ARCHIVED - Transcript, Hearing 1 November 2011
This page has been archived on the Web
Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.
Providing Content in Canada's Official Languages
Please note that the Official Languages Act requires that government publications be available in both official languages.
In order to meet some of the requirements under this Act, the Commission's transcripts will therefore be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of CRTC members and staff attending the hearings, and the table of contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the hearing.
Volume 6, 1 November 2011
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE CANADIAN RADIO-TELEVISION AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Proceeding to review network interconnection matters
140 Promenade du Portage
1 November 2011
In order to meet the requirements of the Official Languages Act, transcripts of proceedings before the Commission will be bilingual as to their covers, the listing of the CRTC members and staff attending the public hearings, and the Table of Contents.
However, the aforementioned publication is the recorded verbatim transcript and, as such, is taped and transcribed in either of the official languages, depending on the language spoken by the participant at the public hearing.
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Proceeding to review network interconnection matters
Konrad von FinckensteinChairperson
Alastair StewartLegal Counsel
Anthony McIntyreLegal Counsel
Robert MartinHearing Manager and Manager, Telecommunications Policy
140 Promenade du Portage
1 November 2011
- iv -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE / PARA
11. Shaw Communications Inc.1032 / 6167
12. Public Interest Advocacy Centre1068 / 6412
13. Yak Communications (Canada) Inc. and WIND Mobile1083 / 6501
14. SSi Micro Ltd.1098 / 6596
15. Quebecor Media Inc. (on behalf of Videotron G.P.)1114 / 6680
16. Cogeco Cable Inc.1137 / 6826
--- Upon resuming on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 0856
6109 THE CHAIRPERSON: Good morning.
6110 As usual, a couple of clarifications.
6111 Yesterday, in response to TELUS, I said: Why don't you file before the end of the week sort of a list of things that you would like CISC to do? I forgot that we actually have November 14th as the last day for written argument. So no reason to do it for this day, just do it as part of your final submissions.
6112 Secondly, Bell has informed me that they have a slight variation in their position and they wanted to share that with us and the other panellists.
6113 So, Mr. Daniels, would you come up front and tell me what the variation to your position is?
6114 And, Madam Secretary, I believe you have a piece of paper you can hand out to the panel.
6115 MR. DANIELS: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
6116 Last night we went back to look very carefully at the words Rogers had put forward and said how can we sign up to what Rogers has put forward, capturing the essence of it, but making sure that the details are correct.
6117 And so what I propose to put in front of you is CRTC-Companies Exhibit 1 -- and I believe there's copies at the back room as well -- is our suggested changes to these versions.
6118 I have discussed this with a couple of the carriers in the room. So some of them have seen this before.
6119 Basically what we're trying to do is to make it very clear that in number iii), if I go to number iii), that number iii) would apply to both wireline and wireless. So if we have VoIP end users, we would be obligated to provide IP interconnection. And that's if they're served over fibre-to-the-home, LTE, HSPA. It doesn't matter, it covers all those situations.
6120 In number ii) we've clarified that the obligation is limited to local voice IP and it extends to entertain similar arrangements in accordance with subsection 27(2). So I think it captures the question Commissioner Molnar had yesterday, which is the type of issues that you raise, could that be covered just by 27(2). And we think by qualifying number ii) and specifically making reference to similar arrangements, that's exactly what we could do. So we would be comfortable signing on to this commitment as doing that.
6121 The one caveat I just have to put in is that we've spent a lot of time just trying to figure out how soon we could be ready. We have a lot of ISIT work to do, so we think it would take -- to fully be able to do this everywhere across our systems, we would have to build ISIT systems. It would take anywhere up to 18 months to be able to do that. But having said that, we could probably do it on a manual basis even earlier.
6122 So we're prepared to sign on to that, just subject to the notion that we do have to build the ISIT systems to do it. It's much easier to do this on the wireless than on the wireline side.
6123 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Daniels, any magic in the words "to the extent required"? It sort of seems to establish a minimum threshold the way it's worded.
6124 MR. DANIELS: There is no magic in it. We were just trying to make the sentence flow.
6125 The key for us is that it's the similar arrangements, and as to what does that mean in practice, we just thought, well, 27(2) will cover that.
6126 So, for example, if we offered an IP transit service -- I don't mean a trial because I know trials are excluded.
6127 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6128 MR. DANIELS: But if we offered an IP transit service, we would think if we offered it to one carrier, we would have to offer it to all carriers.
6129 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
6130 MR. DANIELS: But offering IP transit service, which by definition is IP interconnection, doesn't mean that we would have to also offer IP for TDM or -- you know, an IP-TDM conversion or whatever.
6131 We just want -- so really for us it's the similar arrangements, it's not to the extent required. I don't know how else you want to phrase it.
6132 For us it's really focused on just saying similar arrangements. And then we thought someone is going to say: Well, what does that mean? Well, we mean 27(2).
6133 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't have 27(2) in front of me.
6134 MR. DANIELS: The unjust discrimination.
6135 THE CHAIRPERSON: As defined by or whatever, that's really what you're using --
6136 MR. DANIELS: Yes, exactly. The unjust discrimination provision.
6137 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Well, thank you very much. I very much appreciate the movement of Bell to try to come to a consensus.
6138 Rogers, may I ask you, is this what you had in mind or is this a change from where you were?
6139 MR. WATT: Well, I think it's a very encouraging step forward here.
6140 Probably the one issue that we'll have to go and consider is the insertion of the word "local." But other than that, certainly no problem with the second half of the second trigger.
6141 And at this point, other than that issue, we don't see any problem in the rewording to item number iii), but we will really carefully consider this.
6142 THE CHAIRPERSON: I appreciate that. I just wanted your sort of off-the-cuff reaction right now.
6144 MR. ANTECOL: Yes. Mr. Daniels gave us a copy to look at in advance, and similar to Rogers' comments, we could probably live with this proposal if after the word "local" they put in brackets "(including wireless)" in both ii) and iii) just to make sure that the reference to local did include wireless services.
6145 And, Jonathan, maybe you want to comment on that.
6146 MR. DANIELS: Yes. It is meant to include wireless. That's why we took out the word "wireline" at the beginning, to make sure that it's meant to include wireless and wireline.
6147 But the reason we put the word "local" in is we were trying to exclude toll. For example, if you have a toll interconnection with AT&T across the border, I don't think that means for toll traffic between us and AT&T, that -- which we don't, but if we did on an IP basis, we don't think that means that suddenly all of our TDM we would have to do the conversion. So we wanted to limit it to local.
6148 But in putting the words "including wireless" in both ii) and iii), we're fine with that and that's why we took out the word "wireline," to make sure it covered both.
6149 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I guess we should make this document an Exhibit of Bell as part of the record.
6150 Any other questions from my colleagues on this proposal?
6151 Okay. Thank you very much and let's -- sorry, I see Mr. Tacit up.
6152 Mr. Daniels, you better say. There may be some follow-ups.
6153 MR. TACIT: Just one quick one, Mr. Chair. I just got this document now. I did not see it earlier.
6154 But we would be concerned with no mention of toll. I do understand the constraint, the reason for the constraint that Mr. Daniels mentioned and I appreciate that, but I think we would have a problem if toll as a category was completely excluded because there is obviously a lot of national toll that should be considered as well.
6155 Without commenting on the broader issue of whether this framework is good or not, I just wanted to make that point.
6156 THE CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead.
6157 MR. DANIELS: Chris, I don't know if this will help, but let's break it down into two things.
6158 When I say local, I think access tandem and direct connect, which is a toll call terminating in a local which the ILEC is required to do by tariff. I think that's covered by local.
6159 So if we started doing access tandem, for example, on an IP basis for one carrier, we should have to do it for all. But if I have toll, which is not regulated when I exchange with AT&T or even nationally if I exchange with Bell and Bell Aliant on a toll basis at the border, I don't think that should capture. That's what we are trying to exclude.
6160 So we're trying to say that in our local network, including for toll termination in our local network, we would have this obligation. And toll, the type -- the national toll is something that the Commission doesn't regulate.
6161 So hopefully, that clarifies it and works for you, Chris.
6162 THE CHAIRPERSON: You all have until November 14th to sort of clarify or to spell out the details, but I think the general thrust we understand and it's very welcome. Thank you.
6163 Okay, then let's start with our next intervener and I believe it's Shaw.
6164 Go ahead.
6165 THE SECRETARY: Yes, it is Shaw Communications Inc.
6166 Please reintroduce yourselves for the record, after which you will have 10 minutes for your oral rebuttal argument. Thank you.
6167 MR. BRAZEAU: Thank you.
6168 Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the panel. I am Jean Brazeau, Senior Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs at Shaw Communications.
6169 I am joined here today by my colleagues:
6170 - Dave Dykstra on my right;
6171 - Paul Cowling on my left; and
6172 - in the back there's Brian Monroe and Esther Snow.
6173 After listening to the remarks and questions during Phase I of this hearing, it is clear that all parties agree that managed voice IP networks and IP interconnection are displacing TDM and that this will offer significant opportunities for innovation and cost savings that will benefit consumers.
6174 As EastLink and Cogeco have mentioned, roughly one-third of access lines are now IP-based. More importantly, that proportion is growing and that growth is accelerating. It is abundantly clear that IP is the future for our industry and the foundation for the digital economy.
6175 The challenge before us is to design a roadmap for how we move forward expeditiously from the legacy TDM interconnection regime of the past to the IP world of the present and future. As has been mentioned at several points during this consultation, timing is everything.
6176 Our rebuttal remarks therefore focus on responding to the Commission panel's requests during Phase I for specific details on how to accelerate the transition to IP interconnection and the Commission's role in that transition. Our proposed solution is simple, minimally intrusive and based on negotiation.
6177 Last week, the panel also asked us to consider what incentives there are, or could be, to move to IP interconnection. We note that yesterday several parties' positions coalesced around Rogers' modified proposal, which we have considered carefully. We would like to start by discussing our concerns with what Rogers has suggested.
6178 Rogers has proposed two triggers for determining whether a carrier is ready to offer IP voice interconnection.
6179 The first is where -- and I quote:
"the IP wireline network operator is providing voice IP interconnection to an affiliate, a division of its operations or an unrelated service provider."
6180 This trigger is acceptable to Shaw and would provide a sufficient test for determining when a LEC must begin negotiating IP interconnection after receiving a request from another LEC to do so.
6181 The second trigger is where an IP wireline operator is providing voice services to end users via IP switches rather than TDM switches. However, in this case, the obligation to provide IP interconnection would be limited -- and again, I quote:
"to the geographical coverage of the operator's voice IP switch and the end users served by that switch."
6182 This trigger is not the optimal building block for IP interconnection for the following reasons:
6183 - It brings an unnecessary and potentially counterproductive layer of complexity to IP interconnection. As TELUS mentioned yesterday, the industry is here to discuss a consolidation, not proliferation, of interconnection regimes and arrangements.
6184 - The Rogers trigger would reduce the geographic coverage of interconnection to the area covered by the IP switch. This could mean significantly more points of interconnection and substantially smaller interconnection areas. This would be an extremely unfortunate outcome since several parties have noted throughout this proceeding that IP interconnection offers the potential for larger, not smaller, interconnection areas and therefore less duplication of costly and unnecessary interconnection arrangements. That potential for cost savings would then be lost.
6185 - This proposal would effectively mean interconnection of a patchwork of switches, not networks. The goal of the Commission's interconnection rules has always been to encourage a "network of networks." That goal would be undermined if IP interconnections were to proceed on a switch-by-switch basis as proposed by Rogers.
6186 To be clear, we support Rogers' initiative in developing a compromise solution to getting us over the stalemate in negotiating IP interconnection arrangements. However, we believe that the focus of the Commission and industry should be on interconnecting networks. The first trigger that Rogers has proposed achieves that objective, while the second trigger would take us off track.
6187 The record of this proceeding has made clear that all carriers, including ILECs, have the incentive to deploy IP within their managed voice networks in order to offer next-generation voice services to residential and business customers. You also heard from the ILECs that they are making significant investments in IP deployment and naturally moving towards IP interconnection as they build out fibre-to-the-home.
6188 However, the ILECs' incentives to roll out IP should not be confused with their incentive to pursue IP interconnections with competitors. The reality is that at this time ILECs do not have an incentive to promote or accelerate the timing of efficient competitive entry, particularly on a basis that would allow competitors like Shaw to take better advantage of their IP platform.
6189 Having said that, Shaw is prepared to take the ILECs at their word. The ILECs have assured the Commission throughout this proceeding that they will engage in IP interconnection negotiations expeditiously, with Bell confirming yesterday that it is feasible to implement IP interconnections by January 2013. Shaw is prepared to support a proposal that would allow this process of negotiation to run its course. A market-based solution is always preferable to regulatory mandates.
6190 However, we believe that it is reasonable to expect under such an IP interconnection arrangement that the ILECs bear the costs of converting TDM traffic to IP. The ILECs have suggested that these costs are exorbitant. The Commission should be sceptical about these claims.
6191 The ILECs have confirmed that they are building out fibre-to-the-home and IP-based access lines and there is evidence on the record of their considerable IP-based business voice offerings. As a result, we expect that ILECs already have media gateways deployed throughout their networks to convert TDM traffic to IP for their own customers. The need for these gateways will increase as the ILECs extend their deployment of IP-based access lines.
6192 In addition, ILECs currently use media gateways to convert their IP-based traffic for delivery over TDM interconnections to LECs. In the case of IP LECs such as Shaw, that TDM traffic has to be reconverted to IP for termination.
6193 Given this prevalence of, and increasing need for, media gateway equipment in the ILEC networks, we do not believe that the costs of IP conversion would be substantial. Accordingly, ILECs should bear their own conversion costs under IP interconnections, whether negotiated or mandated.
6194 As Shaw has mentioned, we have tried and failed to enter into acceptable IP interconnection arrangements with ILECs before. However, we are prepared to try again.
6195 If that process fails, the Commission will have more than sufficient evidence of market failure to justify the following.
6196 If any interconnecting LEC is unable to negotiate mutually acceptable interconnection arrangements within 12 months of a Commission decision in this proceeding, then that LEC could apply to the Commission for mandated IP interconnection within eight months of the order. We would expect that this could be at two POIs per province per ILEC.
6197 The current CISC guidelines would provide a foundation for parties to start discussions as standards will vary based on networks and vendors. CISC should be tasked with updating the guidelines as necessary, coincident with the deployment of IP interconnection.
6198 In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, Shaw is not advocating new regulation for voice network interconnection. All we are asking the Commission to do is help modernize the existing regime so that it reflects the prevalence of IP networks. Unless the Commission takes this modest step, in line with the roadmap that Shaw has outlined, the transition to IP interconnection will proceed much too slowly, to the detriment of the digital economy.
6199 Thank you and we look forward to your questions.
6200 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6201 On page 5, you say -- in the middle:
"Accordingly, ILECs should bear their own conversion costs under IP interconnections, whether negotiated or mandated."
6202 And then the next paragraph is really how you operationalize that concept.
6203 You would like us to -- or how do we operationalize this fact that -- when you're negotiating, how do we operationalize the concept that they should bear their own cost of their interconnections?
6204 MR. BRAZEAU: Well, I think in this decision the Commission would set out what we call the roadmap and give guidelines as to what the Commission would expect from these negotiations.
6205 And I think one of these terms would be that the incumbents would be responsible for their own conversion of the signals. And from there we would then start our negotiations and try to achieve a mutually agreed agreement within the timeframes that the Commission had in its order.
6206 THE CHAIRPERSON: And for argument's sake, if a carrier says, sorry, the Commission may say that, but these costs are substantial and you, Shaw, have to bear part of them, then what?
6207 MR. BRAZEAU: Well, again, we believe that these costs are not substantial.
6208 I think, as we mention in here, they have deployed the equipment already in their network. They will deploy more of this equipment in their network as more and more their customers become IP-based and their TDM customers will need to speak to and communicate with their IP customers.
6209 So I think it's -- again, we think that these costs were significantly exaggerated and it's part of just doing business and getting a more efficient interconnection regime.
6210 THE CHAIRPERSON: So assuming I accept your proposal, we establish this principle that interconnection costs are the responsibility of the ILEC, and then we secondly say, get on with it and you have in effect 12 months to do this, if not, then we will step in?
6211 MR. BRAZEAU: That's correct.
6212 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
6213 Suzanne, you have some questions?
6214 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Yes, I do. Thank you very much.
