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Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-338

PDF version

Additional reference: 2013-338-1

Ottawa, 16 July 2013

Call for comments

Removal of the last payphone in a community

File number: 8650-C12-201310078

With this notice, the Commission initiates a proceeding in which it calls for comments on whether it is appropriate to prohibit incumbent local exchange carriers from removing the last payphone in a community, pending the outcome of the process initiated today by Telecom Notice of Consultation 2013-337, and, if required, any related follow-up process.

Background

1. In Telecom Decision 2004-47, the Commission determined that payphone service is an important public service, especially for Canadians who earn low income and those that live in rural and remote communities. In this decision, the Commission noted concerns about the impact that the removal of the last payphone in a community may have on these Canadians.

2. Accordingly, the Commission requires certain incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) to inform the public in instances where the last payphone in a community[1] is scheduled for removal. The notification process requires (i) a 60-day written notification to the location provider and to the local government, (ii) a notice posted on the payphone scheduled for removal at least 60 days prior to removal, and (iii) a notice placed in the local newspaper at least 60 days prior to removal. The notification process currently applies to Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership; Bell Canada; MTS Inc.; Saskatchewan Telecommunications; Télébec, Limited Partnership; and TELUS Communications Company.

3. In Telecom Decision 2013-336, issued today, the Commission denied an application by Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership; Bell Canada; and Télébec, Limited Partnership (collectively, Bell Canada et al.) to increase the price ceiling for local payphone rates.  The Commission also announced today that it is initiating a fact-finding process to collect information on the current role that payphones play in Canada, including the extent to which Canadians rely on payphones, and the effects, if any, that further payphone removals and possible rate increases may have on Canadians.[2]

4. In Telecom Decision 2013-336, the Commission also decided that that it would initiate a proceeding to consider prohibiting all ILECs from removing the last payphone in a community until it has concluded its fact-finding process and, if required, any related follow-up process.

Call for comments

5. In light of the above, the Commission invites parties to file comments, including supporting rationale and all evidence on which they rely, on whether the Commission should prohibit all ILECs listed in Appendix A of this notice from removing the last payphone in a community as an interim measure pending the conclusion of the Commission’s fact-finding process and, if required, any related follow-up process.

6. The Commission will review this matter in this proceeding in light of the policy objectives set out in section 7 of the Telecommunications Act and the Policy Direction.[3]

Procedure

7. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of Procedure) apply to this proceeding.[4] For help understanding the Rules of Procedure, see the Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure.

8. The ILECs listed in Appendix A of this notice are made parties to this proceeding.

9. Parties to this proceeding and interested persons who wish to become parties to this proceeding must file an intervention with the Commission regarding the above-noted issue by 13 August 2013. The intervention must be filed in accordance with section 26 of the Rules of Procedure.

10. The Commission will post the interventions on its website shortly after they are filed. All documents required to be served on a party or parties to the proceeding must be served using the contact information contained in the interventions.

11. Parties may file reply comments with the Commission, serving copies on all other parties, by 23 August 2013.

12. The Commission expects to publish a decision on the issues raised in this notice within four months of the close of record.

13. The Commission will not formally acknowledge submissions. It will, however, fully consider all submissions, which will form part of the public record of the proceeding.

14. Parties are reminded that, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, if a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely sent, by that date. A document must be filed with the Commission by 5 p.m. Vancouver time (8 p.m. Ottawa time) on the date it is due. Late submissions, including those due to postal delays, will not be considered by the Commission and will not be made part of the public record. Parties are responsible for ensuring the timely delivery of their submissions and will not be notified if their submissions are received after the deadline.

15. Submissions longer than five pages should include a summary, and each paragraph of all submissions should be numbered. In addition, the line ***End of document*** should follow the last paragraph. This will help the Commission verify that the document has not been damaged during electronic transmission.

16. The Commission encourages interested persons and parties to monitor the record of this proceeding and/or the Commission’s website for additional information that they may find useful when preparing their submissions.

17. Submissions must be filed by sending them to the Secretary General of the Commission using only one of the following means:

by completing the
(Intervention/comment/answer form)

or

by mail to
CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2

or

by fax to
819-994-0218

Important notice

18. All information provided as part of this public process, except information granted confidentiality, whether sent by postal mail, facsimile, email, or through the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca, becomes part of a publicly accessible file and will be posted on the Commission’s website. This includes personal information, such as full names, email addresses, postal/street addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers, and any other personal information provided.

19. The personal information provided will be used and may be disclosed for the purpose for which the information was obtained or compiled by the Commission, or for a use consistent with that purpose.

