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ARCHIVED -  Telecom Commission Letter - 8665-C12-200807943

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Letter

Email

Ottawa, 6 October 2008

Reference: 8665-C12-200807943

DELIVERED BY EMAIL

To:   List of participants at the public consultation to consider Unresolved issues related to the accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services for persons with disabilities , Broadcasting Notices of Public Hearing CRTC 2008-8 and 2008-8-1 and Telecom Public Notices CRTC 2008-8 and 2008-8-1, 10 June 2008 and 24 July 2008 (Public Notice 2008-8)

Dear Sir/Madam:

Re: Organization and conduct of the public consultation for Public Notice 2008-8

The purpose of this letter is to provide appearing parties with information on the organization and conduct of the public consultation in connection with the above-noted proceeding.

Dates and location

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the Commission) will hold a public consultation starting on Monday 17 November 2008, at the Conference Centre, Portage IV, Outaouais Room, 140 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau, Quebec. The public record and reference material will be made available for examination in the Papineau Room at the Conference Centre. The Commission notes that the public consultation is expected to run the week of 17 November only.   Should more time be required, the Commission will consider and rule on this issue by end of day Wednesday, 19 November 2008.   If the Commission rules that more time is required for the public consultation, it will continue the following week, no earlier than Wednesday, 26 November 2008.

Sitting schedule

The public consultation is expected to start at 9:00 am, except the first day, which will commence at 9:30 am. On each sitting day, two breaks (mid-morning and mid-afternoon) will be taken as well as a break for lunch.

Order of appearance

The Commission will issue a letter, no later than 10 October 2008, which will outline the order of appearance of parties who have been granted a request to appear at the oral consultation. All other parties to the proceeding and members of the public are welcome to attend the consultation as audience members.  

Responsibilities of the parties

Presentations by the parties and questioning by the Commission

Parties are requested to note the following:

  • each party or group of parties will be allotted 15 minutes to present. Parties should assume that the Commissioners have fully reviewed the record to date and should therefore avoid simply restating their initial comments. Presentations should summarize the party's position and highlight any recommendations and supporting rationale;
  • each party or group of parties will then be questioned by the Commissioners, as necessary.
  • questions of parties by other parties will not be permitted; and
  • audio-visual presentations will be permitted, provided parties have requested to do so in advance and the presentation is technically possible.   The Commission notes that the formats of presentations such as PowerPoint need to be reviewed well before the public consultation to ensure that the resolution settings and any associated video card settings is interoperable with the information technology system available at the Conference Centre.

The Commission notes that a mong the issues to be considered in this proceeding are the potential technical and financial requirements of the proposals for improving accessibility to telecommunications and broadcasting services on the record of this proceeding.   It would be helpful for parties to provide the Commission with as much information as possible on such proposals.   Amongst other things, parties should be prepared to provide detailed information on the following (modified as necessary for the particular proposal) at the public consultation.

1)   For each proposed accommodation measure or service, the party making the proposal is to provide full justification, including:

a)   a detailed description of the proposal;
b)   the discrimination it expects the proposal to address; and
c)   where applicable, detailed suggestions as to the appropriate compensation mechanism for the proposal, with supporting rationale.

2)   Where a party is willing to provide an accommodation measure or service, for each measure or service:

a)   provide a detailed description including the extent of access to the measure or service (such as geographic availability of a service, hours of operation, languages in which the measure or service will be offered), terms and conditions, and the expected implementation date; and
b)  where applicable, provide the amount of compensation required, proposed compensation mechanisms, and proposed rates, with supporting rationale;

3)   Where a party opposes a proposal, provide full justification for the opposition, and:

a)   indicate whether or not the proposal is technically feasible, providing full justification; and
b)   if the proposal is technically feasible, where applicable, provide the costs of implementation, amount of compensation required, proposed compensation mechanisms, and proposed rates, with supporting rationale .  

The Commission expects to focus these questions primarily on the following measures and services:

  • relay services (internet protocol and video)
  • described video, including pass through technology
  • closed captioning quality (monitoring and quality control)
  • customer service and support, including the accessibility of service provider websites
  • emergency services

Advance copies of oral presentations

Prior to delivering their oral presentation parties are to provide (i) fifteen (15) copies of the text of their oral presentation to the Hearing Secretary for the Commission's use and (ii) one copy of the text to each of the thirty two (32) other parties presenting at the consultation. Parties are advised that these copies are to be provided for convenience only and do not form part of the public record of this proceeding.   In addition, parties who require such texts in alternative format (e.g. diskette with html version, large print, etc.) are to advise the Commission of the details by letter no later than Tuesday, 14 October 2008 .   These letters will be posted on the Commission's website for the information of the other parties appearing at the public consultation, who are to provide a copy of their oral presentation to these parties in the requested format.

Monitoring progress of the consultation

Parties are responsible for monitoring the progress of the consultation so that they will be aware of any Commission rulings and be ready to make their presentation at the appropriate time.

Transcripts

The Commission has made arrangements with Mediacopy Inc. (Mediacopy) to provide stenography services for the public consultation. The daily transcripts will be available on the Commission's website the following day and the full transcript will be available within a few days following the conclusion of the public consultation. Parties who wish to obtain same day or other services from Mediacopy are to contact Mr. Bill Curley as soon as possible prior to the public consultation to make arrangements. Parties are responsible for the transaction and payment of such services. Mr. Curley may be contacted at 613-521-0407 or bill.curley@mediacopy.ca.

Notification of attendance and further inquiries

To ensure that the public consultation proceeds efficiently, parties are requested to submit by 1 November 2008 the following information to the Hearing Secretary via e-mail at sylvie.bouffard@crtc.gc.ca or by fax at 819-994-0218.

  • the names and titles of the representatives who will be presenting at the consultation on behalf of the party's organization;
  • the number of additional people from the party's organization who will be attending (for planning purposes);   
  • telephone number and email address where the party can be contacted immediately preceding and during the public consultation;
  • electronic copies of any audio visual presentation; and
  • further requests for accommodation at the consultation for people with disabilities.

Assistance to parties

In order to ensure that the public consultation be conducted smoothly and efficiently, Commission counsel Lori Pope and Veronique Lehoux, (Tel: 819-953-5079 and 819-997-6141, respectively) will be available, both prior to and during the public consultation, to assist counsel or other representatives of the parties with regard to procedural matters and the practices and procedures of the Commission.

Additional report placed on the record

A copy of a report dated April 2005, prepared by the Acuity Research Group, which refers to various approaches to accessibility and terminal equipment, has been placed on the record of this proceeding.   The Commission notes that the report presents the views of the consultant, not the Commission, and does not dictate the outcome of this proceeding.   As set out in paragraph 16 of the Public Notice 2008-8, the Commission wishes to remind parties that it does not regulate terminal equipment or the design and manufacture of communications devices intended for accessing telecommunication or broadcasting services.

Final Reply Comments

Parties are reminded that final reply comments are to be filed with the Commission and served on all other parties on or before 12 January 2009. As set out at paragraph 27 of Public Notice 2008-8, f inal reply comments should be no longer than 20 pages. The receipt of final reply comments will close the record of the proceeding.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Robert. A. Morin
Secretary General

Date Modified: 2008-10-06