6215 Bonjour. Monsieur Brazeau, on the point of Rogers' proposal and the second trigger, which you obviously don't like and explained why, maybe I did not understand correctly Rogers' proposal, but in my mind this was actually an additional option.
6216 It's not something that you had to go through if you felt that you as an IP operator would have too many interconnection points, but it was a situation where you could ask to have it done.
6217 So looking at it that way, do you still feel that it's totally out of line?
6218 MR. BRAZEAU: I didn't quite understand the Rogers option 2, but we're very concerned here that that now becomes the standard. I agree that maybe you can ask for something different than that, but we expect that that would become the standard.
6219 And so we would, you know, have to connect at every soft switch, and again, that would be unreasonable for us and I don't think there would be any incentive for us to do that, at least for the foreseeable future.
6220 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay.
6221 Rogers, would you like to answer to that because maybe I am the one who did not get it right?
6222 MR. WATT: No. Hopefully, this will clarify.
6223 Trigger 2 was meant to identify the situation when IP interconnection should occur, negotiations should start. It did not in any way attempt to prescribe the number of interconnection points.
6224 I think our expectation is that there would be substantially fewer soft switches than there are so-called hard switches today and that there will be much larger interconnection arrangements. So we don't agree with Shaw that this is a danger.
6225 But the key point is that we think point 2 is just a trigger that you negotiate and then we expect you will negotiate a single provincial point with a redundant POI. We said this in our opening remarks in paragraph 8 last Tuesday. We believe that large interconnection areas, possibly as large as the province, will be negotiated between the parties for IP interconnection.
6226 So I think you need to make the distinction between the trigger to initiate discussion and have IP interconnection from the specifics with respect to how many points of interconnection there would be under that regime.
6227 I hope that clarifies.
6228 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Mr. Brazeau?
6229 MR. BRAZEAU: We have always advocated for aggregated POIs and if the intent here is to go in that direction, then we would certainly support that.
6230 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: So can I read into what you said this morning then, what you are concerned about is unintended consequences?
6231 MR. BRAZEAU: That is correct.
6232 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
6233 Now, when we're talking about the cost of converting TDM to IP, you did mention -- I'm not sure if that's the word you used -- you're sceptical that it's going to be as expensive as ILECs say it's going to be, and I get your point that there is deployment taking place, but before I ask TELUS and Bell to comment, isn't the sheer volume and extent of the network actually a big impact on cost?
6234 MR. BRAZEAU: We don't think so. Again, if you go into aggregated POIs where you have a minimum number of interconnections, then we'll be -- and we do it today, we're exchanging the traffic with them and we have equipment, they have equipment.
6235 So again, we don't think that these costs would be that significant. I don't think they would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Sure, there would be costs, but I think they're fairly minimal and I think the benefits, given the efficiencies, the interconnection efficiencies, would far outweigh those costs.
6236 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Okay.
6237 TELUS, would you like to comment first?
6238 MR. WOODHEAD: Well, I guess my comment would be that I don't know how Mr. Brazeau knows what my costs are, but if the costs are so insignificant, then what are we talking about if they're doing it today? It's just more cost-shifting.
6239 And we don't have widespread IP voice in business or in residential. It's a small amount of business for us today. And hence, I felt, as I said yesterday, that the Rogers evolutionary approach to this is a more appropriate one than what Mr. Brazeau is asking for.
6240 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Mr. Daniels, Bell, do you want to add to that or...?
6241 MR. CULLUM: It's Martin Cullum.
6242 While it's true that we will have -- we do have gateways in our network to obviously be able to process between a voice-over-IP customer to TDM, the issue is that if the ILECs were forced to then start processing a considerably larger amount of IP data, it will trigger more costs in our network than what we currently have today.
6243 It would be triggering hardware and software costs to upgrade our network to accommodate that increased traffic, and clearly, there would be an increase in our deployment of gateways as well.
6244 So it's not accurate to say well, we have gateways in our network, that they could be leveraged and they could be utilized to support the increased traffic that would be anticipated with the proposals that are being put forth.
6245 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
6246 SaskTel, do you want to comment?
6247 MR. ROMANIUK: A couple of things.
6248 Yes, there would be additional costs as we go forward on this. Shaw already has TDM connections with us as we're going forward, but if we were going to centralize within 12 months, first, we couldn't do the 12 months because I don't think we could get those gateways installed within 12 months or purchased and all those kinds of wonderful things, but it would cost us extra money there.
6249 And it would also cost us more money in terms of reconfiguring some of my network as I haul this traffic down to Swift Current or other places from that one centralized switch. That's why when we were going before we were talking about doing these kinds of interconnections at the LIRs that we have.
6250 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
6252 MS GRIFFIN-MUIR: I'm just wondering if I could ask for a bit of a clarification from Shaw because I don't have the same interpretation that the other ILECs have.
6253 I was under the impression that it would be only after we started to interconnect IP we would do the translations within our network.
6254 And so I mean that makes a bit of a difference because once we have the IP interconnections in place, we would -- I would agree with Shaw, we're also going to have to let our TDM customers speak with our own IP customers, but that's once we have the IP switch.
6255 So that's what I interpreted Shaw to be suggesting, not that we would now, prior to doing IP interconnection, start taking responsibility for the cost of translation.
6256 So could Shaw clarify that for me?
6257 MR. BRAZEAU: That's correct. That's what we meant, Teresa.
6258 MS GRIFFIN-MUIR: Okay, thanks. I don't think that would be a problem for us then.
6259 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you.
6261 MR. DANIELS: It's Jonathan Daniels from Bell.
6262 Let me break this up into two parts. The first part is, if we have a rule -- if I understand MTS and Shaw's clarification, it is a big problem for us because, if we want to do our first IP interconnection, then we have an obligation to do it everywhere, throughout our network, for all TDM; whereas, what we support about the Rogers proposal is that Rogers says: Let's do it where it makes sense, where you have VoIP end users.
6263 As I understand it, Shaw is saying: No, don't limit it to that, let it all be negotiations, but mandate that we have to do IP for both TDM and that we should have to pay the cost of the TDM conversion.
6264 That, to me, is a huge stop. MTS is saying: That's okay, I'm not ready to do IP, so I will hold off for years.
6265 Our position is, we want to do IP interconnection for No. 3 that Rogers has said. We are signed onto it. We will get going right now, but if you make it contingent that we have to do it for all of our TDM across our whole network, because that is the trigger, then we are into the hundreds of millions of dollars, because we have to be able to support it everywhere and anywhere.
6266 That's why we can't support that, and that clarification, actually, from our perspective, would really hinder innovation and the willingness for us to go forward with IP interconnection.
6267 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Before I go to TELUS, Mr. Brazeau, would you like to nuance your position?
6268 MR. BRAZEAU: It's just that we don't quite understand Bell's position, where they have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars and convert their whole network.
6269 These negotiations will be ongoing. The IP interconnections will happen at certain points, not everywhere in their network.
6270 So I don't understand that somehow the whole network has to be transformed in order to allow for IP interconnection.
6271 We do IP interconnections today, and nobody needs to transform their entire network in order to do those connections.
6272 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: TELUS...
6273 MR. WOODHEAD: Just quickly, I support what Jonathan just said. What I agreed to yesterday was a different proposition from what Mr. Brazeau is raising today.
6274 There is one other thing. Mr. Brazeau continually talks about the de minimis costs of conversion, which I disagree with. But there is another part to his proposal, with one or two POIs per province, that would then impose significant transport costs on us to haul this traffic all over the place.
6275 COMMISSIONER LAMARRE: Thank you. So we will take away that ILECs and Shaw are going to disagree about the cost of conversion.
6276 MTS, do you want to have a final comment on this?
6277 MS GRIFFIN-MUIR: I don't know that I fall totally in the ILEC category, but I am having difficulty understanding -- I agree with Mr. Brazeau that it's an ongoing negotiation, but once you have the IP switch, we are, within the ILEC network, going to convert from IP to TDM and back.
6278 I am having a little trouble. I understand some concerns about the timing of the deployment of switches, the number of POIs -- I get that, but I honestly don't understand what Bell and TELUS are saying.
6279 THE CHAIRPERSON: I am glad you say that, because neither do I. If somebody could clarify that for me -- I am totally lost in this conversation.
6280 Mr. Daniels, take a shot at it.
6281 MR. DANIELS: We have, today, for example, to serve Quebec City, an IP switch. So we are capable of doing IP-to-IP interconnection, and the Rogers proposal would allow us to go from that IP switch directly to Rogers on an IP basis.
6282 If I understand the Shaw position, it is saying: Once you do IP interconnection with one carrier, you should have an obligation -- you will negotiate the terms, but you should have an obligation to do it for all services, including your TDM.
6283 That would mean that, today, as soon as we negotiated that first interconnection agreement, let's say, with Vidéotron, then anyone could come to us and say: Oh, I want to interconnect on an IP basis for all your traffic.
6284 That's the difference.
6285 Why does one trigger a huge expense and not the other? The brilliance of the proposal that Rogers put forward is that it limits it --
6286 MR. DANIELS: I'm signing on.
6287 The brilliance of the proposal, which we agreed with yesterday even, is that it limits it to where it makes sense to both parties, which is our VoIP customers to their VoIP customers.
6288 What I understand Shaw to be saying is: No, once you put an IP switch in, you have to do IP interconnection for all, including your TDM customers.
6289 And that is what is going to cause us to spend a lot of money.
6290 If I am misunderstanding Shaw, I apologize, but I think that's what they said.
6291 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Let's stop right there.
6292 Shaw, are you being misinterpreted here?
6293 MR. BRAZEAU: I don't understand what all these TDM customers are. As we said earlier, internally Bell has to do that. As they transition their network from TDM to IP, they will have more and more and more customers that will become IP.
6294 Your TDM customers have to talk to their IP customers. How are they going to do that? They are going to do that by buying more of these boxes. That's how they are going to do that.
6295 So, at one point in time -- I don't know when -- they will have more of these gateways in their network than all of us combined. So they are going in that -- they will have to incur those expenses internally.
6296 What we are saying is that, externally, when we talk to them, we should be only talking to them on an IP basis.
6297 So we are going to send them IP traffic, they are going to send us IP traffic. That's all we want. That's the best way I can explain it.
6298 THE CHAIRPERSON: Are you walking away from the Rogers proposal or not?
6299 MR. BRAZEAU: If the Rogers proposal, again, is about aggregating POIs to the level of, as they suggest, a province, then I think we can work with that.
6300 What we were concerned with here was that we were going to start interconnecting switches, and I don't think this is what we should be discussing. We should be discussing interconnecting networks.
6301 THE CHAIRPERSON: But as my colleague clarified, the first one is, if they have an interconnection with another carrier, or themselves, you are entitled to it.
6302 The second one is that, basically, you can demand it, but it doesn't have to be done on that basis.
6303 So if there is an isolated area where they are serving their customers directly IP, you can demand the same. That's what I understood, but it doesn't necessarily mean that this becomes the norm.
6304 MR. BRAZEAU: Again, Commissioner Lamarre hit the nail on the head, saying that we are concerned about the unintended consequences of something like this, where, again, we start interconnecting on a local basis, rather than on an aggregated basis.
6305 That was our main concern with their second trigger.
6306 THE CHAIRPERSON: Candice, do you understand this stuff? Can you clarify it for me?
6307 I'm still not clear.
6308 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I think one of the disconnects that I see -- and Rogers brought it up a little bit -- is that you have a concern that you will be having more points of interconnection.
6309 Certainly, when I listened yesterday, my interpretation was that, when we leave the old TDM/PSTN behind and look for these new IP interconnections between the IP-enabled switches, it would provide opportunities for new and more efficient, and effective, interconnection arrangements.
6310 I wouldn't anticipate -- you have an expectation here, or perhaps a concern here, that there will be more points of interconnection required. Is it your expectation that there would be -- like, these IP switches, you would have two or three within a local calling area?
6311 Because it is certainly my expectation -- and maybe I'm wrong -- that there will be fewer switches within the network.
6312 MR. BRAZEAU: I think you are right, there will be fewer.
6313 For example, we have over 10 of these switches. I don't know how many switches TELUS will have or Bell will have. So we are talking numerous switches here. Again, that is our concern, that we start disaggregating these interconnections to that level. That is the concern here.
6314 Our interpretation of Bell's second trigger led us to believe that maybe we were going down that path.
6315 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. But I think what we heard this morning is that the trigger is that there is pure IP-to-IP traffic that can be exchanged, and then you are going to negotiate to find where is the most reasonable point within the network to exchange that traffic.
6316 Does that give you some confidence?
6317 MR. DYKSTRA: I guess where we are trying to go, and the concern that we had with the Rogers proposal about strictly where they have IP services, is that our goal is to create that single interconnect.
6318 So, say, with us and TELUS, we create one in Calgary. We are not saying that we are going to all of a sudden go to TELUS and say: Okay. You have to convert all of our IP traffic to TDM.
6319 This would be a migration, an evolution.
6320 So, as we add, say, exchanges, or new NXXs into an area, those would be done over IP.
6321 So, yes, there would be a certain amount of that traffic that would be destined to an IP TELUS customer, and then there would be a bit of that traffic, too, that also goes to a TELUS IP customer.
6322 We don't think going at it that way creates undue costs or hardship on TELUS -- or the ILEC, sorry.
6323 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I think that what was proposed yesterday is a way of starting IP interconnection on a win-win basis, because it is a win for both sides to move IP -- the pure IP-to-IP traffic to these new IP interconnection arrangements.
6324 It isn't the endpoint, it's the start point in the transition to IP interconnection, and I would expect that both Rogers and other parties would agree that this is a way to kick-start it, to grab the low-hanging fruit and the best traffic, recognizing that over time, as the ILECs transition more of their customers onto VoIP types of products, that more and more of that traffic will get there.
6325 At some point what will be left -- the conversion discussion will be a much different discussion, in terms of quantum and so on.
6326 Again, we are not talking about the endpoint, we are talking about the start point. Are you comfortable that this could be a reasonable start point?
6327 MR. BRAZEAU: I think we are very encouraged that we are having this discussion. As we pointed out earlier in our remarks, we have tried to initiate similar discussion in the past, but were not very successful. I think that being here, having all of us here today, people understanding the importance of IP, and the Commission's view on moving forward with IP, will be a big win for the entire industry, because I think that now we can start having that discussion.
6328 So I agree with you, I think it's a great first step. We are expressing our concerns. We are saying what we want to connect -- interconnect our networks or not. Anything less than that -- is this a path to get us there?
6329 I think it's a good first step. We just want to make sure that people understand where we need to end up.
6330 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Fair enough, where we need to end up. I agree that there is an endpoint that is different from where we are beginning, and there is an evolution to get there.
6331 Other parties have proposed that we don't need to be talking about the conversion first, before we talk about the interconnections and the win-win.
6332 So could you accept that, recognizing that -- I mean, there is a second part to this, clearly, where we talk about how we transition the entire networks, but would you agree to make your point and park it, so that we can begin?
6333 MR. BRAZEAU: It has been parked.
6334 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Thank you.
6335 THE CHAIRPERSON: I still -- I understand all of the generalities and everything you say. Mr. Daniels started with a specific example, and I asked you to comment on it, and you went into generalities. I still don't understand what the issue is between you and Bell, where you are parting here.
6336 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: He parked it.
6337 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that it was parked, but I wanted to understand what Bell -- Bell seemed to be voicing some reservations, and I wanted to understand what those reservations were.
6338 MR. BRAZEAU: Again, I am not quite sure what the reservations are. I think you heard from MTS that -- we think that the costs are certainly manageable. They are deploying these gateway boxes already, and they will have more of those boxes.
6339 Again, I am not quite sure what their concerns are.
6340 Our problem with the Bell model, again, was -- our concern -- our biggest concern was that it was too limited. It was too restricted --
6341 THE CHAIRPERSON: That part I understand.
6342 MR. BRAZEAU: -- geographically --
6343 THE CHAIRPERSON: We parked that. That part I understood.
6344 Can I go back to Mr. Daniels? You said that, in Quebec City, you are serving it by IP, and Vidétron wants to interconnect on IP.
6345 As far as I know, you are doing that only for the switch at Quebec City, right?
6346 Was that your point?
6347 MR. DANIELS: That's right, but we are only doing it for the VoIP end users, and as I interpreted what Mr. Brazeau was saying -- and I think the issue that he parked -- was to say: Oh, I also want you to start doing the conversion in Quebec City, as well.
