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Our Reference:  479350

Ottawa, 22 March 2010

DELIVERED BY EMAIL

To:  Attached Distribution List

Dear Sir/Madam:

Subject:   Follow-up to Broadcasting and Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-430 Accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services (the Accessibility Policy)

I am writing to follow up on a Commission staff letter, dated 17 March 2010, written in response to a letter from the Canadian Association of the Deaf (CAD), dated 22 January 2010.  Our letter, which copied you, stated that we would be requesting relevant participants of the Accessibility and Deferral Account Proceedings to report on actual and planned consultations in regard to certain services.  In addition, at this time Commission staff requests that you confirm the status of some related items that were also set out in the Accessibility Policy.  Please provide comments in the following areas by 12 April 2010:

Mobile wireless services

  • At paragraph 44 of the Accessibility Policy, the Commission requested that, “by 21 October 2009, all Wireless Service Providers (WSPs) offer and maintain in their inventories at least one type of wireless mobile handset that will provide access to wireless service by persons who are blind and/or have moderate-to-severe mobility or cognitive disabilities.” 

    At paragraph 46 of the Accessibility Policy, the Commission requested that “WSPs consult with parties representing persons with disabilities on an on-going basis to determine which handsets they will make available to address the needs of person with disabilities.”  Also in consultation with these groups, the Commission requested that “the service providers provide reasonable technical and lifecycle support of these handsets in order to address unique needs, such as those imposed by assistive technologies.”

Please specify the types of handsets that you are currently offering, and/or are planning to offer, in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs 44 and 46. Please provide details on how consultations informed your choice of such handsets.

Promotion of Disability-specific services and products

  • At paragraph 58 of the Accessibility Policy, the Commission noted that service providers generally offer a limited number of service options and bundles that are suitable for persons with disabilities.  The Commission encouraged “the TSPs to consult with customers with disabilities and the appropriate advocacy groups to develop suitable options and packages of optional features for persons with disabilities and to offer such options at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Please provide details regarding actual, planned and ongoing consultations with customers with disabilities and appropriate advocacy groups to meet the encouragements set out in paragraph 58.

  • At paragraph 56 of the Accessibility Policy, the Commission required “the TSPs and Class 1 and direct-to-home (DTH) BDUs to promote information on all of their disability-specific services and products, in the accessible manner(s) of their choice, by 21 July 1010.”  At paragraph 57 of the Accessibility Policy, the Commission encouraged “the TSPs and all BDUs to promote disability-specific information over their websites.”  Further, the Commission required “the TSPs and Class 1 and DTH BDUs to incorporate an easy-to-find home page link to the special needs/disability sections of their websites, if their websites include such sections, by 21 July 2010.”

Please confirm that your organization will be compliant by 21 July 2010 with the requirements as set out in paragraphs 56 and 57.

Implementation of IP Relay Services (IPRS)

  • At paragraph 21 of the Accessibility Policy, the Commission “directed all LECs, including wireless CLECs, and VoIP providers that are required to provide TTY Relay to provide IP Relay, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by 21 July 2010.” At paragraph 22, The Commission directed the ILECs to file revised tariffs by 21 April 2010.

Unless you have already notified the Commission in regard to this matter, please confirm that by 21 July 2010, all of the appropriate revenue segments (e.g., wireline, wireless, VoIP etc.) of your organization will be providing IPRS as set out in paragraph 21.

Consultation in regard to IPRS and Video Relay Service (VRS) initiatives

Bell Canada and TELUS only

  • At paragraph 17 of Telecom Decision CRTC 2008-1, Use of deferral account funds to improve access to telecommunications services for persons with disabilities and to expand broadband services to rural and remote communities (the Deferral Account Decision), the Commission approved “the specific initiatives in the ILEC’s proposals.”  We note that the initiatives for IPRS and VRS in the proposals submitted by Bell Canada and TELUS, and approved by the Commission, contain consultations with persons with disabilities in various capacities including:  participation in testing, debugging, and field trials as well as ongoing consultation. 

