone System
La Cie de Téléphone de Courcelles Inc.
La Compagnie de Téléphone de Lambton Inc.
La Compagnie de Téléphone de St-Victor
La Compagnie de Téléphone de Warwick
La Compagnie de Téléphone Upton Inc.
La Corporation de Téléphone de La Baie – 1993
Lansdowne Rural Telephone Co. Ltd.
Le Téléphone de St-Éphrem Inc.
Mornington Communications Co-operative Limited
Nexicom Telecommunications Inc.
Nexicom Telephones Inc.
North Frontenac Telephone Corporation Ltd.
NorthernTel, Limited Partnership
NRTC Communications
Ontera
People's Tel Limited Partnership
Quadro Communications Co-operative Inc.
Roxborough Telephone Company Limited
Sogetel Inc.
TBayTel
Téléphone Guèvremont Inc.
Téléphone Milot Inc.
Tuckersmith Communications Co-operative Limited
Wightman Telecom Ltd.
WTC Communications

Cable and Competitive Local Exchange Carriers
Access Communications Co-operative Limited
Bragg Communications Incorporated (EastLink)
Cable-Axion Digitel Inc.
Cogeco Cable Canada Inc.
Distributel Communications Limited
ExaTEL Inc.
Fido Solutions Inc.
Globility Communications Corporation
Iristel Inc.
ISP Telecom Inc.
IVIC Télécom s.e.n.c. (IVIC Internet)
Maskatel Inc.
Mountain Cablevision Ltd.
Persona Communications Corp.
Rogers Cable Communications Inc.
Shaw Telecom Inc.
Téléphone Drummond Inc.
TelNet Communications
Vidéotron Ltd.

Attachment 2

Interrogatories

Telecommunications Service Providers, Broadcasting Distribution Undertakings, and Broadcasters

Insert your Company Name here(CRTC)10June08-100

An estimated 4.4 million Canadians—one out of every seven in the population—reported having a disability in 2006.   In 2006, 43.4 percent of persons over 65 reported having a disability, and more than half (56.3 percent) of persons over 75 reported having a disability.   The rate of disability among the Canadian population is expected to increase dramatically over the next 10 to 15 years. Projections indicate that by 2026, seniors will comprise the largest population group with disabilities, at just over three million people.

a)   Describe the current issues or difficulties faced by persons with disabilities in making use of the telecommunications and/or programming products, content, and services offered by your company.

b)  For each of the years 2004 to 2007, and grouped by type of complaint, indicate the number of complaints received from, or on behalf of, persons with disabilities with respect to any telecommunications and/or programming product, content, and service offered by your company.  If unavailable, provide estimates.

c)  Indicate whether you conduct research (e.g., customer surveys, marketing reports, forecasts, consultant studies, strategic plans, analyses, etc.) into telecommunications and programming products, content, and services related to persons with disabilities.  If so, provide copies of the research and detail the methodology used.

Insert your Company Name here (CRTC)10June08-101

Specific to providing professional broadcasting content delivered and accessed over the Internet and/or by way of mobile devices, comment on the following: 

i)  Standards that your company has adopted and maintained to deliver professional broadcasting content to persons with disabilities;

ii)  How and to what extent your company provides closed captioning and/or described video;

iii)  If your company provides closed captioning and/or described video, comment on your future plans to expand these services;

iv)  If your company does not presently provide closed captioning and/or described video, comment on any future plans you may have to provide these services for your new media broadcasting services available today or in the future; and

v)  Technological challenges your company faces with respect to the delivery of professional broadcasting content to persons with disabilities.

Telecommunications Service Providers and Broadcasting Distribution Undertakings

Insert your Company Name here (CRTC)10June08-102

a)  List and provide a brief description of the telecommunications and/or programming products and/or services that your company currently offers that address the needs of persons with disabilities. Describe how the products and/or services address these needs.  Note where the products and/or services are available (e.g., nation-wide).  Include any product and/or service offered by phone, by mail, on-line, at retail outlets, and/or at special needs centres.

b)  List and describe your company’s practices for ensuring availability, support, promotion, and enhancement of the products and services for persons with disabilities identified in question a) above (for example: procurement, development, testing, training, adherence to universal standards such as W3C compatibility, and pricing strategies).

c)  List and describe your company’s customer support practices for its product and services identified in question a) above when interfacing with persons with disabilities.  Include any supporting documentation available.

Insert your Company Name here (CRTC)10June08-103

a)  Indicate whether your company currently passes through the described video of all of the programming services of each of the following types.  Describe any technical or other impediments that prevent your company from passing through described video, either on an analog or digital basis.  Direct To Home (DTH) satellite BDUs may wish to group together their responses to i) and ii) below.

  • Local, regional or extra-regional television stations;

  • Distant television stations;

  • Specialty and Pay television services; and

  • Video-on-Demand services.

b)  Describe the method by which a subscriber accesses described video programming.  For example, what steps would a subscriber follow to select the described video component of a program using a digital set-top box?

c)  Describe any marketing or promotion of described video services to persons with visual disabilities, including any information related to the availability of or access to these services.

d)  Describe any features that have been or will be incorporated into your electronic programming guide (EPG) that are intended to make this utility more accessible to persons with disabilities, including, but not limited to, persons with vision loss. 

Insert your Company Name here (CRTC)10June08-200

As noted at paragraph 39 of the Stakeholder Consultations on Accessibility Issues for Persons with Disabilities, April 18, 2008, “Technology can provide great liberation, or can promote huge barriers”.

i)  Describe any planned technological developments for the telecommunications and programming products and/or services offered by your company that may improve or impede accessibility by persons with disabilities.  Specify the phase of development that these are currently at.

ii)  Provide any documentation pertaining to products, services and technologies available outside of Canada that to your knowledge would further improve accessibility of persons with disabilities to the products and services that your company offers. 

Broadcasters

Insert your Company Name here (CRTC)10June08-300

a)  Describe the measures taken to ensure that the company’s website is designed to be accessible to persons with disabilities (e.g., W3C compliance).

b)  In addition to current requirements regarding captioning and described video as well as initiatives described in your cultural diversity annual reports to address portrayal/inclusion of persons with disabilities in programming, describe any practice, guidelines or specific initiatives that your company has adopted to ensure that your services are accessible to persons with disabilities.

For TV broadcasters only:

c)  Provide details relating to the cost of described video programming.

d)  If you broadcast described video programming, identify any standards that you follow regarding the quality of described video?

Source: The 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey: Disability in Canada (Statistics Canada) (PALS). PALS is Canada's national survey that gathers information about adults and children whose daily activities are limited by a physical, mental, or other health-related condition or problem.
Source: PALS 2006.
Source: Stakeholder Consultations on Accessibility Issues for Persons with Disabilities, submitted to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, 18 April 2008

Date Modified: 2008-06-10