6348 If I understand him, he has agreed that he will park that issue, and I would also agree that, as we do IP-to-IP, we would look at bigger areas, as Commissioner Molnar suggested.
6349 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6351 MR. WOODHEAD: Just to be helpful, Mr. Chairman, in the example that was just used of Quebec City, we are not talking about -- there are many switches in Quebec City, I assume, in the Quebec City LIR, and the larger -- the POI that Vidéotron or Shaw, or somebody, would have would be within that LIR, and that's where everybody has been discussing.
6352 So it's not going to be forcing anyone to interconnect on a switch basis. Nobody said that. It would still be at the LIR level, and it would, as Commissioner Molnar said, be an evolutionary transition, because we have, today, a limited number of IP customers. We would be interconnecting at the LIR level, exchanging IP traffic between us, and that would grow and it would make more sense, as we grow our IP, to then look at larger interconnection regions perhaps, on different terms and conditions.
6353 Then, of course, conversion would naturally occur.
6354 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
6356 M. MESSIER: Un commentaire en rapport avec ce que vous dites.
6357 Bien sûr, c'est un pas dans la bonne direction. Mais notre problème majeur, c'est qu'avec le type d'interconnexions où... qu'il va être limité à des « end-users » qui sont VoIP à chaque extrémité, ça signifie pour nous que cette interconnexion va avoir très peu de consommateurs que l'on peut rejoindre.
6358 Et c'est très difficile à comprendre, alors que les compagnies de téléphone ont déjà mis de l'équipement pour faire en sorte que leur un pour cent de clients qui sont VoIP au niveau de l'accès puissent parler à ceux qui sont 99 pour cent TDM. Ils ont l'équipement pour le « switching », ils ont l'équipement pour faire la conversion.
6359 Donc, nous pensons plutôt que ces mêmes préoccupations et même scepticisme que Shaw, en rapport avec les coût et c'est ça... Pour nous, c'est à eux à gérer cette transition-là. Alors, il faut que le Conseil... et notre intervention sera un peu dans ce sens-là aujourd'hui.
6360 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6361 WIND, did you have your flag up?
6364 MS GRIFFIN-MUIR: I am still not really understanding Bell's proposal, because if Bell is saying that we will just, at first, do IP-to-IP -- so if I have five IP customers connected to an IP switch, I am only exchanging traffic with Shaw for those five customers connected to the IP switch.
6365 I am wondering, in Quebec City, do your TDM customers not have to talk to your IP customers connected to that switch?
6366 I just find that Bell is, maybe, slicing it a little too narrowly.
6367 MR. BRAZEAU: To add to that, it seems that there would be a need for two connections here, a TDM connection, and then an IP connection, and the IP connection, as Ms Griffin-Muir indicated, would only be for those five or six, or ten, or whatever number of IP customers -- pure IP customers.
6368 Again, the devil is always in the details, and these are some of the details that we are concerned about.
6369 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I think we have beaten this point to death. Do any of my colleagues have any more questions?
6371 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Thank you, and good morning.
6372 I want to focus on your paragraph 13, the role of CISC. You seem to imply that one of the roles is to update the guidelines, as necessary.
6373 I think back to how the industry adapted to local number portability, and the fact that it wasn't done through CISC. The industry came together and undertook to do it, with some monitoring.
6374 How do you see this thing unfolding? Do you believe that CISC has to be the guardian of all of this and manage it all, or can this Commission, depending on where we go with the final decision, ask the industry to put together a plan and come back to us, where you have worked out all of the trials and who tests with whom, in order to make this thing all work out, and then get regular reports as to the status of all of this, rather than us driving the process?
6375 MR. BRAZEAU: Yes.
6376 COMMISSIONER KATZ: How does everybody else feel about that?
6377 Bell, Rogers, do you see the CRTC being actively the driver for all of this, or is it something that the industry can take away and put together a plan that addresses everybody's concerns and trials?
6378 THE CHAIRPERSON: We would want a bit more. We would set a deadline and say to the parties here: Get together, work this out, and come back in six months -- or three months, or whatever -- and tell us what the industry solution is, so we can adopt it.
6379 That's what you are suggesting.
6380 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Yes, that's right.
6381 MR. CULLUM: It's Martin Cullum from Bell Canada.
6382 We agree. We support you.
6383 COMMISSIONER KATZ: WIND...
6384 MR. ANTECOL: It just seems like CISC is a convenient forum where the industry can get together. It doesn't really make a lot of difference whether it is within CISC or within an industry group, but it is a group that is there, and they have a website where documents can be exchanged and viewed by others, et cetera.
6385 So it's a convenient forum, but I don't have a problem with it being relegated to the industry, as long as there is a timeline to report back to the Commission.
6386 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Thank you.
6388 MR. WOODHEAD: As I said yesterday, we believe that CISC is the proper forum for some of this.
6389 My only caution would be that you need to establish what the policy parameters are in advance, and then dispatch it to CISC with a specific timeline, such that the industry can send decision-makers there and sort this out on the technical and implementation issues.
6390 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Quebecor...
6391 MR. BÉLAND: Dennis Béland, for Quebecor Media.
6392 I am just a little concerned about dispatching things to CISC without being very precise about what these things are.
6393 I see the role of CISC as being a forum for looking at technical standards, making sure that those technical standards evolve as the standards themselves evolve internationally.
6394 But if you are not judicious in what you send CISC, you will actually be creating delay, because the last thing we want is to sit down with a party to negotiate and have them tell us: Sorry, we can't talk about that because it is being considered at CISC right now.
6395 So something like roll-out, location of POIs -- things like that -- you would be causing delay by sending those sorts of things to CISC. I think that CISC should be limited to technical standards, where there is a reasonable chance of consensus among industry members that that is the standard to adopt in Canada.
6396 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Rogers...
6397 MR. WATT: Rogers concurs completely with Vidéotron, and I think Mr. Woodhead made the point that CISC is not a policy-making body, so it needs to be a very narrowly defined mandate, so that there isn't the delay.
6398 And I think Mr. Béland expressed it very well.
6399 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Cogeco?
6400 M. MESSIER: Totalement d'accord avec les derniers commentaires. Le commentaire supplémentaire que je voudrais faire c'est que les entreprises ont une expertise, ont déjà « implémenté » des interconnexions IP, donc ça ne devrait pas être quand même un préalable pour amorcer les négociations, mais plutôt quelque chose qui est... une tâche qui est faite en parallèle avec... comme processus pour aider l'industrie au niveau du développement IP-IP. Mais surtout pour un préalable, un argument pour lequel on repousse les négociations.
6401 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Mr. Tacit?
6402 MR. TACIT: Thank you, Commissioner Katz.
6403 We agree generally with the comments made with only one slight reservation. That is Mr. Béland's reticence to deal with roll-out schedules in CISC.
6404 If the Commission were to mandate a specific type of rollout that would occur according to a schedule it might be useful to have the details of that schedule addressed and since that was done for LNP, for example.
6405 But, except for that, I fully agree that we need to make sure that the instructions are clear and limited to technical and operational and implementation issues and not policy and costing issues which should be addressed separately by the Commission itself.
6406 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Thank you. I have no more questions.
6407 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you very much then.
6408 We will go on to the next intervenor.
6409 THE SECRETARY: I would invite Public Interest Advocacy Centre to come forward.
6410 THE SECRETARY: Please reintroduce yourselves for the record, after which you will have 10 minutes for your oral rebuttal argument.
6411 Thank you.
6412 MR. LAWFORD: Thank you, Madam Secretary.
6413 My name is John Lawford and I am counsel to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.
6414 With me today again is Gerry Wall, President of Wall Communications Inc.
6415 The Chair has asked that parties consider how to address the issue of how the switchover from TDM to IP can best be advanced to support the digital economy while taking into consideration the concerns of the primarily TDM-based providers (the ILECs) as well as those of primarily IP-based providers, cablecos and wireless providers.
6416 In particular, the Commission is seeking ways to encourage the move to IP-based networks as well as a means to reconcile the parties' positions on how the costs of conversion from IP to TDM are best recovered.
6417 PIAC believes this is a question of which "changes are necessary to the interconnection regime to enhance competition and, thus, benefit consumers." PIAC believes that when the Commission is evaluating competing visions of how to change the interconnection regime, that consumer benefit should be the tie-breaker between any two visions.
6418 PIAC has been greatly encouraged to see the parties' movement towards encouraging IP interconnection based on certain triggers without requiring the Commission to create a tariff.
6419 I'm going off text here now because of Bell's agreement, if you will, with Rogers this morning.
6420 I still think it's important, however, for us to mention certain points about the Rogers' proposal.
6421 Rogers' first trigger is important because affiliated wireless carriers appear to enjoy IP interconnection with their parent wireline carriers or are poised to do so very soon. In this environment, the risk to new entrant wireless providers is, again, a huge head-start for affiliated wireless providers enjoying IP interconnection from a parent. Rogers' first trigger requires ILECs providing their own wireless affiliates an IP connection to at least start to negotiate IP with the new entrants, thereby enhancing competition.
6422 We have heard, however, the concerns of the new entrants that negotiations may be drawn out during this crucial period for wireless competition.
6423 Therefore, PIAC proposes one caveat to Rogers' "mandated negotiation" proposal: Parties should undertake to complete negotiations on IP interconnection where it is required, within six months. The Commission could clearly indicate this expectation in this decision.
6424 Rogers' second trigger is key and despite Shaw's concerns of unintended consequences, as much ILEC switching infrastructure is employed which is capable of serving, or is actually being used to serve end-customers via IP.
6425 Rogers' second trigger only requires ILECs to offer IP interconnection in the geographic area covered by that switch where the IP wireline network operator is proving voice services to end-users via IP switches.
6426 Now, Bell complained at one point about this and gave a theoretical example, I believe, of a switch with just one customer who had an IP connection, thereby triggering interconnection obligations in a large urban area. However, I think they are not so concerned anyway. The one IP connection begs the question, "If you can do it for one customer on that switch then why not for others?"
6427 Again, because of Bell's acceptance of the Rogers' proposal, I'm going to skip the next paragraph and pass it to Gerry.
6428 MR. WALL: With respect to IP transiting, we noted in our oral remarks that we have suggested two approaches which can help move forward the transition to IP.
6429 The first suggestion is to require the ILECs to offer and IP-to-IP transiting service. The rationale underlying this proposal is that such a service would help introduce into the Canadian market feature-rich services that IP enables. This will occur because IP-based parties will be able to offer such services not only to their own customers but also to the wider base of customers of other IP-based providers.
6430 We suggest that this service should be a cost-based service, thereby ensuring that the ILECs do not have additional costs imposed that can't be recovered.
6431 We believe this proposal will provide an incentive for IP-based parties to offer richer services, since their potential customer base is enlarged, as we mentioned, and also provides an incentive for the ILECs to move to IP quicker since they are going to face market pressure to match what their competitors are offerings.
6432 We believe there are several reasons to mandate that this service be provided by the ILECs.
6433 They are currently required to offer TDM-based transiting services. This proposal extends that requirement to IP. While there have been differing views on how capable the ILECs are of offering IP services today, and more evidence in this regard I think would be helpful, it is our sense that much of this capability is already available in major centres or serving regions.
6434 Second, it is not clear that any party would be able to offer this type of service in the near term.
6435 Finally, any other parties -- other than the ILECs that is -- finally, without having this transiting service in place, IP-based parties will have to find another likely less-efficient and less-economical means to connect with other IP-based providers.
6436 Bell suggested that it made no sense to mandate this service since they claim -- this is from their oral remarks of yesterday -- they don't have the capability in place.
6437 Bell went on to clarify that if IP transiting were forborne, in that case they would conduct IP transiting trials if other parties were interested. However, we would note that in Bell's proposal yesterday, the definition of IP interconnection services includes IP transit. That's in their footnote on page 2. Bell also states in their proposal that if a LEC offers IP interconnection to another LEC, it must be prepared to offer it to all LECs.
6438 As noted earlier, we prefer the Rogers' proposal over Bell's. Since Bell considers IP transiting to be an IP interconnection service, we suggest that the Rogers criteria can also be applied to IP transiting.
6439 Further to that, and off text, we would note that Mr. Daniels' comments at the opening part of this morning suggested that they would accept this type of inclusion.
6440 With respect to IP conversion, although some parties still advocate polar opposite recommendations with each party requiring the other to pay 100 percent of conversion costs, Rogers has suggested CLECs can bear these costs in exchange for acceptance of their IP triggers. However, Rogers also noted at one point that they would not use ILEC conversion services. They themselves would prefer to do the conversion and hand it off to the ILECs in TDM form.
6441 For those parties that will rely on the ILECs for conversion, PIAC believes that such multiplexing costs should be moved away from the current competitors pay 100 percent of conversion costs but in a graduated manner over a period of several years so as to strike a balance between parties bearing the conversion costs.
6442 PIAC believes that a gradual reduction in ILEC recovery of conversion costs is a necessary addition to either the Rogers' proposal or Bell's or any other proposal. This incentive should encourage ILECs to move to IP more quickly and therefore the efficiencies gained by IP interconnection should begin the slow trickle down to consumers while new innovative services appear for consumers. This proposal, if structured correctly, will also permit ILECs some certainty as to multiplexing revenue and flexibility in deciding where and when to upgrade to IP.
6443 MR. LAWFORD: Turning now to equal access, PIAC notes that most parties agree that WSPs should be allowed to interconnect on a bill and keep basis without equal access. To be clear, PIAC supports a status for WSPs that requires them to fulfil all CLEC obligations except equal access and the production of subscriber directories.
6444 We noted with some alarm, however, the alacrity with which TELUS asked for the Commission to consider removing equal access from the wireline LECs. PIAC's view is that this is a question that is out of scope with the proceeding and there is no evidence on the record to consider the question.
6445 MR. WALL: Regarding the SILEC situation, PIAC was pleased to note that the JTF's compromise position on requirements for direct interconnection: namely that local numbers would trigger a direct interconnection requirement but not interconnection to numbers that are not associated with SILEC territories.
6446 PIAC is of the opinion that this proposal strikes the right balance between increasing wireless availability to consumers in SILEC territories and providing interconnection revenues where those actions by CLECs would threaten the ability of SILECs to meet their obligation to serve.
6447 MR. LAWFORD: In conclusion, we are pleased that the parties in this proceeding are moving towards a middle position that will advance IP interconnection more quickly than would happen on basic economic or business considerations.
6448 The Commission's role will be to ensure the regime finally hit upon will allow competition to be fostered. We believe that over the next 24 to 30 months the Commission should give the parties the flexibility to attempt to conclude these negotiated arrangements.
6449 However, as the process may not be perfect, we again suggest that while the experiment is tried that work on a model tariff and IP agreement be pursued, along with other technical issues, at CISC.
6450 Those are our comments and we look forward to your questions.
6451 Thank you.
6452 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. My question is more for Bell than for you.
6453 At the end of your paragraph 17 you say:
"As noted earlier, we prefer the Rogers proposal over Bell's. Since Bell considers IP transiting to be an IP interconnection service, we suggest that the Rogers criteria also can be applied to IP transit."
6454 Is that a correct interpretation of what you said, Bell?
6455 MR. DANIELS: I'm not sure. Let me say what I say and then we can see if we agree.
6456 If you look at -- I'm looking at our revised -- the one-pager here.
6457 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6458 MR. DANIELS: So clearly item number (iii) would not apply to IP transiting because it wouldn't involve our own end-users. But number (ii) would say "If we do an IP transit service then we would have to provide it to all other carriers".
6459 So I can't selectively choose who I'm going to do my IP transit service to. But I don't -- I did not commit today that we would be mandated to do an IP transit service. I maintain that I don't think you have the ability to make me do that. I don't know why you would.
6460 But if we do, do it, we have to do it for all and we are prepared to do a trial to see how it would work and if it makes commercial sense.
6461 THE CHAIRPERSON: M'hmm.
6463 MR. LAWFORD: I believe that we are content with Mr. Daniels' answer. We are not going to at this point suggest that you mandate them to provide an IP transiting service. Our expectation and hope is if that will be offered by Bell and at that time others will be able to enjoy it.
6464 MR. WALL: Just a clarification on language. We used "mandate" in this proceeding in a couple of different ways. One is a mandated tariff. So we are not requesting a mandated tariff.
6465 But I think the Rogers' proposal, if we call it a trigger, if you do it for one you have got to do it for others; you have to negotiate in good faith. That is essentially a mandate to do that: If you do it for one then you have got to do it -- so just to clarify the definition.