Please provide details regarding actual, planned and ongoing consultations with persons with disabilities for IPRS and VRS initiatives as set out in your proposal and approved by the Commission in the Deferral Account Decision.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  Should you have further questions about any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.  Please note that the Commission encourages the electronic submission of all correspondence, via the following link to “Filing electronic documents”: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/g100.htm

Sincerely,

ORIGINAL SIGNED BY:

Martine Vallee
Director, Social & Consumer Policy
Policy Development and Research

c.c.    Mr. Len Katz, Vice-Chairman Telecommunications, CRTC
M-L. Hayward, A/Manager, Social and Consumer Policy, CRTC
Mr. James Roots, Executive Director, CAD, info@cad.ca
distribution list attached

Attachments:

  • Commission staff letter, dated 17 March 2010
    CAD letter, dated 22 January 2010

Distribution List:

Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership Bell Aliant Communications régionales, société en commandit

1 Germain Street

P.O. Box 1430

Canada

St. John , NB  E2L 4K2

 

Richard   Stephen
Director of Regulatory Matters

TEL:506-694-6512

FAX:506-694-2473

regulatory@bell.aliant.ca

Bell Canada

160 Elgin Street

19th Floor

Canada

Ottawa , ON  K2P 2C4

 

David   Palmer
Director, Regulatory Affairs

TEL:613-785-6280

FAX:613-560-0472

bell.regulatory@bell.ca

MTS Allstream Inc.

45 O’Connor Street

Suite 1400

Canada

Ottawa , ON  K1P 1A4

 

Teresa   Griffin-Muir
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs

TEL:613-688-8790

FAX:613-688-8303

iworkstation@mtsallstream.com

Shaw Communications Inc.

Suite 900, 630 - 3rd Ave SW

Canada

Calgary , AB  T2P 4L4

Jean   Brazeau
Vice President, Telecommunications

TEL:403-750-4500

FAX:403-750-4501

 

Regulatory@sjrb.ca

Cogeco Câble Canada inc. Cogeco Cable Canada Inc.

5 Place Ville Marie

Bureau 1700

Canada

Montréal , QC  H3B 0B3

Michel   Messier
Directeur, Affaires réglementaires, Telecommunications

TEL:514-764-4750

FAX:514-874-2625

 

michel.messier@cogeco.com

 

Bragg Communications Incorporated

6080 Young Street

Suite 801

Canada

Halifax , NS  B3K 5M3

Natalie   MacDonald
Vice President, Regulatory Matters

TEL:902-431-9979

FAX:902-446-9979

Regulatory.Matters@corp.eastlink.ca

Saskatchewan Telecommunications

2121 Saskatchewan Drive

12th Floor

Canada

Regina , SK  S4P 3Y2

John   Meldrum
Vice President Corporate Council & Regulatory Affairs

TEL:306-777-4208

FAX:306-565-6216

 

document.control@sasktel.sk.ca

Quebecor Média inc. Quebecor Media Inc.

612 St. Jacques, 15 étage Tour Sud

Canada

Montréal , QC  H3C 4M8

Dennis   Béland
Directeur, Affaires réglementaires, Télécommunications

TEL:514-380-4792

FAX:514-380-4664

 

regaffairs@quebecor.com

Rogers Communications Inc.

333 Bloor Street East

Canada

Toronto , ON  M4W 1G9

Ken   Engelhart
Vice President, Regulatory

TEL:416-935-2525

FAX:416-935-4655

 

ken.engelhart@rci.rogers.com

TELUS Communications Company Société TELUS Communications

215, rue Slater

Canada

Ottawa , ON  K1P 0A6

Ted   Woodhead
Vice-président, Politique de télécommunications & réglem.

TEL:613-597-8368

FAX:613-597-8306

regulatory.affairs@telus.com