20. Documents received electronically or otherwise will be posted on the Commission’s website in their entirety exactly as received, including any personal information contained therein, in the official language and format in which they are received. Documents not received electronically will be available in PDF format.

21. The information provided to the Commission as part of this public process is entered into an unsearchable database dedicated to this specific public process. This database is accessible only from the web page of this particular public process. As a result, a general search of the Commission’s website with the help of either its search engine or a third-party search engine will not link directly to the information provided as part of this public process.

Availability of documents

22. Electronic versions of the documents referred to in this notice are available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca by using the file number provided at the beginning of this notice or by visiting the “Public Proceedings” section of the Commission’s website. The documents can be accessed by selecting “View all proceedings open for comment,” then clicking on the “View entire record” link associated with this particular notice. All interventions are also available on the Commission’s website, at the same location, by clicking on the “Interventions” link associated with this particular notice.

23. Documents are also available and may be examined during normal business hours at the Commission offices directly involved with these applications or, upon request, within two business days at all other Commission offices.

Location of Commission offices

Toll-free telephone: 1-877-249-2782
Toll-free TDD: 1-877-909-2782

Central Building
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
1 Promenade du Portage
Room 206
Gatineau, Quebec
J8X 4B1
Tel.: 819-997-2429
Fax: 819-994-0218

Regional offices

Metropolitan Place
99 Wyse Road
Suite 1410
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia 
B3A 4S5
Tel.: 902-426-7997
Fax: 902-426-2721

205 Viger Avenue West
Suite 504
Montréal, Quebec
H2Z 1G2
Tel.: 514-283-6607

55 St. Clair Avenue East
Suite 624
Toronto, Ontario
M4T 1M2
Tel.: 416-952-9096

360 Main Street
Suite 970
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 3Z3
Tel.: 204-983-6306
Fax: 204-983-6317

2220 – 12th Avenue
Suite 620
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4P 0M8
Tel.: 306-780-3422

100 – 4th Avenue SW
Suite 403
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 3N2
Tel.: 403-292-6660
Fax: 403-292-6686

858 Beatty Street
Suite 290
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 1C1
Tel.: 604-666-2111
Fax: 604-666-8322

Secretary General

Related documents

  • Fact-finding process on the role of payphones in the Canadian communications system, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2013-337, 16 July 2013
  • Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership; Bell Canada; and Télébec, Limited Partnership – Application to increase the price ceiling for local payphone calls, Telecom Decision CRTC 2013-336, 16 July 2013
  • Access to pay telephone service, Telecom Decision CRTC 2004-47, 15 July 2004

Appendix A

ILECs made party to the proceeding

Amtelecom Limited Partnership

Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership

Bell Canada

Brooke Telecom Co-operative Ltd.

Bruce Telecom

CityWest Telephone Corporation

Cochrane Telecom Services

CoopTel

Dryden Municipal Telephone System

Execulink Telecom Inc.

Gosfield North Communications Co-operative Limited

Hay Communications Co-operative Limited

Huron Telecommunications Co-operative Limited

KMTS

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 Upton Inc.

Lansdowne Rural Telephone Co. Ltd.

Le Téléphone de St-Éphrem inc.

Mornington Communications Co-operative Limited

MTS Inc.

Nexicom Telecommunications Inc.

Nexicom Telephones Inc.

North Frontenac Telephone Corporation Ltd.

NorthernTel, Limited Partnership

Northwestel Inc.

NRTC Communications

Ontera

People’s Tel Limited Partnership

Quadro Communications Co-operative Inc.

Roxborough Telephone Company Limited

Saskatchewan Telecommunications

Sogetel inc.

TBayTel

Télébec, Limited Partnership

Téléphone Guèvremont inc.

Téléphone Milot inc.

TELUS Communications Company

Tuckersmith Communications Co-operative Limited

Wightman Telecom Ltd.

WTC Communications

Footnotes

[1]   In Telecom Decision 2004-47, the Commission noted that ILECs have established geographic administrative areas within their territories used to define local exchanges, referred to as wire centres. The Commission therefore considered that a community should be defined, at a minimum, as a wire centre.

[2]   See Telecom Notice of Consultation 2013-337.

[3]   Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on Implementing the Canadian Telecommunications Policy Objectives, P.C. 2006-1534, 14 December 2006

[4]   The Rules of Procedure set out, among other things, the rules for the filing, content, format, and service of interventions and interrogatories; the procedure for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure; and the conduct of the public hearing, where applicable. Accordingly, the procedure set out in this notice must be read in conjunction with the Rules of Procedure and their accompanying documents, which can be found on the Commission’s website under “CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure.”