6466 THE CHAIRPERSON: To mandate means obligation; you have to.
6467 MR. WALL: Correct.
6468 THE CHAIRPERSON: And an expectation which is I hope you do it but, you know, you are not totally or legally obliged.
6469 Now, in paragraph 9 you say six months. You have just heard before this whole issue that people feel things should go to CISC to be worked out, some of the technical details, et cetera.
6470 How do we interconnect those two because, as you heard from Rogers and others, they are afraid that the moment you say something to CISC it will be used as a reason for delaying.
6471 MR. LAWFORD: That is a good point and one we hadn't considered when we drew up the comments for today.
6472 However, I think what we were thinking is whatever regime ends up -- negotiation regime ends up coming out of this, that once it is in place, once a negotiation is started, if after six months someone isn't reaching a deal they can presumptively come to you and say, "Look, no deal. How come?" And at least they will be in a prima facie kind of case sense, entitled to some relief or to at least have a serious consideration.
6473 That was the thing behind that thought. The CISC complication I understand we hadn't considered.
6474 THE CHAIRPERSON: TELUS?
6475 MR. WOODHEAD: Mr. Chairman, it's Ted Woodhead.
6476 My problem with that last comment by Mr. Lawford is that what it will presumptively do is drop a bunch of disputes on your doorstep because if you have this six-month timeline where you can presumptively come to the Commission, I suspect that negotiations will simply default to presumptively going to the Commission.
6477 THE CHAIRPERSON: God forbid.
6478 THE CHAIRPERSON: Quebecor?
6479 MR. BÉLAND: Yes, Dennis Béland, for Quebecor Media.
6480 We disagree. We support the idea of a recourse to the Commission after six months if negotiations have not been concluded. I emphasize negotiations not concluded. We are not talking about implementation.
6481 The recourse to the Commission could be a relatively soft recourse. In fact, what we are planning to propose in our presentation later today is that there be a recourse to staff mediation after unsuccessful negotiations after six months.
6482 We believe that staff is quite skilled at taking those situations, cutting through some of the underbrush and giving some direction to parties.
6483 THE CHAIRPERSON: And you would do those negotiations while CISC is labouring away trying to resolve some technical issues?
6484 MR. BÉLAND: As was stated earlier by Mr. Messier from Cogeco, we see CISC running completely independent of this whole negotiation/mediation process.
6485 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but it will be in parallel?
6486 MR. BÉLAND: Yes.
6487 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you.
6489 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Just one question. Good morning.
6490 Do I take it that if you are silent on something that you have no position on it? For example, on the SILECs you comment on the JTF position. You don't comment on the bypass issue at all.
6491 MR. LAWFORD: I don't think that we take a position on the bypass issue.
6492 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Or anything else that you are silent on?
6493 MR. LAWFORD: That's correct.
6494 MR. WALL: Unless we have talked about it in our earlier remarks, which we did talk about if you are going to have a regime just subsidize it. It should be a transparent one. It should not be hidden in tariffs for various types of service.
6495 So we are on the record with respect to that.
6496 COMMISSIONER KATZ: Thank you. Those are my questions.
6497 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Those are our questions. Let's take a 10-minute break before we go to the next one.
--- Upon recessing at 1005
--- Upon resuming at 1022
6498 THE SECRETARY: À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît. Order, please.
6499 We will now proceed with the joint presentation by Yak Communications Inc. and WIND Mobile. Please introduce yourself for the record, after which you will have 10 minutes for your oral rebuttal argument.
6500 Thank you.
6501 MR. ANTECOL: Thank you, Madam Secretary, Mr. Chairman and Commissioners. My name is Ed Antecol, and I'm here today on behalf of Yak Communications and WIND Mobile. We really appreciate the opportunity to appear today and offer these rebuttal comments.
6502 I guess my engineers who were here with me before got a little depressed hearing all the reasons why we can't do IP, and I think they just decided to split.
6503 MR. ANTECOL: Anyway, my presentation today will focus on IP connection issues, WSP co-carrier status, including the issue of wireless equal access, and a request that the Commission at least take some steps to make interconnection more efficient and less costly as a result of this proceeding.
6504 IP interconnection has started. You've heard many examples of IP interconnection between wireless carriers, between CLECs and IXCs, between CLECs and international carriers, between CLECs and other CLECs, and between wireless carriers and IXCs. But you did not hear one example of IP interconnection between an ILEC and a CLEC.
6505 You have heard that both CLECs and WSPs want IP interconnection and you've heard that the ILECs do not think they should be required to provide it.
6506 IP interconnection will lead to greater efficiencies, lower costs and better use of IP capabilities, resulting in lower prices and a wider range of service features for consumers. Most cable based local customers and wireless based customers in Canada receive services via IP access facilities.
6507 Based on the fact that more than 50 percent of Canadian consumers are connected by native IP networks for their communications needs, it is time for mandated IP interconnect. We urge the Commission to discount claims from MTS Allstream that IP interconnection standards and experience are not sufficiently developed to proceed with IP interconnection.
6508 And I'm just going off my transcript here and just to note that the Allstream division claims to be a leader in Canada in SIP trunking, and so I just find it hard to reconcile the MTS position with what their Allstream affiliate is doing.
6509 IP -- I'm back on my speech here.
6510 IP interconnection with SIP has sufficiently been deployed by a number of Canadian carriers over the last three years. Moreover, technologies such as Session Border Controllers, which have been around for 10 years, exist to facilitate the IP interconnection of technology from different vendors if there happens to be protocol differences.
6511 We are not asking for a flash cut. The existing TDM interconnection arrangements and tariffs should stay in place. In fact, we would want TDM interconnection to remain in place and available for moves of circuits, additions and new installations for at least the next five years.
6512 We are skeptical that sufficient incentive can be created to offset the strong disincentives the ILECs have to forestall IP interconnection or demand unreasonable terms and conditions, especially with respect to the smaller LECs.
6513 The record of this proceeding has reconfirmed the need for the Commission to mandate that ILECs offer local network interconnection based on IP whenever the ILEC is already utilizing IP interconnection with others, including affiliates. The arrangements must be disclosed in sufficient detail to allow other LECs to consider the opportunity for interconnection.
6514 Mere reliance on non-discrimination provisions contained in 27(2) of the Act is insufficient if competitors don't even know about such arrangements.
6515 Mandated IP-based network interconnection should include applicable standards, or a range of standards, with required basic functionality and basic rules, including tariffs as a backstop to the freedom of all LECs to negotiate custom solutions. Standards exist and are being used today for IP interconnection.
6516 The tariffs for local interconnection should parallel the terms for existing TDM interconnection except bill and keep imbalances could be calculated and billed based on differences between originating and termination minutes, or peak demand in Mbps, instead of on a per DS-0 basis.
6517 EAS service can be folded into bill and keep trunks as recommended by Yak or, alternatively, a per minute rate can be established for EAS transport beyond the LIR.
6518 Local transit can remain a TDM function. It is our hope that commercial or co-operative voice IP exchange points will develop to fill the void, as has developed in the U.S.
6519 In the alternative, if the Commission is not prepared to mandate an IP interconnection option at this time, the Commission should consider giving ILECs 12 months to negotiate IP interconnection arrangements with CLECs and WSPs and have the ILECs file quarterly reports on the status of negotiations and the applicable standards used by the parties to provide the IP interconnection.
6520 If, after that period, there is insufficient evidence that an unregulated approach has worked, the Commission should direct them to provide IP interconnection on terms set out by the Commission.
6521 Specifically, Yak and WIND recommend the following.
6522 Direct the ILECs to disclose the technical arrangements of all voice IP interconnections, both existing and new. Provide an opportunity for parties to obtain clarification on the technical arrangements reported by the ILECs.
6523 Direct the ILECs to provide IP interconnections to other carriers based on the same technical arrangements. Direct that IP interconnection should be available from the ILECs in all locations where TDM to IP translation gear has been deployed by the ILEC for whatever the purpose.
6524 And direct CISC to update its work on IP interconnection and submit its report within eight months.
6525 A lot of discussion has happened about the need to grant WSPs the right to interconnect as co-carriers. There is no longer any policy, regulatory, technical or legal reason why wireless carriers should be subjected to an inferior interconnection regime given the increasing importance of mobile communications to consumers and the need to improve and expand wireless services while, at the same time, bringing down costs.
6526 The ILECS are arguing that if WSPs are allowed co-carrier status without an equal access obligation, then equal access should be eliminated for wireline carriers.
6527 Now, I'm going to deviate from my scripted remarks again.
6528 I appreciate that Bell and TELUS have now changed their positions yesterday and are now agreeing that WSPs should have co-carrier status and connect on an LIR basis, that position which we support. So I won't go on.
6529 THE CHAIRPERSON: You'll recall that I said clearly re eliminating EA for wireline is out of scope, so we don't have to worry.
6530 MR. ANTECOL: Correct. So I'm going to skip over that, but I do want to add some remarks on equal access for wireless.
6531 As discussed in this proceeding, equal access implementation for WSPs will likely require large expenditures to develop with no guarantees that IXCs will avail themselves of the service and offer wireless equal access to their customers.
6532 So far, the only WSP with the obligation to provide equal access is Fido. And yes, Yak as an IXC is interconnecting with FIDO at four switches out of more than a dozen equal access capable switches and offering equal access to FIDO customers.
6533 FIDO customers don't seem to be interested, and the service is not sustainable. So at least Yak, as an IXC, doesn't think equal access for wireless will make sense.
6534 One could make other WSPs implement equal access, but there is a real risk that the costs of implementation will exceed the consumer benefit from such equal access if IXCs don't avail themselves of the opportunity.
6535 Lastly, and I'm just -- I appreciate the remarks from the Chair. I'm not going to talk about equal access on the wireline side.
6536 Lastly, efficiency improvements to the current interconnection regime are a critically important outcome for this proceeding. Therefore, in addition to the IP and co-carrier issues discussed above, we would urge the Commission to give serious consideration to the following three improvements.
6537 (1) Yak and Quebecor's proposal to optimize CLEC-ILEC connections through the mandatory use of high utilization bill and keep trunks to other CLEC switches and subtending wireless switches where traffic volumes warrant.
6538 (2) Mandating ILECs to provide higher DS-3 interconnections instead of forcing CLECs and IXCs to purchase ILEC multiplexing services and to connect only at the DS-1 level. In addition, ILECs must stop the practice of pushing multiplexing costs to CLECs for leased local network interconnections.
6539 And (3), moving EAS transport services over to bill and keep facilities which will, in effect, slightly expand the effective LIR area, something that a number of parties are seeking, albeit on a much larger scale.
6540 And those are my remarks. Any questions, that would be appreciated.
6541 Thank you.
6542 THE CHAIRPERSON: Where do you stand on the Rogers model as amended this morning?
6543 MR. ANTECOL: Well, we're okay with the Rogers model as amended, but clearly, it needs to be viewed as a trigger because I don't think interconnection on an IP switch by IP switch basis is where we want to go.
6544 And I don't understand -- I mean, I shouldn't say I don't understand. I understand the Rogers proposal to be just that; these are triggers and what would follow would be negotiation on interconnection for a specific region.
6545 THE CHAIRPERSON: So it's a fallback, if I understand. You really want to mandate and want a tariff, number one.
6546 MR. ANTECOL: Yes, yes.
6547 THE CHAIRPERSON: Number two, then you say at least mandate a negotiation of interconnection. And number three is Rogers, if I understand you correctly.
6548 MR. ANTECOL: That would be correct.
6549 THE CHAIRPERSON: All right.
6550 And how does Point 4 on page 3 there differ from Rogers:
"Direct that IP interconnection should be available from the ILECs in all locations where TDM to IP translation gear has been deployed by the ILEC for whatever purpose."
6551 MR. ANTECOL: That is similar to Rogers' proposal.
6552 THE CHAIRPERSON: Now, new alternative. I don't quite see how we would operationalize it.
6553 Wouldn't that basically mean that if -- you obviously asked to be -- to do interconnection regime, the same with TELUS. If you don't get the quarterly reports and if you don't get anywhere, then you come to us and then we'll --
6554 MR. ANTECOL: No, I think the proposal is just a little bit different than that. It is an alternate proposal --
6555 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6556 MR. ANTECOL: -- but it would go something along the lines of, "The Commission sends out a strong signal in its decision that it wants to see IP-to-IP -- more IP-to-IP interconnection. It wants to see" --
6557 THE CHAIRPERSON: I think we can take that as granted --
6558 MR. ANTECOL: Yeah.
6559 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- given we had this hearing.
6560 MR. ANTECOL: Sure. So the signal goes out and the reporting of what's happening comes into the Commission every quarter. And if there is insufficient progress along the -- if the network evolution isn't starting to happen in terms of IP interconnection, at that point, you know, the Commission brings the hammer down and just -- and poses a much more onerous obligation for IP interconnection if it doesn't see the good faith progress that it would be looking for.
6561 THE CHAIRPERSON: Basically, it would mandate a tariff.
6562 MR. ANTECOL: That's right.
6563 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. And you have Points 1, 2 and 3. I presume all of these would be done through CISC, or how would -- I mean, you're the only one who suggested that. I have several times mentioned you, but I have resounding silence on this proposal --
6564 MR. ANTECOL: Well --
6565 THE CHAIRPERSON: -- given that this -- all of this information should be shared.
6566 MR. ANTECOL: Yeah. It can be shared in a number of ways. It could be done like the municipal access agreements on company websites. But I think having a central place in CISC -- I mean, CISC is wonderful in terms of its support apparatus and its website, so I think it would be a useful place to file this information.
6567 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Now, that's number one. We'd file this -- the opportunity to obtain clarification on the technical arrangement reported by ILECs.
6568 MR. ANTECOL: So that could be as simple as us -- as long as the Commission approves of the process that -- when this information is filed, we should be able to write the specific ILEC a letter saying, you know, "Could you please explain X, Y and Z?"
6569 And so as long as the Commission has told the ILECs that they need to respond in good faith to requests, then I don't think it's a big issue for a formal process.
6570 THE CHAIRPERSON: The direction from us to anything that's been filed with CISC if there are any questions, answer the questions.
6571 MR. ANTECOL: In good faith. I mean, they may reserve the right not to answer certain things --
6572 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6573 MR. ANTECOL: -- but that we could deal with.
6574 THE CHAIRPERSON: And the third one?
6575 MR. ANTECOL: Well, I mean, once they've disclosed it, whether they're using SIP-I or SIP-T and whether it's for wireless or what have you, once they've disclosed it, to the extent that we want something that's similar, then -- and this isn't really anything more than Section 27(2). They should make a similar arrangement available to us.
6576 THE CHAIRPERSON: But this is really a refinement on the Bell -- Rogers proposal.
6577 You already have an interconnection. Now Yak is asking for it, you have to provide it to them, and not only that, but you have to provide it on the same technical arrangement that you already did somebody else.
6578 MR. ANTECOL: Correct.
6579 THE CHAIRPERSON: And at the very last page, you -- of the refinement that you're talking about, the one that really surprised me is the second one:
"ILECs must the practice of pushing multiplexing costs to CLECs for leased local network interconnections."
6580 Haven't we ruled on those?
6581 MR. ANTECOL: Well, you have, but as you heard, I mean, first of all, someone asked who is the good ILEC and who is the not so good ILEC. Well, the good ILEC is TELUS.
6582 When we negotiated local interconnect with TELUS, we decided to lease facilities to a POI at the TELUS switch building and then TELUS came right out and gave us the option. They said, "Well, we'll pay for the muxing provided the only circuits that sit on that MUX are ones that deal with local interconnection. Otherwise, you pay for the muxing and you can use the muxing for whatever you want".
6583 And so that was a fair proposal that came to us from TELUS.
6584 When we make the same proposal to Bell, they absolutely refuse. You heard Mr. Daniels yesterday saying, "Well, we don't do it because we don't have to".
6585 So that's where we stand with Bell and, you know, I think we -- you know, if we choose to have the POI -- if both companies choose to have the POI at the Bell CO in Adelaide, I don't see why Bell should then turn around and force us to also pay for muxing at their CO when, you know, we pay for the muxing at our end and they should pay for muxing at their end. And we should just meet at an interconnection point.
6586 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, but I thought we made a ruling on that.
6587 MR. ANTECOL: I'm not aware of a ruling, but if you have, I spend thousands and thousands of dollars every month paying Bell for multiplexing that I would rather not be spending, and I don't think it's particularly fair.
6588 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
6589 Anyone else have any questions?
6590 Okay, thank you.
6591 Madam la secrétaire?
6592 THE SECRETARY: Merci, monsieur le président.
6593 I would now invite SSi Micro Limited to come forward.
6594 THE SECRETARY: Please reintroduce yourself for the record, after which you will have 10 minutes for your oral rebuttal argument.
6595 Thank you.
6596 MR. PROCTOR: Thank you.
6597 My name is Dean Proctor, Chief Development Officer of the SSi Group of Companies. The complication of presenting near the end of a large proceeding is that you can only rewrite your rebuttal so many times. I'll try to keep this pertinent.
6598 Our rebuttal is limited to the two "take-aways" that we described in our presentation and how these tie in to related points coming out of the Commission's questions and other presentations from last week and this.
6599 Based on our experience in the particularities in the north, we offered up the following for the rest of Canada as relevant to this proceeding.
6600 First, there should be a common approach and a consolidated interconnection regime across Canada, including Canada's north. We believe all types of traffic, local, wireless and long distance, should be exchanged on a bill-and-keep basis and pass across a single set of shared-cost trunks.
6601 When you look at where to establish the points of interconnection, there are cases in remote areas of Canada, particularly in more remote satellite-served communities, where carrying traffic to a too-distant LIR for switching between carriers may not be practical or technically desirable. As a result, the interconnection regime needs flexibility to accommodate the most economically efficient and practical solutions.
6602 Second, there are areas of the country where the incumbent does not provide 911, LNP or equal access. Where that is the case, it should not be expected of any competitor to implement such functionality before the ILEC does.
6603 On the first take-away, the submissions of the parties to this proceeding, save certain ILECs, were fairly consistent. Technology and markets have advanced such that separate interconnection regimes based on distance and technologies are no longer appropriate.
6604 The interconnection regimes can and should be simplified and consolidated.
6605 To quote from the PIAC presentation of October 26th:
"The telecommunications world has evolved from a single primary network which was gradually flanked by a limited number of secondary networks to a true 'network of networks,' where primacy is shared amongst many networks. At the broadest level, [...] interconnection must be offered on terms that provide the greatest likelihood of encouraging and strengthening competition, while not imposing undue costs on parties making interconnection available."
6606 For terms of interconnection most likely to encourage and strengthen competition, most parties took the position that IP based interconnection should be mandated if and when it can be provided by the ILEC and notably when an ILEC is providing IP interconnection to itself; in other words, between a wireline and an affiliated wireless operation.
6607 On this point, there's also been in this rebuttal process much discussion, and it would appear some consensus, as to the events and activities that would trigger a mandating of IP interconnection, but I am not going to be so brave as to try to restate that consensus here.
6608 SSi would, however, stress that the Commission and the industry should work to ensure that in all areas of the country the "best available" form of interconnection is offered to all parties without discrimination.
6609 Now, "best available" implies a bit of a cascade. IP-to-IP would, today, appear to be the best, but if it is not available, then carriers need to default down to circuit-switched trunk-side arrangements. And if those are not available, they move down to line-side interconnection.
6610 Given that much of the ILEC's network equipment in the north is up to date, the best interconnection arrangements available today in northern Canada will be circuit-switched, not IP-to-IP.
6611 In many remote communities, there may even be a requirement for line-side type interconnection arrangements for some time to come.
6612 Recognizing this, SSi has proposed simple solutions for interconnection which can be implemented now, whether the interconnecting carrier is using mobile wireless, circuit-switched wireline or IP technologies.
6613 SSi advocates that all types of interconnecting traffic be consolidated in share-cost facilities and exchanged on a bill-and-keep basis, whether the interconnection be IP based or TDM, trunk-side or line-side.
6614 SSi agrees with many parties to this proceeding that the distinction between wireless and wireline services is no longer relevant.
6615 One element that can increase efficiency and reduce of the cost of interconnection in some cases, not in all cases, is to increase the size of the local interconnection regions and reduce the number of points of interconnection between carriers.
6616 In their undertaking response to the Commission of October 28, MTS Allstream summarized their meet me interconnection regime proposal, which includes allowing, and I quote:
"...new interconnections to be established at agreed meet me points of interconnection per LIR larger areas mutually agreed for the exchange of all traffic between carriers."
6617 In our presentation last week, we had some discussion with Vice-Chair Katz as to whether SSi was advocating full adoption of the MTS Allstream meet me regime where all traffic and services go into one pipe, with fewer POIs than we see today, or whether SSi is, rather, advocating a hybrid model where all traffic still goes through one pipe, but which takes account the practical realities of satellite-served communities and that could lead to multiple points of interconnection.
6618 We are certainly willing to have our approach referred to as a hybrid vis à vis the MTS Allstream proposal; however, we also believe our approach is one that ensures the best available interconnection will be offered and implemented in satellite-served communities, and elsewhere.
6619 While we believe the record is clear on this, just to recall, if local calls between interconnecting carriers in a satellite-served community were to be switched outside the community, both carriers would unnecessarily bear the significant costs for satellite delivery.
6620 And this, unfortunately, demonstrates that distance is not yet dead in all cases. And the latency impact of distance switching and two unnecessary satellite hops would corrupt call quality.
6621 That is why, in many small communities, particularly those that are satellite-served, direct interconnection with local traffic staying local will be the best approach for all, and that includes ILECs, competitors and consumers.
6622 And I would like to emphasize that this also holds true whether we're talking about satellite-served communities in Northwestel's serving territory or further south.
6623 As a simple example, if you look at the north of Quebec, the Innuit communities in Nunavik are all satellite-served. Carrying their traffic down to a distant LIR would not make any sense, either.
6624 As an aside, I am told that in the distant past all mail within northern communities was forwarded to Ottawa for sorting, even when it was destined to an address in the same community.
6625 The post office has long since added local sorting capability in each community, and I suggest we consider that when developing the model for voice and other traffic in remote communities.
6626 To further reaffirm our position, in Northwestel's major markets, and as we define those, which account for over 60 percent of the population in the north, we see no reason why the interconnection framework cannot follow the regime in place in other parts of Canada, with all traffic types passing between competitors and Northwestel via local interconnection region points, perhaps one per territory.
6627 The Commission should also keep in mind that with only one provider backbone network and related facilities in the north, it would be far too early to consider forbearing from essential services required by CLECs, WSPs or long distance providers in Canada's north. Interconnection services remain essential for any level of competition to occur, particularly in the north.
6628 Turning to our second take-away, we noted that there are areas of the country where the incumbent does not provide 911, LNP or equal access. For these cases, it should be not -- it should not be expected of any competitor to implement such functionality before the ILEC does.
6629 No parties took exception to our proposition. In fact, with respect to equal access for wireless carriers, the vast majority of parties, and perhaps now all parties, were to tally up the numbers, advance the position that WSP interconnection, including wireless carrier to ILEC, could be bill and keep and run across shared-cost facilities but that no equal access obligations should be imposed on the wireless carrier.
6630 SSi would agree with this and we cite with favour Quebecor from their October 26th presentation:
"Quebecor Media has serious doubts whether the required investments for wireless equal access would ever have a meaningful chance of recovery. Simply put, equal access was a solution for a different technology at a different time."
6631 Going further, based on the evidence before the Commission, it would appear that the benefits of equal access arrangements might no longer outweigh the costs to implement and maintain, even on the wireline side.
6632 For that reason, Cogeco and others advanced that equal access obligations be eliminated for all CLECs and not just wireless carriers. The Commission should look to consider this proposal but at a point in time where it would be within scope to do so.
6633 Placing all this in the context of SSi's market reality, equal access is not even made available by Northwestel in much of its serving territory. So shouldn't the equal access obligation be expanded in the North when much of the rest of the country is asking that it be eliminated?
6634 To recall the words of PIAC, regulation should "ensure that interconnection rules and practices best serve the needs of Canadian consumers." We are not certain consumer needs are well served when costs and obligations are imposed on carriers with no clear demand or benefit.
6635 To conclude, we do believe the positions advanced by SSi in this proceeding align with the objectives advanced by the Commission as well as the consensus expressed by other parties.
6636 We again thank the Commission for allowing us the opportunity to present before you and would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Thank you.
6637 THE CHAIRPERSON: Let's take a step back. You're a bit of an outlier in these proceedings because you face an environment completely different from anybody else: huge distances, small communities and very inclement weather.
6638 Does it really make sense to have the same approach for you than for the rest of Canada?
6639 MR. PROCTOR: Stripped down to its basic, the approach we're calling for is bill and keep exchange of traffic and shared-cost facilities for interconnection.
6640 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes. You basically want the MTS model for the North?
6641 MR. PROCTOR: Yes, we do.
6642 And in addition to that, there are certain communities in the North, which we would like to stress, that are connected by fibre and we do not believe that there would be any impediments to implementing that in the North.
6643 THE CHAIRPERSON: I just wondered whether, you know, in this proceeding we can actually do justice to your issues in the interim, because really, as I say, you are an outlier.
6644 What we are looking at is, you know, how do you do IP-to-IP in Toronto. This is completely different than when you talk Baker Lake, you know. And as you say, you don't even have number portability and 9-1-1 in part of the North and so on.
6645 Should our overall approach be okay, here's the rule that we do for everybody else; in the North it is separate because of its position?
6646 In this hearing we've heard from you. We haven't heard from Northwestel, which is very interesting, which is obviously your number one supplier, and this whole thing should not be put on a separate track.
6647 Can we possibly do justice to your issues in this proceeding is I guess what I'm talking about.
6648 MR. PROCTOR: Some of the issues we certainly can.
6649 And again, just to step aside a bit, Northwestel actually wrote in to the Commission and indicated very clearly -- and I'm trying to quote this as best I can:
"Although we are a party interested in this proceeding, we have determined that we will not be an 'interested party.'" (As read)
6650 So they're certainly aware that this is a proceeding that does affect their operations, and although we will not talk and I will not talk about local competition in the North, there are other matters here dealing with wireless interconnection, in particular how we can improve the WSP interconnection regime and at the same time how we can ensure that we are allowed to have interconnection in all of the small communities. We don't find it that complicated.
6651 And if I look at the terms of the 206 Consultation Notice, we certainly think this is well within the scope of that. Obviously, IP-to-IP interconnection in Toronto is one item to be addressed in this hearing. It's not the only item to be addressed in this hearing.
6652 And yes, I do believe that competition is certainly something that can be advanced in Baker Lake and in the rest of the North.
6653 THE CHAIRPERSON: You want all the traffic in the North to be done on a bill-and-keep basis, if we understand it; right?
6654 MR. PROCTOR: Yes, because that actually is the most efficient form of interconnection, in our view.
6655 THE CHAIRPERSON: How do you do that with toll traffic?
6656 MR. PROCTOR: Pardon me?
6657 THE CHAIRPERSON: How do you do that with toll traffic?
6658 MR. PROCTOR: That goes back, I guess, to the question of last week, Mr. Chairman. To the extent that long distance traffic is being run across our network and is actually delivered over -- if it was a call that was being delivered to a Northwestel customer, that would run across bill-and-keep trunks in the same way as the MTS proposal.
6659 I guess maybe I'm at a bit of a loss as to how this is a complication in the whole schema.
6660 THE CHAIRPERSON: But other people said here -- maybe people in the audience can help me out here, but I understood that there are long distance carriers who do not terminate to an end customer. So how you do it on a bill and keep, that was the nub of the issue.
6661 MR. PROCTOR: It's running across the same set of trunks, and if there is a traffic imbalance -- as I tried to advance last week, to the extent that we are the preferred recipient of long distance traffic, if you will, in the North --
6662 THE CHAIRPERSON: Right.
6663 MR. PROCTOR: -- if there is an imbalance of the traffic that we send across to Northwestel, as is the case in the South today, we would have to compensate for that.
6664 Bill and keep is not a pure bill and keep, but at a certain point there's an imbalance that leads to a compensation between the parties.
6665 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6666 MR. PROCTOR: And this actually goes back to a lot of the discussion that Bell has where they claim that they are a net payer of bill and keep.
6667 THE CHAIRPERSON: Do you see a possibility of us -- for instance, there seems to be a relative consensus in the room around the Rogers proposal -- adopting that for the South, but for the North adopting the MTS model or any model, whatever?
6668 MR. PROCTOR: The consensus, I think, is going to have to be fleshed out a bit.
6669 Yes, we would agree with the various steps in the Rogers proposal, although I am also extremely sympathetic to the -- I think I'll call it confusion, rather than concerns, being expressed by, from what I've heard so far, Shaw, Cogeco and MTS as to are we now needing two forms of interconnection for TDM customers and IP customers if in fact the ILECs themselves are somehow communicating between their own TDM and IP customers?
6670 I think that that's probably, from what I've been hearing today, the biggest point of confusion between the various parties with respect to the Rogers proposal.
6671 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6672 Len, you have some questions?
6673 COMMISSIONER KATZ: No, none at all, Mr. Chairman.
6674 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6675 Any one of my other colleagues?
6676 Okay. Thank you.
6677 M. PROCTOR : Merci beaucoup.
6678 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite Quebecor Media Inc. to come forward.
6679 THE SECRETARY: Please reintroduce yourselves for the record, after which you will have 10 minutes for your oral rebuttal argument.
6680 M. BÉLAND : Bon matin, Monsieur le Président. Mon nom est Dennis Béland et je représente Quebecor Media.
6681 Je suis à nouveau accompagné de madame Siân Morgan et de monsieur Gilles Brunet de Vidéotron, ainsi que de monsieur Yanick Boily de Quebecor Media.
6682 The first section of our written document I will collapse into one sentence. Quebecor Media is prepared to accept the trigger proposal put forward by Rogers, as amended by Bell this morning.
6683 I will move on to the second section of our written comments.
6684 Other Necessary Commission Interventions in the IP Environment.
6685 We believe that two further interventions on the part of the Commission are necessary to ensure IP interconnection negotiations are productive.
6686 First, similar to what was proposed by PIAC a short time ago, we request the Commission to set a timeline of six months for parties to complete bilateral IP interconnection negotiations -- from the date that negotiations are requested by either party -- after which the Commission would make its staff available for mediation. We have confidence that Commission staff will be able to cut through any posturing that might occur in these negotiations and thereby set parties on the path to a fruitful result.
6687 Second, we request the Commission to give specific direction now regarding the number of POIs to be deployed for IP interconnection. Suggestions by at least some ILECs that IP POIs be established on an LIR basis call into question whether this aspect of negotiations will be conducted in good faith. No serious argument has been made or can be made that freely negotiating parties of equal bargaining power would ever interconnect IP networks on an LIR basis.
6688 To remove this potential point of contention, we propose a simple rule: Each party shall deploy one or two IP POIs per province unless they agree otherwise. For greater clarity, we propose that the location of IP POIs be left to bilateral negotiation.
6689 Necessary Commission Interventions in the TDM Environment.
6690 Recognizing that the entire negotiation, mediation and implementation timeframe for IP interconnection between any two parties could last as long as two years, Quebecor Media believes it is essential that improvements to the existing TDM regime be made immediately.
6691 Simply put, the existing TDM interconnection regime is grossly inefficient, and the ILECs should not be permitted to continue imposing these inefficiencies on interconnecting carriers, especially if interconnecting carriers continue to be saddled with the burden of converting their modern IP-based communications into the legacy TDM-based communications of the ILECs.
6692 During this hearing, we have proposed two specific improvements to the existing TDM environment: mandatory POI consolidation over contiguous LIRs, and mandatory deployment of dedicated high-usage trunks between wireline and wireless switches, where traffic volumes warrant.
6693 Our first improvement, mandatory TDM POI consolidation, has not rallied the support of the Hearing Room. We are prepared to let it go, while reiterating our call for the Commission to give specific direction now regarding the number of POIs to be deployed for IP interconnection. We refer to the proposal made at paragraph 8 above.
6694 Our second improvement, mandatory deployment of dedicated high-usage trunks between wireline and wireless switches, has done better in the Hearing Room, and for good reason. It is quick, easy and cheap, and its efficiency benefits are obvious and undeniable.
6695 Annexed to these rebuttal remarks are before and after diagrams of our dedicated high-usage trunk proposal. We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have regarding these diagrams.
6696 Clarifications quant à notre position relativement au statut de co-entreprise des entreprises de services sans fil:
6697 Nous tenons à préciser que Quebecor Media est en faveur à ce que le statut de co-entreprise (co-carrier) soit accordé à toutes les entreprises de services sans fil. Concrètement, cela équivaut à permettre à toutes les entreprises de services sans fil de bénéficier de la facturation-conservation (bill and keep), sans qu'elles aient à fournir l'égalité d'accès ou des inscriptions à l'annuaire, des obligations aussi contraignantes qu'inutiles.
6698 De plus, nous ne sommes pas convaincus qu'il soit nécessaire que les entreprises de services sans fil indépendantes soient obligées de remplacer leurs installations d'interconnexion basées sur des zones d'appel local par des installations d'interconnexion basées sur des régions d'interconnexion locale afin de pouvoir profiter des avantages de la facturation-conservation.
6699 Pas de conséquences négatives imprévues pour les entreprises intégrées. Accorder, comme nous venons tout de juste de le mentionner, le statut de co-entreprise à toutes les entreprises de services sans fil permettra d'éliminer les avantages reliés à l'interconnexion dont jouissent les entreprises intégrées de services filaires et sans fil.
6700 Bien que nous soyons en accord avec un tel changement, nous tenons à sensibiliser le Conseil quant à la nécessité de faire en sorte d'éviter qu'il n'en résulte des conséquences négatives imprévues pour les entreprises intégrées. De façon spécifique, nous demandons au Conseil de confirmer explicitement que les entreprises intégrées conserveront le droit de combiner leurs trafics sans fil et filaire sur une seule et même installation à coûts partagés. Toute décision pouvant être interprétée comme exigeant des entreprises intégrées la mise en place de nouvelles installations à coûts partagés dédiées à l'acheminement de leur trafic sans fil se traduirait en un gaspillage inefficace de ressources.
6701 Le rôle du CDCI (ou le CISC): Nous aimerions, en terminant, faire quelques observations quant au rôle du CDCI. Selon nous, le CDCI constitue un forum dont la mission principale est de voir au développement et à la mise à jour de normes techniques.
6702 Ceci étant dit, le Conseil doit choisir avec soin les tâches reliées à la création de normes qu'il décide de confier au CDCI. L'identification et la mise à niveau de normes SIP visant à incorporer de nouvelles fonctionnalités d'appel, par exemple, serait parfaitement appropriée.
6703 À l'opposé, le développement de nouvelles normes IP pour les communications 9-1-1 serait tout à fait prématuré. De plus, demander au CDCI de travailler à l'élaboration de nouvelles normes reliées aux NAE (ou LRN en anglais) afin de permettre la distinction entre les commutateurs IP et les commutateurs TDM ne serait tout simplement pas nécessaire.
6704 We are ready to respond to your questions.
6705 THE CHAIRPERSON: On the last point, you agree that, in effect, the CISC process is totally parallel. It is independent. It is a good process, it should go on, et cetera, but it should not be used in any way as a precondition to interconnection.
6706 MR. BÉLAND: That's correct.
6707 THE CHAIRPERSON: When you talked about the consolidation of POIs, especially for IP, you said that each party shall deploy one or two IP POIs per province, unless they agree otherwise.
6708 Is this a rule, is this an expectation, what is this? How would we operationalize your desire here?
6709 MR. BÉLAND: We propose that it be a rule. We have targeted this issue as the one issue where we see a potential for bad faith bargaining that could greatly retard the process of negotiation.
6710 So we see value in the Commission establishing that rule. Parties can always negotiate to deviate from that rule, but to have that baseline, which is clearly at the opposite extreme from the one per LIR baseline, we believe is an important factor in having quick and fruitful negotiations.
6711 THE CHAIRPERSON: And it would not be the same two POIs for every company with whom they interconnect. There may be different POIs for one company than another?
6712 MR. BÉLAND: Generally speaking -- we can't prejudge it entirely, but generally speaking what will happen is -- and it happens in the TDM environment -- a given company will identify in a given territory a POI, and that will become its POI for interconnection with every other company.
6713 It is conceivable that they could have different POIs, depending on who they interconnect with, but generally speaking, you say, "Here is where I am," and the other party says, "Here is where I am," and you have a shared cost structure between the two.
6714 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you.
6715 Candice, do you have questions?
6716 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Yes, I do.
6717 I just want to proceed with this discussion of the POIs, because I was hearing things, like you, here in the last day or two, where they are agreeable to what has been proposed here as a starting point for interconnection, and then discussion of the LIR as being the appropriate point of interconnection.
6718 I, like you, had some concern, because I don't know that all of the benefits are achieved if we simply build IP on the existing network and architecture.
6719 So I would like to get the perspective of some of the ILECs in the room as it regards your proposal here that, whether it is mandated or otherwise -- I mean, I have been hearing LIRs tossed out, and I want them to tell us what their perspective is on that.
6720 MR. DANIELS: This is Jonathan Daniels from Bell Canada.
6721 As a starting point, if we are talking IP-to-IP connection, which we are, for our VoIP customers, we probably are not going to want to do this on an LIR basis, because our VoIP switches cover much larger territories. So, it's just not going to make sense to do it.
6722 But I don't favour pre-establishing a rule that says one or two, or anything. Let's just leave this up for negotiation between the parties.
6723 But I can tell you that if there is some concern that we are going to come in and say, "Let's do one for each LIR," that is not our intended approach. But I am reticent of actually putting a specific number to it from the Commission, especially this early. We don't even know fully what our long-term IP network architecture is going to be.
6724 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I would be interested in hearing from TELUS, because you threw out LIR a couple of times this morning.
6725 MR. WOODHEAD: Sure. It's Ted Woodhead from TELUS.
6726 I think, as I have said repeatedly throughout this proceeding, we are in the very early stages of deploying this. We have a few thousand NALs, or access lines, on this, for either bus or res.
6727 So while I have said LIR, I don't discount that this could be negotiated. In fact, that is consistent with the Commission's position back in 2006, that parties should negotiate various interconnection requirements on a cost-effective basis between them.
6728 So, like Mr. Daniels, we currently are in the early, nascent stages of doing this, and I don't want to discount the fact that it likely will make sense that it's over a larger area, but I don't know at this point whether I can -- well, I can't commit to you that it's one, two, or whatever number.
6729 It's likely to be larger than the LIR, but I don't know what that is at this point.
6730 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Rather than us defining it as one or two, if we were to put in some strong language indicating that it is new, and it is the efficient and effective interconnections, and we anticipate that it should be something that takes advantage of the sort of efficiencies within the IP network, and not be based on the traditional TDM interconnection arrangements, would you have some comfort with that, where we don't mandate it, but we provide some strong language encouraging that we are not going to be happy if you come back with TDM 2?
6731 MR. BÉLAND: That is certainly better than giving no guidance at all.
6732 And, in a sense, this is all a package, so if you were to add on to your fairly strong language and guidance the six-month timer, and a staff mediation possibility, using that guidance, I think you could grow that into something that would be helpful and workable.
6733 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why just strong language, why not just state it, "Expectation of two, unless proof to the contrary can be provided"?
6734 MR. BÉLAND: That language I consider strong, so...
6735 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Just to go on, then, you said six, and I think PIAC, when they were here before you, said 12 months.
6736 MR. BÉLAND: No.
6737 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: They didn't? I thought they had.
6738 MR. BÉLAND: No. In fact, PIAC said six months. Yak said 12.
6739 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Oh, it was Yak, yes. I'm sorry, Yak said 12 months.
6740 Is it really reasonable that in these early, early days of negotiating, you could assume that you are going to establish all of the negotiations, where that POI is, how it is going to be --
6741 I mean, I am not sure what all you are going to negotiate, but certainly you are going to be negotiating elements such as that, where to establish the POI, how you are going to transfer this traffic, and so on. In these earliest days, do you think that six months is, in fact, a reasonable timeframe?
6742 MR. BÉLAND: We think it is reasonable.
6743 First of all, not everyone is going to necessarily start the negotiations the day after the Commission issues its decision, and the timer we have proposed doesn't start on the day of the decision, it starts on the day that one or the other party requests a negotiation.
6744 And I would just emphasize that we are not talking about implementation, we are talking about negotiation.
6745 We have had our internal discussion with our experts within Vidéotron, and our view is that six months is a reasonable timeframe to conclude this sort of -- to come up with a plan that the two companies would agree that they would now proceed to implement.
6746 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Nobody seeks to comment on six months?
6747 There seem to be no hands up disagreeing with your six-month timeframe.
6748 I am going to move on, then, to the issue of the high-usage trunks within the existing TDM interconnection arrangements.
6749 I am trying to remember what you filed, because I know that you filed this position initially. Did you suggest that there are places within the network today where high-usage trunks are already being used?
6750 MR. BÉLAND: Yes. In fact, if you look at the two diagrams that we included with our statement this morning, you can see in the first diagram, labelled "Current Configuration", that there are some high-usage trunks in place already.
6751 These are the red trunks on the first diagram.
6752 This has been our experience, that in some places, in particular between wireline switches, the ILECs have been open to installing high-usage trunks where traffic volumes warrant.
6753 Where there has been an absolute barrier to doing so has been with regard to wireless switches that are sub-tending, that are behind the same local access tandem as the wireline switches.
6754 Now, I will go out on a limb here and suggest to you that maybe the reason ILECs have been resisting doing this -- which, again, is eminently reasonable. I used the term "slam dunk" last week. Maybe the reason the ILECs have been resisting doing this is because they are concerned about the precedent value that, by allowing an integrated carrier to run high-usage trunks to a wireless switch, they may be opening the door to independent wireless carriers calling for bill and keep to wireless switches.
6755 That door has just been thrown wide open. We have all walked through it, in fact. So I would hope that any reluctance to do this for wireless switches is now gone. It would be nice to hear if that, in fact, is gone on the part of the ILECs.
6756 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Okay. So the question to the ILECs is, if we were to, out of this decision, provide the WSPs with co-carrier status, would the concern about providing high-usage trunk groups to the WSPs be removed? Could we see those sorts of arrangements come forward?
6757 MR. HENRY: Denis Henry, for Bell Aliant.
6758 I think what we talked about yesterday, based on the TELUS proposal, was that there would still be two options for what they called WLECs. If a WLEC wanted direct connection, direct bill and keep, then it would have to file tariffs and become CLEC-like.
6759 We saw the other option, which is today's option, still remaining in place, which is the ability to hide behind a CLEC, so to speak, and in that circumstance we were prepared to acknowledge and allow this type of high-usage trunking arrangement.
6760 In other words, to use the bill and keep trunks and have the arrangement with the LEC, but have the trunking direct to the wireless switch.
6761 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I just want to make sure -- did you say in both of those circumstances? Whether they file as a CLEC themselves or go through an affiliated LEC, you would be prepared to provide high usage to the wireless switch?
6762 MR. HENRY: It wouldn't matter if it was an affiliated CLEC. If they have an arrangement with a CLEC, then they could have this arrangement with the direct trunking, if they chose that option.
6763 MR. DANIELS: I think the one thing we want to emphasize is that this should be two-way --
6764 MR. HENRY: Yes.
6765 MR. DANIELS: -- which I don't think anyone would have a problem with.
6766 MR. DANIELS: To the extent that we would do this, we would also be able to require that the LEC -- the CLEC -- also break up --
6767 MR. HENRY: Absolutely.
6768 MR. DANIELS: -- for our sub-tending switches, including our wireless Bell Mobility switch.
6769 In other words, we would both get the benefits that we are talking about here.
6770 But it doesn't matter if you are affiliated or non-affiliated, this would be open, from our perspective.
6771 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Go ahead, TELUS.
6772 MR. WOODHEAD: Just on that last point, that is a critical point for us. There needs to be reciprocity on that.
6773 MR. BÉLAND: If you would like, I will confirm that Quebecor Media's position is that there would be reciprocity, but this would be done on a request basis.
6774 We would request, for example, of Bell: Please, on your side, do the translation work to have high-usage trunks to all of our sub-tending switches.
6775 And if they request us to do that same work on our side to their sub-tending switches, wireline and wireless, that's no problem at all.
6776 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: I believe that Yak has a comment.
6777 MR. ANTECOL: I was just going to say that that proposal is fine by us, as well. We already implement high-usage trunks to Bell, and we are happy to have more to Bell's wireless switches.
6778 We merely ask that Bell also allow HU trunks to our wireless switches.
6779 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: It seems like we have no problem.
6780 COMMISSIONER MOLNAR: Those are my questions.
6781 THE CHAIRPERSON: Tim...
6782 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Mr. Béland, I just have one question that you could clarify. At the last paragraph, 18, you say for the things that CISC might do: "À l'opposé, le développement de nouvelles normes IP pour les communications 9-1-1 serait tout à fair prématuré."
6783 Are we talking about E911 here, and isn't that already underway?
6784 Clarify that for me.
6785 MR. BÉLAND: No, E911 in a TDM environment already exists in almost all of Canada.
6786 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Right.
6787 MR. BÉLAND: The issue here is, I heard a couple of parties make the comment that: Gee, one of the things that is really complex in making a transition to IP-IP is handling 9-1-1.
6788 I think what the Commission needs to know is, of the entire telecom environment, the part of it that is probably the oldest and the clunkiest is the 9-1-1 part, and the parties that are probably the most resistant to change are the public safety answering points.
6789 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Oh, yes.
6790 MR. BÉLAND: So rather than believing that you have to resolve that, that you have to bring them into the IP world as a condition of broader IP-IP interconnection, the solution for you is actually the opposite. Leave them alone. Parties like Vidéotron and everyone else will continue converting our 9-1-1 calls to TDM. Even if everything else is IP, we will continue converting those calls to TDM, so they can get onto that clunky old 9-1-1 network, and everybody is happy.
6791 Really, the point we are making there is, don't believe that there is a gating item there to transforming the rest of the environment into entire IP.
6792 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Just before we leave this, I think what I am hearing you say, if I had to translate that into policy, is: Don't hold up the transformation that is needed for IP-to-IP interconnection for 9-1-1 issues. But surely you would not object that 9-1-1, independently, must move ahead for an IP-based environment.
6793 MR. BÉLAND: Yes. In fact, similar to the Chairman's statement earlier about the parallel nature of CISC --
6794 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Yes.
6795 MR. BÉLAND: You could very well -- provided the 9-1-1 centres have the resources to enter into the digital age, you could very well have a parallel process about an entire 9-1-1, end-to-end IP-9-1-1 environment --
6796 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Right.
6797 MR. BÉLAND: -- a parallel discussion at CISC, but don't let that hold up the IP-IP discussions between carriers.
6798 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Okay. I think that's different from what you wrote, and I accept the meaning.
6799 Mr. Antecol, at the back...
6800 MR. ANTECOL: I just want to note -- and I am not sure that CISC is going to be able to overcome this without a little bit of Commission help, but our wireless subscribers make hundreds of 9-1-1 calls every week, and they would like nothing better than to be able to send photos from their smartphones of the problems, of the accident, or what have you, or even live motion video.
6801 There is a crying demand from our subscribers to be able to engage in an emergency on a multimedia basis.
6802 We have a little trial under way now for text to 9-1-1 for the hearing impaired. We are part of that technology trial.
6803 But I really think that we need to do a lot more, and I don't think that CISC is going to get there. I think that the Commission needs to somehow find a way to get the PSAPs to come to the table and meet the expectations of our consumers.
6804 THE CHAIRPERSON: You are really out of scope now.
6805 THE CHAIRPERSON: I don't dispute the merit of what you are saying, having sat through 9-1-1 in the Pelmorex hearing on alerts, et cetera, but it is really not part of this hearing.
6806 COMMISSIONER DENTON: I know, Mr. Chairman, but it is the only issue upon which people might actually live or die if we don't get it right. But, yes, it is out of scope.
6807 Okay. Did I see anyone else waving a placard?
6808 Okay, thank you. Yes, are you on the issue or not?
6809 MR. DANIELS: No. I actually wanted to take the chance to just respond to Commissioner Molnar's question about the six months before this panel concluded. I just had a chance to talk to my -- so I just wanted to make sure. I was waiting for you to finish your questioning.
6810 We were just talking about whether how we could operationalize the six months' trigger. Our biggest problem is right at the beginning because I know that Mr. Béland said not everyone is going to be coming.
6811 I think everyone in this room is going to be coming the day the decision comes down to talk to us about it. And we just -- we are not set up to do everybody all at the same time. And we are a little worried, especially right at the beginning, that that is going to create an unrealistic expectation.
6812 Having said that, it may be doable. I don't know, but just I'm a little worried that we are going to end up having a whole bunch of disputes before the Commission, as Mr. Woodhead said. So I do have a problem with a firm six-month deadline.
6813 That's all I wanted to say.
6814 THE CHAIRPERSON: I see other flags going up.
6815 Over here with TELUS.
6816 MR. WOODHEAD: Far be it from me to help Mr. Daniels but I would note that in Bell territory I think there are something like 50 CLECs.
6817 So to support his position, you know, there may need to be some flexibility on that. There is just so many people that you can fit into the pipeline.
6818 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mobilicity?
6819 MR. THOMPSON: This is exactly the reason that we wanted to push for a model tariff and model agreement because we believe that this will be a problem in particular for smaller wireless carriers.
6820 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Well, thank you very much. Let's move on to the next intervenor.
6821 THE SECRETARY: I would now invite Cogeco Cable Inc. to come forward.
6822 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay, Madame la Secrétaire. Commençons.
6823 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
6824 Please reintroduce yourselves for the record, after which you will have 10 minutes for your oral rebuttal argument.
6825 Thank you.
6826 M. MESSIER: Bonne fin de matinée, Monsieur le Président, mesdames et messieurs les Conseillers. Mon nom est Michel Messier. Avec moi, de Cogeco Cable: François Audet, Philippe Jetté et Philippe Pariseau.
6827 Monsieur le Président, à la fin de la semaine dernière, vous nous avez invités à réfléchir et à vous faire part d'éléments de solution en faveur d'une approche juste et équilibrée concernant l'importante question de l'interconnexion IP pour les services de voix. Une question importante non seulement pour les parties à la présente instance, mais pour l'avancement de l'économie numérique canadienne.
6828 Sans conteste, nous vivons actuellement une autre période de transition technologique cruciale, soit la mise en place d'un réseau de réseaux IP pour les services de voix et le déclin des réseaux TDM. Actuellement, plus de la moitié de l'ensemble des lignes filaires et sans fil canadiennes (résidentielles et affaires), permettent des communications vocales IP.
6829 Cette architecture est porteuse non seulement d'efficacité, mais est nécessaire à l'émergence de services numériques innovateurs. Tous les pays du monde industrialisés sont engagés dans cette voie. Le Canada doit demeurer à l'avant-plan.
6830 Pourtant, à l'opposé de l'interconnexion des réseaux de données, l'interconnexion IP-IP pour les services de voix demeure marginale au Canada. Cette situation doit changer.
6831 Malgré l'expression de certaines divergences, plusieurs constats ont émergé au cours de cette audience. J'en nommerai deux principaux:
6832 - L'interconnexion IP pour les services de voix est techniquement possible. Plusieurs entreprises canadiennes ont établi avec succès de telles interconnexions, même avec des équipements différents.
6833 - L'architecture des réseaux IP permet une réduction importante du nombre de points d'interconnexion: un ou deux par province par entreprise de services locaux. Même sous l'architecture TDM, les points d'interconnexions pourraient être agrégés substantiellement.
6834 Toutefois, les intérêts divergents entre les compagnies de téléphone titulaires et les concurrents ne permettent pas d'envisager une évolution naturelle et harmonieuse en cette matière. Jusqu'ici, les titulaires n'ont démontré aucune volonté pour établir de telles interconnexions. Les exposés présentés par les ESLT -- les titulaires, en fait -- hier encore, confinent l'innovation et les bénéfices des réseaux IP à un agenda dont ils contrôlent entièrement tous les détails. Ceci n'est plus acceptable. Dans l'intérêt national, le Conseil doit intervenir et exercer un leadership fort.
6836 MR. AUDET: Cogeco maintains Cogeco maintains its recommendation regarding the adoption of mandated negotiations for the establishment of IP-to-IP interconnections for voice services. However, to be clear, we do not support the limitations to IP end- points or narrow geographic constraints proposed yesterday.
6837 Rather than undertaking a lengthy industry process aiming to define a detailed rollout of IP-based interconnection, the Commission should adopt basic rules and establish guidelines that will frame the negotiations between the parties in this matter.
6838 We remain of the view that the Commission should at this time rely on the expertise of Canadian carriers and let the parties negotiate the best arrangement possible in light of their needs and constraints.
6839 The Commission should adopt a regulatory policy stating that a Canadian carrier using IP equipment to transport and switch local or toll traffic within its network must be required, upon request from another Canadian carrier, to negotiate the implementation of an IP-to-IP interconnection within a reasonable timeframe.
6840 The Commission should further clarify that parties are free to negotiate off-tariff IP-to-IP interconnection arrangements. Where necessary, it should remove any existing regulatory impediments that could preclude the parties from negotiating such arrangements.
6841 Furthermore, in order to create an incentive for negotiations, the Commission should clearly indicate that it will be ready to intervene upon request of one party if the negotiation fails.
6842 All IP-to-IP interconnection agreements for voice services should be filed in confidence with the Commission and deemed to be approved upon filing although allowing the Commission to intervene afterwards if necessary to protect against undue preference and unjust discrimination. For monitoring purposes the names of the parties, the geographic coverage and the services covered by such agreements should be disclosed on the CRTC website.
6843 However, Cogeco does not propose that such details be provided for trial activities. Each interconnection being unique, specific technical details are confidential and should not be disclosed.
6844 During this deployment process, the existing default TDM interconnection regimes should continue to be mandated.
6845 Finally, the Commission should clearly indicate to the parties that a review of the progress of implementation of IP-IP interconnections will be initiated no later than three years of the date of the decision issued in this proceeding.
6846 This review would permit to consider whether this framework works well or additional regulatory measures are required. This review would also be the occasion for the Commission to consider whether or not it would be appropriate to forbear from regulating certain services.
6847 However, if within the next two years it has become evident that negotiations and implementations of IP-to-IP interconnections are not progressing, the Commission should not hesitate to initiate a proceeding to examine the establishment of detailed regulatory measures rather than waiting for the end of the 3-Y period.
6848 MR. JETTÉ: That said, Cogeco is of the view that the adoption of such a mandated negotiation framework would be incomplete without directions on what should be accomplished. Given the opposing interests between the ILECs and competitors for such an undertaking, it is essential that the Commission dictate an orientation for these negotiations.
6849 First, consistent with co-carrier status of IP network operators, voice IP traffic should be exchanged over shared cost facilities on a peering and "bill and keep" basis. Imbalance compensation provisions should be negotiated if requested by either party.
6850 Second, the Commission should adopt a regulatory policy or clearly state in its decision that, unless parties agree to interconnect otherwise, network to network, IP-to-IP interconnections for voice services should be modelled on the peering of IP data traffic between ISPs and the number of POIs should be kept to a minimum to maximise the benefit of IP network architectures.
6851 As pointed out by several parties in this proceeding, IP-IP interconnection for voice services can be accomplished by implementing one or two points of interconnection per province per carrier.
6852 No doubt, the efficiency of IP networks would be highly compromised if the IP network interconnection architecture were simply modeled on the current TDM local interconnection model or when viewed in relation to the terminating access type.
6853 Third, consistent with this regulatory policy, the Commission should recognize that under such IP-IP interconnections it is the responsibility of the owner of the TDM networks to assume conversion costs going forward.
6854 This sub-requirement is simply the reciprocal of the current requirement under the existing TDM interconnections, which will not disappear overnight. It no longer makes sense to continue to require competitors operating IP networks to invest in TDM equipments while the ILECs are also investing in IP equipments. It is the responsibility of the ILECs to manage the technology transition from TDM to IP within their networks.
6855 With respect to CISC activities, priority should be assigned to the matters of emergency IP services and the establishment of one ENUM database. However, this does not preclude the industry from implementing IP-IP interconnection immediately.
6856 The current TDM interconnection regime is not technologically nor competitively neutral. It favours the ILECs' legacy networks over those of competitors whose voice networks are predominantly IP-based. The Commission must intervene and ensure that the pace of current transition from TDM to IP interconnection of voice networks is fair and not dictated by the ILECs.
6857 M. MESSIER : Merci de votre attention. Il nous fera maintenant plaisir de répondre à vos questions.
6858 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
6859 Could you clarify something for me? You want us to mandate negotiations, but if I understood it, you are not telling us to mandate a tariff. Yet, in paragraph 11, you say:
"The Commission should further clarify that parties are free to negotiate off-tariff IP-IP interconnection arrangements."
6860 M. MESSIER : Exact.
6861 THE CHAIRPERSON: If there is no tariff mandated, then why do we have to say you can negotiate off-tariff? I just don't understand.
6862 M. MESSIER : Ce que nous disons, c'est que ce que nous voulons, c'est dans la décision qu'il y ait un cadre, des orientations, des directives sur les négociations à tenir.
6863 Nous pensons que les parties peuvent discuter entre elles et en arriver à s'entendre sur la façon d'implanter tout ça, et, à ce stade-ci, nous ne voyons aucun besoin d'avoir un tarif qui va dicter la façon de faire ces négociations-là ou l'implantation de l'interconnexion IP.
6864 THE CHAIRPERSON: I understand that, but look at paragraph 11:
"...negotiate off-tariff IP-IP interconnection arrangements."
6865 There is no IP-to-IP tariff as far as I understand and you are not advocating that we establish one.
6866 MR. AUDET: Thus far, we have been left with the impression that IP-to-IP interconnection discussions have been impeded by the fact that the existing tariff structure was TDM-based and that this was the only option available to players.
6867 So basically, I think this was discussed last week, where it was felt desirable that the Commission indicate that such impediments are not to be assumed by the parties.
6868 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. So basically take out the IP-IP. Free to negotiate off-tariff interconnection arrangements is what you are saying?
6869 MR. MESSIER: Yes.
6870 THE CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry to be picky, I just want to make sure I understood you.
6871 And the other thing is you suggest that we share through CISC all your interconnection agreements, you file them, et cetera, but you suggest that such details not be provided for trial activities.
6872 Frankly, I don't understand that. Surely, trial activities, if they did not result in an interconnection arrangement, it means that something doesn't work and you found out it can't be done this way, it has to be done another way.
6873 Why wouldn't that be shared to that others don't have to make the same painful experience?
6874 M. MESSIER : Nous n'avons aucun problème de participer à un comité CISC sur lequel on va discuter sur les spécifications, les normes qui devraient être mises en place pour favoriser l'émergence de l'interconnexion.
6875 Ce que nous ne voulons pas, c'est lorsque deux entreprises sont ensemble et vont discuter de détails très techniques qui sont très spécifiques à ce qu'ils font, étant donné que c'est des solutions qui sont uniques par rapport à leur environnement, qu'on ait une obligation de divulguer ça.
6876 Ce que l'on pense aussi, c'est que plus la multiplication des ententes qui vont se négocier, plus aussi les entreprises, à partir de cette expertise-là, vont aussi la partager avec d'autres avec qui ils vont entrer en négociation. Donc, nous ne voyons pas à ce stade-ci pourquoi nous devrions rendre cette information-là...
6877 LE PRÉSIDENT : Vous faites une différence entre le partage d'information et les résultats des expériences ici? Franchement, je ne comprends pas la différence.
6878 Vous dites que vous êtes prêts à participer dans le CISC et partager l'information et votre expertise technique, mais vous n'êtes pas prêts à partager les résultats des expériences?
6879 M. MESSIER : On est prêt à partager les résultats, pas tous les détails techniques qui pourraient être impliqués dans une négociation entre deux parties.
6880 LE PRÉSIDENT : Ah, les négociations.
6881 M. MESSIER : Les négociations et les implications techniques qu'il peut y avoir très spécifiques entre deux parties.
6882 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6883 Tim, I believe you have some questions?
6884 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Gentlemen, paragraph 25 -- at the risk of running off scope, let's just frankly admit that we are -- but:
"With respect to CISC activities, priority should be assigned to the matters of emergency IP services and the establishment of one ENUM database."
6885 What do you mean by one ENUM database? Just expand on that. I'm not contradicting you.
6886 M. JETTÉ : Nous croyons qu'il est de l'avantage de l'industrie de collaborer afin d'établir une base de données, plutôt que chaque interconnexion... chaque modèle d'interconnexion génère des propres paramètres d'interconnectivité entre les compagnies. Donc, un modèle à l'échelle du pays, plutôt que plusieurs petits modèles régionaux.
6887 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Okay, good.
6888 I would say that judging by what you're saying, your proposal is a bit more dirigiste on the part of the CRTC to move things along than some of the others.
6889 Would you feel happy with that description -- dirigiste?
6890 M. MESSIER : Oui et non. C'est-à-dire que ce que l'on veut quand même, c'est que le CRTC clairement indique certaines orientations et encadre la négociation entre les parties.
6891 Alors, un peu comme ce matin nous disions, d'avoir dans la décision un langage qui soit assez clair et directif sur l'établissement d'un POI par province nous apparaît essentiel et important pour encadrer les négociations.
6892 La même chose pour la question de l'établissement sur une base de peering au niveau de l'interconnexion est finalement, principalement, le coeur, je pense, de la divergence majeure que nous avons avec certaines parties sur la question de la conversion du trafic IP à TDM.
6893 COMMISSIONER DENTON: That brings me to the last point.
6894 When you say we should model it on peering models in relation to data, I assume that what you are meaning there is that what you are trying to get is peering at the scale of the interchange of traffic.
6895 Can you just expand and explain what you mean by your comparison of managed voice services should be peered in the way that you would do data traffic?
6896 MR. AUDET: Generally this refers to a couple of principles. One is of course free peering, the other one being high centralization of the peering points.
6897 If you look at our experience in peering data with other cable networks, for instance Videotron and Rogers, we have a single point with each of these parties.
6898 The transport costs -- even though in the case of data there is much, much more traffic than for voice. So this would, in traditional thinking, militate in favour of having many points of interconnection to minimize transport costs. You know, some people might make that argument.
6899 Our experience is that once the network is there and is properly scaled, it costs virtually nothing to transport the data. Building many POIs is really a big burden and is problematic.
6900 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Okay. So transport is cheap and points of interconnection are expensive?
6901 MR. AUDET: Correct.
6902 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Strong direction from the CRTC to move negotiations along to establish governing directions?
6903 MR. AUDET: Yes.
6904 COMMISSIONER DENTON: And establish a national -- get the CISC to start establishing a national address lookup, of which ENUM is an example?
6905 MR. AUDET: Yes.
6906 COMMISSIONER DENTON: Good. Thanks.
6907 THE CHAIRPERSON: You didn't comment at all about what everybody else has been speaking about this morning, the Rogers proposal as amended by Bell. What's your position on that?
6908 M. MESSIER : Je pense que l'élément avec lequel on a le plus de difficulté dans la position de Rogers, c'est le critère numéro 3, avec lequel l'interconnexion ne serait limitée qu'au niveau de la soft switch, et donc, des usagers qui sont desservis par cette soft switch. Ça nous amène dans un sous-ensemble de clients que l'on peut rejoindre qui est vraiment limité, et on pense que là, les bénéfices de l'interconnexion IP sont perdus.
6909 L'autre chose aussi, on a beaucoup de difficulté à comprendre comment -- un peu comme l'intervention de madame Muir ce matin -- qu'à partir du moment où les compagnies de téléphone ont déjà mis dans leur réseau les équipements leur permettant de faire en sorte que les usagers qui sont endpoint au niveau IP puissent parler avec ceux qui sont endpoint TDM, ils ont déjà cet équipement-là pour acheminer et faire en sorte qu'il y ait une conversion.
6910 Donc, de rajouter, après qu'ils ont déjà amorcé cette transition-là, ils ont déjà l'équipement... Donc, la question des conversions est fondamentale pour qu'on puisse tirer tous les bénéfices et ils ont déjà l'équipement. Donc, il nous apparaît que ça devient leur responsabilité, ce sont leurs responsabilités.
6911 Je pense qu'on a argumenté aussi pour la question d'équité, par rapport à cette question-là, de conversion. Et on a beaucoup de difficulté à admettre, un peu comme Shaw, que... beaucoup de scepticisme sur l'ampleur des coûts qui seraient probablement nécessaires, à ce niveau.
6912 M. JETTÉ: Je voudrais ajouter... Il y a deux types de bénéfices à une orientation IP. Il y a un premier type qui est un type d'architecture de réseau et un deuxième type qui nous permet de développer des services différents qui sont basés sur des applications IP et data.
6913 Les deux types de bénéfices sont indépendants. On n'a pas besoin de développer une architecture simplifiée d'interconnexion entre les réseaux pour avoir du VoIP (la réalité du marché nous le montre) et on n'a pas besoin des services pour interconnecter nos réseaux IP.
6914 Donc, c'est deux événements complètement indépendants. Mais je vais revenir au bénéfice principal, à l'interconnexion des réseaux, entre les deux réseaux. Ces éléments-là sont attachés à la réduction du nombre de points d'interconnexion. On a un avantage substantiel à réduire les points d'interconnexion et on a un bénéfice sur deux types de coûts : un coût en capital (on a moins d'équipement à installer) et un coût opérationnel (on a moins d'équipement à opérer puis on a moins de localisation pour ces points d'équipement-là aussi à opérer).
6915 Les bénéfices sont des deux côtés, pour les deux parties qui s'interconnectent, pour les deux réseaux. Il y a une réduction en capital et en dépenses d'opération des deux côtés.
6916 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais si je comprends bien, si nous adoptons la solution Rogers, ça va avancer, mais ce n'est pas une solution compréhensive comme vous le cherchez?
6917 M. JETTÉ: Bien, c'est que pour moi, ça m'apparaît comme une solution qui lie les deux bénéfices ensemble, c'est-à-dire l'interconnexion entre les deux réseaux, avec le service qu'on veut donner du côté de l'abonné. Et c'est une attache entre les deux qui n'est pas nécessaire et qui va complexifier grandement le déploiement, puisqu'on aura à déterminer que le trafic d'interconnexion...
6918 Il va falloir avoir des tables de routage sur le type de client qui est à l'autre bout (si c'est un client Voice-Over-IP, dans l'exemple de Bell, ce matin, avec Québec). Pour leurs cinq clients Voice-Over-IP à Québec, on peut router sur l'interconnexion IP. Pour tout ce qui n'est pas Voice-Over-IP, il faut s'en aller sur les liens TDM. Si c'est un usagé cellulaire en 4G, on va pouvoir utiliser l'IP. Si c'est un usagé cellulaire qui utilise un mode plus TDMA... GSM, il va falloir s'en aller sur le TDM. Si c'est un usagé cellulaire en 2G, ça va être le TDM.
6919 Ça va être extrêmement compliqué de déterminer quel est le type du client, puis comment router l'appel.
6920 Donc, le bénéfice de simplifier les interconnexions, on le perd avec le fait d'attacher une architecture simplifiée inter-réseaux avec le type de service livré à l'abonné.
6921 THE CHAIRPERSON: But this is not exactly what they said. They didn't say it's on a user basis. They said on the coverage by the switch which, you know, if you serve one user in that area then obviously everything covered by that switch will be included.
6922 M. JETTÉ: Oui. J'ai bien entendu la position de Rogers et j'ai entendu la clarification apportée par monsieur Daniels de Bell où il y avait une limite imposée au type de trafic d'abonnés.
6923 LE PRÉSIDENT: Bon, O.K. Suzanne, tu avais des questions?
6924 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Oui, une question.
6925 Clarification à votre... la première phrase de votre paragraphe 13, où est-ce que vous dites:
« All IP-IP interconnection agreements for voice services should be filed in confidence with the Commission and deemed to be approved upon filing... »
6926 Jusque là, ça va.
« ...although allowing the Commission to intervene afterwards if necessary to protect against undue preference and unjust discrimination. » (Tel que lu)
6927 « ...afterwards if necessary », est-ce que ça veut dire si on reçoit une plainte ou ça veut dire plus que ça?
6928 M. MESSIER: Principalement. Si vous recevez une plainte, effectivement--
6929 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Parfait.
6930 M. MESSIER: Si quelqu'un, en fait... (inaudible) le cas que... Vous aurez les informations entre les mains, vous pourrez intervenir.
6931 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Déjà au dossier, donc.
6932 M. MESSIER: Voilà!
6933 CONSEILLÈRE LAMARRE: Parfait. Merci.
6934 C'est tout.
6935 THE CHAIRPERSON: Mr. Daniels, I can't let you go until you clarify what you just heard because for instance this is a huge distinction. I can see now where Cogeco is coming from.
6936 The text that you submitted this morning you added:
"...will be limited to the geographical coverage of the operator's voice IP switch..."
6937 And you put:
"...and the IP end-users' [used] ...by that switch (be they served by VoIP, FTTH, LTE or HSPA)."
6938 So, actually, in this example that we were using there is a switch that serves all of Quebec City but you are only having 10 customers. So they could only avail themselves of those serving those 10 customers by IP. Is that what you are saying?
6939 MR. DANIELS: Absolutely. I mean our switch we have IP in greenfields in different areas in Toronto and so on. It cannot be that by the fact that we have turned up IP in a few customers that suddenly we have to do all of Quebec City, all of Toronto and all of Montreal. That would happen today if you change that.
6940 And I understand you said I put in "IP". I believe -- and correct me if I'm wrong, Dave -- but I believe Mr. Watt yesterday agreed that the word IP had to go in there. All I wanted to do -- so I made that amendment that he suggested. I wanted to make it clear that I was talking fibre-to-the-home, LTE, HSPA. I wasn't trying to limit it to wireless.
6941 But of course if we went with the Cogeco proposal I would have to turn all of Quebec from -- so by turning on 1 percent, suddenly I have to do the conversion for all the traffic I do with Cogeco, all the TDM. Then I'm back to having to spend a fortune to do all the systems.
6942 Our whole discussion has been about limiting it to end-to-end VoIP customers and I think that's what Rogers' proposal is.
6943 THE CHAIRPERSON: Rogers, is that your proposal?
6944 MR. WATT: I think Mr. Daniels has accurately described what we had in mind that it is the customers that are attached, served by that IP soft switch. So by definition they are IP end-users. The other customers are attached to other switches.
6945 Our concern has been that -- and we don't believe that it's a concern. We like the addition of the LTE, HSPA; the explicit recognition of that, because the issue is that at the current time not all the phones/hand sets are IP. There are some conversions back there.
6946 We didn't want Bell to have some wiggle where they would say yes, the HSPA, LTE is IP but right at the handset it's converted back. Therefore, it's not IP in our view. It is IP. So we were comforted by that, that comment.
6947 But, yes, to the point, we think the only people we can connect with on an IP basis in that area are the people served by the IP soft switch.
6948 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. I see a lot of nodding of heads here.
6949 But your position, Cogeco, was that that is really half a loaf. This doesn't help you very much.
6950 M. JETTÉ: Oui. Nous maintenons que c'est d'ajouter beaucoup, beaucoup de complexité au modèle et c'est contre-productif, ce qui va entraîner l'industrie... et allonger les négociations entre toutes les parties et qui va imposer à l'industrie beaucoup d'overhead pour manager la transition qui n'est simplement pas nécessaire.
6951 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay.
6952 Yes, Shaw?
6953 MR. BRAZEAU: We would agree with Cogeco. This is what we were arguing this morning about multiple connections and --
6954 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah, I realize that. I finally understood what your dispute was about this morning.
6955 MR. BRAZEAU: Thank you.
6956 THE CHAIRPERSON: But, as my colleague wisely points out, you agreed to park it.
6957 COMMISSIONER DENTON: That doesn't mean we have to un-park it.
6958 MR. BRAZEAU: We parked it but not agreed with it.
6959 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I agree. No, no.
6960 THE CHAIRPERSON: Any other comment, final comment before we close?
6961 MR. AUDET: And just to go back to the numbers Bell itself provided, it says that it currently serves, I believe in Quebec and Ontario, something like 1.3 percent of its end-users are IP.
6962 We did a bit of soul searching and asked ourselves would we really want to set up an interconnection architecture with Bell that only touches 1.3 percent of its subscriber base. It looked you know pretty useless to us, if I may say so.
6963 THE CHAIRPERSON: Bell, go ahead.
6964 MR. DANIELS: The whole point of this is that we are growing. This is the future, fibre-to-the-home.
6965 So to the extent that you have interconnection with us today on TDM and those investments are made, the benefit of this is that we are going to take 1 percent off now and all of our growth. That's all going to happen on the IP basis because all of our growth will be with the IP customers.
6966 So, as we do that, you are not probably going to have to invest in future TDM legacy equipment. That's the whole point. This is the first step and this is our growth area.
6967 THE CHAIRPERSON: TELUS?
6968 MR. WOODHEAD: Just to add to that, I mean from the point of view of how this has happened over the last five or six years, I'll remind Cogeco that, you know, people were required to interconnect with them when they had one customer. Yeah, they have grown now to 400,000 customers. Shaw has grown to 1.2 million. But there was a time, five years ago or so, that they had no customers and we had to interconnect.
6969 MR. DANIELS: Mr. Chairman, one other thing I just neglected to mention, I was thinking of the wireline. On wireless it has already been stated that we are halfway there.
6970 So when Cogeco looks at this think about all the wireless customers right from the get go for VoIP-to-VoIP that you will be able to get, I think it makes business sense for us to get together and solve this.
6971 M. JETTÉ: J'aimerais demander une clarification à monsieur Daniels.
6972 Est-ce que ça n'exclut pas certains types de communications cellulaires, ou lorsqu'il dit cellulaire il inclut vraiment tout type de communication cellulaire: 2G, 2.5G, 3G, 4G...
6973 MR. DANIELS: It follows the language here, so CDMA would be excluded, HSPA and LTE would be included, which is, as you know, not only about half of our traffic now, but it's also all the future growth.
6974 THE CHAIRPERSON: Why would you exclude CDMA?
6975 MR. DANIELS: Because it's not IP. CDMA is TDM.
6976 THE CHAIRPERSON: Oh, and GSM, is it IP?
6977 MR. DANIELS: I'm sorry?
6978 THE CHAIRPERSON: GSM, is it --
6979 MR. DANIELS: I don't -- we don't have GSM, so you'd have to ask Rogers about that.
6980 THE CHAIRPERSON: WIND will know the answer. WIND?
6981 MR. ANTECOL: Yes. Our GSM implementation is IP, end to end.
6982 THE CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Well, thank you. I think those are --
6983 MR. WOODHEAD: Mr. Chairman.
6984 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yes.
6985 MR. WOODHEAD: There's -- with your indulgence, just briefly.
6986 THE CHAIRPERSON: Yeah.
6987 MR. WOODHEAD: There is one other matter that we wanted to read into the record here.
6988 Collectively, we understand that this is your last public hearing presiding over the Commission after five years of dedicated service, not only to this industry, but to the CRTC and to the people of Canada.
6989 And we wanted, collectively, again, in a rare display of consensus and unanimity that you've been struggling to get us to arrive at to express some thoughts on the record, as is the tradition of the Commission in the past on your tenure and provide some recollections in that respect.
6991 MR. DANIELS: Mr. Chairman, I'm Jonathan Daniels from Bell Canada, and I, too, agree with TELUS that we should thank you for your leadership over the last five years.
6992 And I thought it would be most appropriate to demonstrate that with a diagram. But fortunately for all, I could not think of one that would capture the gratitude the industry owes you.
6994 MS. GRIFFIN-MUIR: Mr. Chairman, the entire MTS Allstream, our Manitoba operating division and our national operating division agree with Bell and TELUS. We would like to thank you for your leadership.
6996 MR. BRAZEAU: Mr. Chairman, just this one we don't need to park.
6997 MR. BRAZEAU: For the first time this week, I've heard something from the ILECs that we fully agree with and something we can certainly support. And from all of us at Shaw, you certainly have our best wishes.
6999 M. MESSIER: Monsieur le Président, alors, je pense que dans l'ensemble, les commentaires que vous allez recevoir en hommage seront en anglais Permettez-moi de vous les faire en français. Merci pour ce que vous avez fait.
7000 M. BÉLAND: Monsieur le Président, on détecte une convergence d'opinions dans la salle. Quebecor Media aimerait intégrer ses commentaires aux autres et dire que ça serait triste de terminer cette audience sans vous remercier pleinement pour votre dévouement.
7001 MS MacDONALD: Mr. Chairman, EastLink also believes this intervention is absolutely required and we would like to thank you for your leadership.
7002 MR. WATT: Mr. Chairman, shockingly, I think with this shows that the ILECs and cablecos can be trusted to make some agreements without the Commission's intervention. It's rare, but it is happening on this occasion. And on behalf of Rogers, we would like to thank you for your contributions over the past five years.
7004 MR. HENRY: Mr. Chairman, I guess I've been attending these hearings for probably longer than anybody in this room, at over 30 years. And I can tell you that the way you run hearings today is certainly not like it used to be.
7005 MR. HENRY: I remember the good old days when a hearing could last months. We even had weekend sittings. We had full cross-examination by opposing counsel over esoteric details like Phase 2 costing.
7006 Commissioners were not given the benefit of opening presentations and they weren't expected to become involved in the dialogue other than to make procedural rulings.
7007 Instead, you have introduced this new-fangled process which is transparent, expeditious, with active Commissioner involvement, one that has the unfortunate effect for regulatory lawyers of getting right to the heart of the issue and eliminating regulatory sport.
7008 But seriously, though, on behalf of everybody at Bell Aliant, I do want to acknowledge your contribution and thank you, and wish you well.
7010 MR. TACIT: Mr. Chair, I would also like to commend you on this process even though it has eroded my revenue significantly.
7011 MR. TACIT: But at the same time, I also would like to thank you for taking the time to get to know the competitive industry better. We certainly feel that over the time of your tenor we've been understood and heard better. And in that respect, you will very much be missed.
7012 Thank you.
7013 MR. BORON: Mr. Chairman, on behalf of Public Mobile, I think this tribute perfectly illustrates the point of the new entrants. The ILECs and cablecos got together and drafted this tribute all by themselves and did not consult us whatsoever.
7014 MR. BORON: So I think as your last order of business, you should mandate them to include us in any further tributes or accolades in this regard.
7015 Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. A pleasure. All the best in your retirement, and congratulations.
7016 MR. THOMPSON: Mr. Chairman, I'm not sure Mobilicity can agree to this wording. Just because Public Mobile does, does not mean that we don't want to draft our own thank you.
7017 Thanks very much.
7018 MR. ANTECOL: Mr. Chairman, I would like to sign on to this tribute. I appreciate the ILECs and cablecos remembering to include me. Thank you.
7019 MR. LAWSON: Mr. Chairman, as the only representative of consumers here today, I think I can speak on their behalf and say the consumers want to express their gratitude very much for your five years of service. Thank you.
7020 MR. HERSCHE: Mr. Chairman, as you're used to hearing from us, this is such a central Canada tribute. You know, what about Saskatchewan?
7021 You know, even within our unique circumstances, we believe a tribute is in order.
7022 MR. PROCTOR: Mr. Chairman, born and raised in Saskatchewan, I don't want you to forget the north. We would like to say thank you and we extend a very hearty and open invitation for you to come and visit and see how the outliers live any time you'd like.
7023 MR. HOLMES: Mr. Chairman, what works for the big guys must also work for the small guys. We have special circumstances that require a special specific SILEC thank you.
7024 Back to Ted.
7025 MR. WOODHEAD: With that, Mr. Chairman, this, although somewhat tongue in cheek, is a sincere expression of our collective gratitude for not only your service with this Commission, but your service to the public service of Canada generally over your career.
7026 I recall back five years ago, June of 2007, sitting and listening to you. I think it was your first speech at the Telecom Summit. And you said that the hallmarks, in your view, of a regulatory body and a regulatory regime was that there would be transparency, certainty and clarity from the Commission.
7027 I think that you have delivered on that in spades, sir. You embarked upon, with your colleagues, an ambitious regulatory agenda. And I think you -- with this ultimate proceeding, you have pretty much accomplished that.
7028 So with that, I would just like to express on behalf of TELUS and, as you've heard from the others, a sincere debt of gratitude to you for your service, sir.
--- Applause and standing ovation
7029 THE CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. You've really moved me, I must say. It has been five wonderful years. Never a dull moment.
7030 I must say, this is one of the most exciting industries to work in, and I really did enjoy working with you. I'm delighted that this last hearing has shown that you've gotten used to each other, you've gotten used to my ways and we've proceeded ahead of schedule and we actually managed to work out a consensus of some of the major issues, which is wonderful.
7031 And I certainly must say I wish you all the best. You are the future of Canada. Your industry is clearly key, and I'm glad to have been able to contribute.
7032 Merci beaucoup de vos remerciements. Je suis vraiment touché. Merci.
7033 THE SECRETARY: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
7034 This completes the agenda of this public hearing. Thank you.
--- Whereupon the hearing concluded at 1210
- Date modified: