Transcript, Hearing January 18, 2017

Volume: 3
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Date: January 18, 2017
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Attendees and Location

Held at:

Terrasses de la Chaudière
Gatineau, Quebec
C.R.T.C.
Commission Headquarters

Attendees:


Transcript

Gatineau, Quebec

--- Upon commencing on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 9:04 a.m.

3026 THE CHAIRMAN: À l’ordre, s’il vous plaît. Order, please.

3027 Madame la secrétaire.

3028 THE SECRETARY: Merci.

3029 We’ll now begin with the presentation from Rogers Communications Canada. Please introduce yourself and your colleague, and you have 20 minutes for your presentation.

PRESENTATION

3030 MR. WATT: Thank you. Good morning Chairman and Commissioners. My name is David Watt. I am Senior Vice President, Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer at Rogers.

3031 With me today are, to my right, James Smith, Senior Vice President, Network Voice and Data Services, and Jean Michel Dupuis, Manager, Engineering, our 9-1-1 subject-matter expert and a member of the CISC Emergency Service Working Group. To Jean Michel’s right is Sheila Tan, Senior Manager, Regulatory, who is responsible for our 9-1-1 interconnections with the ILECs.

3032 To my left are Howard Slawner, Vice President of Regulatory Telecom and Simon-Pierre Olivier, Director, Regulatory and Economics. Behind me are Gerry Thompson, Senior Manager, Regulatory, who is the chair of the CISC Business Process Working Group, and Erich Baumgartner, Senior Manager, Regulatory, who is the owner CISC ESWG TIF 81 - Originating Network Considerations for NG9-1-1.

3033 Thank you for the opportunity to appear today to discuss the evolution of 9-1-1 and establish the regulatory framework for next-generation 9-1-1 in Canada. Rogers is committed to working with the Commission and all stakeholders to provide the best possible 9-1-1 services to all Canadians.

3034 Rogers already provides its customers today with 9-1-1 services across all its platforms including wireless, cable, and VoIP, and we meet all CRTC 9-1-1 requirements.

3035 With the impending deployment of NG9-1-1, the framework we will establish in this proceeding will improve the abilities and reach of emergency responders, opening the door to new means of calling for help and delivering crucial information during an emergency such as text messages, pictures, and video. It will also improve interoperability between all parties, allowing for more effective and efficient emergency responses.

3036 In Telecom Decision 2015-531, the Commission took the first step by approving the NENA i3 network architecture, which will serve as the standard foundation for NG9-1-1 in Canada. Using this foundation, carriers will implement new IP technology providing the flexibility to one day deliver 9-1-1 services through many forms of digital media.

3037 In order to modernize emergency services and achieve the promise of NG9-1-1, the Commission should design its regulatory framework addressing the five following points. One, the introduction of new types and forms of 9-1-1 communication; two, the deployment of a new centralized architecture; three, the rapid transition to NG9-1-1; four, the creation of a national consortium; and five, funding issues.

3038 Jim?

3039 MR. SMITH: Canada’s current 9-1-1 networks were designed decades ago to support the only means of communication available at that time, landline voice technology. Over the past decade, technology has grown at an exponential rate where people can now communicate in many other ways such as wireless and data. With that said, while new 9-1-1 capabilities were added with each new development, the underlying voice framework remained mostly unchanged.

3040 This proceeding is an opportunity to change that. Work was already started by the CRTC sanctioned Emergency Services Working Group which is reviewing the NENA i3 specification to provide recommendations on Canadian-specific next-generation 9-1-1 technical and operational solutions. Rogers has been playing an active role in these industry discussions and is strongly committed to working with all stakeholders from ILECs to PSAPs, as we have in the past.

3041 The deployment of these new network technologies can help erase some growing confusion surrounding available 9-1-1 services and provide opportunities to manage new 9-1-1 services.

3042 Service providers like Rogers have been regularly upgrading their networks and adopting the newest technologies that Canadians use to communicate with each other. Data applications, using text, audio, and video have effectively replaced voice as the primary means of communicating.

3043 The result is that a gap has grown between how many Canadians believe they can, or at least should be able to, contact emergency responders and how they actually can. We may now have the opportunity to close that gap by providing 9-1-1 in the ways many Canadians already expect.

3044 However, in order to protect Canadians, implementing new types of communication should continue to be thoroughly reviewed by all stakeholders and the industry working groups such as the ESWG, ensuring they are implemented in a timely and coordinated fashion.

3045 Rogers and other network providers will play a key part in such discussions, working on the introduction of these new technologies with the PSAP community. Only the PSAPs can fully understand the impact these new technologies will have on them and their staff.

3046 Next-generation 9-1-1 will raise new concerns such as cyber security risks, psychological tolls on call takers, and privacy concerns. PSAPs must also contend with any resource constraints. The timetable for adopting new 9-1-1 technologies must therefore be determined by the PSAPs.

3047 As a result, 9-1-1 network providers and telecommunications service providers should not be mandated to deploy any new next-generation 9-1-1 methods of communication until they can be implemented in conjunction with a critical mass of PSAPs across Canada. We need to make sure that realistic timeframes are imposed on carriers, ensuring that when implementation deadlines arrive, all parties are ready to deploy.

3048 Privacy and security must also be a key consideration when implementing new technologies. Already today, Canadians can program personal information into their smartphones, such as medical information and emergency contacts. In the future, we will have the ability to make this information available during a 9-1-1 call.

3049 This information could be essential in an emergency situation; however, privacy must be respected as well. Canadians must retain the ability to control what personal information may be disclosed and under what circumstances. At the same time, though, the end user must be responsible for the accuracy of their information that they may be required or choose to share.

3050 Simon-Pierre?

3051 MR. OLIVER: Along with introducing new technologies, NG9-1-1 provides an opportunity to modernize the network architecture. We should strive for a cost-effective solution that provides a consistent experience across Canada. To achieve this, Rogers supports a more centralized architecture, possibly relying upon a single NG9-1-1 network provider.

3052 As we have noted in our various interventions, we could establish a single NG9-1-1 network provider through a competitive RFP process. The NG9-1-1 network provider could build out a new ESInet, or it could take advantage and integrate any infrastructure that already exists. This NG9-1-1 network provider would be considered a telecommunication common carrier under the Telecommunications Act.

3053 Pour une entreprise nationale de télécommunications tel que Rogers, il peut être très complexe de devoir composer avec différents fournisseurs de réseau de service d’urgence 9-1-1 au Canada. Cette situation devrait être évitée, si possible, dans tous les cas où des services d’urgence 9-1-1 sont offerts.

3054 Le fait d’avoir un seul fournisseur de réseau de service d’urgence 9-1-1 de prochaine génération avec qui communiquer simplifierait les choses, permettrait une meilleure normalisation et réduirait les dédoublements de réseaux et de systèmes. Tout ceci augmenterait l’efficacité et la rentabilité de l’ensemble de l’architecture.

3055 En plus de profiter d’un réseau unique de service d’urgence 9-1-1 de prochaine génération, les gouvernements provinciaux, les municipalités, et les communautés des centres d'appels de la sécurité publique, CASP, devraient envisager de regrouper les CASP dans leur territoire.

3056 En effet, la réduction du nombre de CASP favoriserait le déploiement uniforme des nouveaux services au Canada et diminuerait l’ensemble des coûts des provinces et municipalités. Il est important d’offrir une expérience constante pour les utilisateurs afin d’assurer la sécurité publique des Canadiens.

3057 Ce regroupement potentiel permettrait d’améliorer l’efficacité du réseau 9-1-1 et aussi d’accélérer la transition vers la mise en œuvre des services d'urgence 9-1-1 de prochaine génération. Par exemple, il ne serait pas nécessaire d’effectuer autant de tests liés au service d’urgence 9-1-1 au moment d’installer des sites cellulaires qui chevauchent plusieurs territoires.

3058 En outre, les CASP devraient aussi envisager d’établir un centre principal ou prioritaire dans chaque territoire. Ce dernier agirait à titre de passerelle et prendrait en charge les services d'urgence 9-1-1 de prochaine génération au moment de leur lancement, ou jusqu’à ce que ceux-ci soient offerts par le reste des CASP. Ceci simplifierait grandement la transition. Ce centre principal pourrait servir également de CASP secondaire pendant les incidents majeurs.

3059 Jean Michel?

3060 MR. DUPUIS: Like any major network upgrade, the transition to NG9-1-1 will be challenging. This is especially so considering the lives and safety of Canadians are at stake. The transition therefore must be carefully planned and executed.

3061 Afin d’assurer le succès de la transition, celle-ci devra être effectuée intelligemment et rapidement. Bien qu’il soit impossible d’éviter le chevauchement des réseaux 9-1-1 actuels avec les réseaux futurs, rien ne justifie la nécessité de garder les réseaux 9-1-1 actuels pendant encore 10 ans, ou plus. Ces doubles frais et coûts seront au bout du compte assumés par les consommateurs.

3062 Comme mentionné plus tôt, la mise en œuvre d’un CASP principal ou prioritaire dans chaque territoire pourrait faciliter la transition vers les services d’urgence 9-1-1 de prochaine génération. En effet, le trafic pourrait être acheminé vers ce centre principal afin de prendre en charge les nouveaux services de prochaine génération, entraînant la réduction ou même l’élimination complète du trafic de voix vers les CASP de génération actuelle.

3063 Le nombre d’infrastructures d’anciennes générations serait également réduit. Même s’il ne faut jamais compromettre la sécurité des Canadiens, il n’est pas nécessaire de prolonger la durée de vie de l’ancien réseau des services d’urgence 9-1-1, ni de repousser le lancement du réseau de services d'urgence 9-1-1 de prochaine génération.

3064 Tel qu’il est mentionné ci-dessus, la transition vers le service d'urgence 9-1-1 de prochaine génération doit être effectuée de façon coordonnée et à grande échelle. Nous devons apprendre des expériences passées, comme lors de la mise en œuvre non synchronisée du service "Texto au 9-1-1".

3065 Grâce à une planification et à une supervision appropriée, nous pouvons arriver à de bien meilleurs résultats pour les Canadiens. Nous devons également réussir à déployer le service à grande échelle, c'est-à-dire à l’échelle provinciale, si possible, afin d’éviter de semer la confusion dans l’esprit du public. Les Canadiens faisant face à une situation d’urgence ne devraient pas se demander quels services d'urgence 9-1-1 sont à leur disposition.

3066 Howard?

3067 MR. SLAWNER: The Commission should create a national consortium to oversee NG9-1-1. Introducing a unique governing body for NG9-1-1 is something that was echoed by many interveners in this process.

3068 Industry consortiums are well established in Canada, including those for Local Number Portability and Numbering. As such, consortiums have already demonstrated their ability to administer industry-wide initiatives. Next-generation 9-1-1 is a very important undertaking that directly impacts the safety of Canadians from coast to coast that would similarly benefit from a broad governing body.

3069 A consortium is entirely consistent with sections 24 and 29 of the Telecommunications Act. An NG9-1-1 Shareholder Agreement, developed by the new national consortium and signed by all TSPs would be filed with the Commission for approval under section 29 of the Act. This way the Commission would maintain oversight and power over all NG9-1-1 activities.

3070 All TSPs would be required to join the national consortium, and any other entity interconnecting to the next-generation 9-1-1 network would be invited. The Consortium would have a President and other full time staff as required. The consortium would establish a voting structure which would be detailed in the Shareholder Agreement. The voting structure would be similar to the voting class structure of the contribution consortium. It would provide for inclusion of non-TSPs. Conflict of interest rules will be established to prevent any self-serving decisions.

3071 A national consortium should be mandated with a wide range of responsibilities pertaining to NG9-1-1. It could manage the transition to NG9-1-1, create public awareness campaigns, as well as provide progress reports for the implementation of the NG9-1-1 network and future services. The national consortium would also be responsible for the NG9-1-1 budget and fund allocation, carrying out inspections and investigations, reporting on the reliability and resiliency of the NG9-1-1 network, and could also assist with interconnection requirements for TSPs.

3072 David?

3073 MR. WATT: We need to make improvements on what we experience with our current funding model. As noted by the Commission, the aggregated national retail and wholesale 9-1-1 revenues received by the ILECs will amount to almost $700 million over the next ten years. This is a significant amount. The current ILEC 9-1-1 wholesale tariffs, which have been in place since the launch of local competition in the late nineties, need to be revised downwards in line with the reduction of many of the network and transport costs incurred to provide the service.

3074 Adding an element of competition through an RFP process in selecting an NG9-1-1 network provider could also help. Interested network providers will bid against one another, rather than simply having the business awarded to the incumbent carriers.

3075 We are not looking to re-invent the wheel. Funding should continue to be based on active telephone numbers or equivalent, and TSPs should remit the money directly to the national consortium. The national consortium would redistribute these funds to support and maintain the NG9-1-1 network in Canada. Using the contribution regime as some have suggested would unnecessarily complicate NG9-1-1, especially in light of the major changes to contribution under the Commission’s recent Basic Telecom Services decision.

3076 Finally, provincial and municipal governments should continue to fund PSAPs and first responders. This remains a public service that is the responsibility of local governments.

3077 In conclusion, this proceeding provides us with the opportunity to dramatically improve Canada’s 9-1-1 system. NG9-1-1 will deliver new solutions that will equip responders with the information they need. In order to unlock this promise, Canada needs a regulatory framework that will enable new technologies in the most simple, efficient manner.

3078 Adopting a more centralized architecture, with a single national NG9-1-1 network provider would provide a more effective solution, reducing the amount of duplication experienced when dealing with multiple network providers. A well-planned, rapid transition to NG9-1-1 would reduce the complexities of operating multiple networks and minimize costly overlaps. Forming a national consortium with broad representation would provide the necessary governance of NG9-1-1 which would oversee the selection of a network provider.

3079 Thank you for listening to us today. We would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

3080 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Merci. I'll put you in the hands of Commissioner MacDonald. Thanks.

3081 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Good morning. So thank you for participating in this process. I do have a fair number of questions, just because what you are proposing would be a bit of a departure from the current situation.

3082 But to start, we've heard a lot over the last couple of days with respect to interested parties actually coming to the table, and they seem to be coordinating and collaborating relatively efficiently today. And there seems to be a genuine interest on the part of everyone to move forward with NG9-1-1, deliver the best service to Canadians.

3083 So I'm wondering just to start, why you think a new national body is actually required and what benefits a new national body will yield that couldn't also be achieved under a structure more similar to what's currently in place?

3084 MR. WATT: Okay, I’ll start and then pass it on to my colleagues for further details. I think we're -- Canadian telecom policy over the past probably almost 30 years now has been predicated upon promoting a competitive framework, and I think it started in long distance, went to local service, and that has been sort of the philosophical economic approach taken to this market.

3085 We don’t see any reason why we wouldn't at least attempt to extend that approach to 9-1-1 service. We think that a competitive bidding process could lead to lower cost and it could lead to a competitive dynamic, which would bring, as I say, efficiencies for the TSPs, in terms of fewer interconnections. More standardized procedures lead to lower costs actually for the national network provider because it would be a single operator. And we think there could be increases in the speed with which new 9-1-1 services could be brought to bear.

3086 Now, I say that could be the case in a competitive structure; it might not be the case in the competitive structure.

3087 There has been considerable discussion over the past few days, a number of aspects of this in terms of delaying cost, where we think with a well-crafted request for information at the outset there would be early indication as to whether this path was worth pursuing. So that, really, is what we’re -- is the foundation behind our proposal.

3088 I think -- it should not be seen in any way, shape, or form as an anti-ILEC proposal. We would hope that the ILECs would be likely the principal bidders in becoming -- trying to become the national 9-1-1 provider. So I want to make that very clear.

3089 And we completely agree with your opening comments that all the parties in this room work very well together and have the best interests of Canadians at heart in trying to provide absolutely the best 9-1-1 service that we can today.

3090 With that, I might ask -- well, actually, I’ll give you a chance to respond to that because that was quite lengthy, and then my colleagues can provide more details.

3091 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Thank you for that. You cited when the Commission made its decision to open up the long-distance market for competition. And not underestimating the complexities of that, do you think that, given that we’re talking about a critical service like 9-1-1, literally a life and death service, that perhaps we may want to proceed more cautiously if we are going to go in a significantly different direction from what’s been the place for the last several decades?

3092 MR. WATT: I think you would want to proceed very cautiously. We think that the proposal we’re putting before you today is a -- is a cautious, cautious approach in the sense that we are proposing that a consortium be established with representation from all the various stakeholders.

3093 And that consortium will frame the requests for information, possibly the subsequent requests for proposal. They would frame those requests in order that the Canadians not be put at risk, frame it in a way that the potential of IP technology could be leveraged to the benefit of Canadians. Should proposals come forward that don’t meet the requirements in terms of quality of service, et cetera, then presumably, we would go a different path.

3094 We would not let the -- sign with one of the bidding parties. We would not select a bidder. Frankly, it’s not unheard of that frequently there’s just not a suitable candidate that comes forward to a request for proposal and you go a different route.

3095 That different route would be, I think, the -- presumably, the alternative route that is being discussed at this proceeding, and that is where the ILECs would undertake the responsibility of providing the network for 9-1-1 in their territory.

3096 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So you don’t necessarily see that as one decision. We decide to go this route and then there’s no off-ramps if the results coming back from the RFI are not what one would hope so we could potentially go down the national consortium path and then re-evaluate at some point as to whether we want to proceed or go in another direction?

3097 MR. WATT: Yes, I think for this particular service there would have to be an off-ramp. You can’t make a mistake with this particular service.

3098 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: With respect to timing, you noted in your intervention, and you mention it again today, that time is of the essence and the longer the transition takes, potentially the more costly it will actually be.

3099 From your experience working with the ILECs, working with PSAPs, working with other interested parties, how long do you think it would actually take if we do move forward with a national consortium to get those groups together to establish a governance structure to fill those paid or volunteer positions? From the date of our decision, when do you think that consortium could be fully up and operational and ready to start researching and drafting an RFI?

3100 MR. SLAWNER: We think it actually can happen pretty quickly. The RFI and the actual development of the consortium can actually happen parallel. So carriers like Rogers could actually take the lead, once a decision’s rendered, to actually working on the structure and governance structure of the consortium and at the same time can actually start working on an RFI that, ultimately, once the consortium is formed, it could maybe, you know, edit a little bit but then approve, and then have the Commission approve, and then that RFI would then be issued.

3101 So we could actually turn it around pretty quickly in a few months, we think, once the decision is actually rendered.

3102 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Having a lot of people in the room is a great thing until it’s not and it becomes difficult to get anything accomplished. How do you think -- or what specific rules do you think would need to be put in place to govern the actions of the members of that consortium to ensure that Rogers wasn’t -- or the Rogers’ representative wasn’t acting in the interest of Rogers and the Bell representative not acting in the interest of Bell, just to cite two providers that are sitting in the room right now?

3103 MR. SLAWNER: Right. Well, first thing, our recommendation for the governance structure would be to have a class voting structure similar to what you already have in the contribution consortium.

3104 So each class of shareholder, which would be -- probably like ILECs, CLECs, WISPs, PSAPS, perhaps some municipal authorities -- would each have the ability to nominate Board members. So we hope that will give the voice to all the various interests and ensure that everybody’s heard and that not one group or individual company could then steer the consortium in its own direction.

3105 At the same time, we would have, like, super-majority votes on very key issues so a majority of people cannot pick the RFP winner. It would have to be a significant number of Board members who would support that choice.

3106 And last but not least, we would actually put within the consortium rules, rules against self-serving. So perhaps if one of the Board member’s organization was actually bidding in the RFP, they would not be able to be part of the selection committee.

3107 So we would put rules like that in place to ensure that the consortium actually acts in the best interest of both the industry and Canadians in general.

3108 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: What about in situations where the interests aren’t necessarily self-serving; there’s just a disagreement on approach or on the path forward? How would you see those disputes being managed, whether they be just disputes between the actual consortium members or between the consortium and other potential players in the ecosystem that may or may not be represented around the table?

3109 MR. SLAWNER: Well, I mean the point of the consortium actually is to bring in as many people into the tent as possible, so hopefully people who have interest in the next-generation 9-1-1 network will join, because we will invite -- anybody who has a stake in delivering 9-1-1 to Canadians would be invited.

3110 If there are disputes -- I mean the idea of having this group is to have a forum for people to kind of raise their various issues and address them. I think we’re all kind of in the same boat that we actually want to deliver this great new service to all Canadians as quickly possible so I’m hoping that this forum will be an opportunity for people to work those out, you know, by themselves.

3111 If, however, that’s not possible, I mean people will always still have an avenue to go to the Commission and say, “Look, the consortium is not addressing this very important need. You need to step in.”

3112 And this will happen anyways because we plan, in the consortium, to actually come to the Commission at several points for oversight and guidance, for example, before we launch the RFI, before we launch the RFP, before we actually enter into an agreement with an NG-9-1-1 provider.

3113 So there are opportunities who might have issues with some of the positions or directions that we’re taking to raise them with the Commission, and then we can hopefully work them out fairly.

3114 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: You said that you thought the consortium could be established relatively quickly and that it could perhaps proceed on a parallel path. It’s been established; it’s staffing up at the same time. Industry players such as yourselves could begin the drafting work of the RFI.

3115 Can you put a timeframe around, if this was the direction we wanted to go, when you actually see that RFI potentially hitting the street; what's the earliest date that you think it could hit the street and then consequently a decision perhaps be made after that?

3116 MR. SLAWNER: I would definitely think within six months it could probably happen. Preparing an RFI is not that difficult. Bringing the consortium together would be a little more time-consuming but that's why we'd like to do them in parallel. Again, these are just our best estimates, just based on past experience, but certainly, we think within -- definitely within the year this could easily be done, but we're actually kind of hopeful that we can do it within less than that.

3117 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do you have any -- I mean, understanding that everyone collectively wants to move forward and sees value in NG9-1-1, are you at all concerned that some critical players may not want to become members of the consortium, perhaps players that are critical to the ecosystem but are outside of our jurisdiction?

3118 MR. SLAWNER: Firstly, we're actually quite confident that everybody who has a vested interest in next-generation 9-1-1 would be interested in joining the consortium. I think we've already heard, during this proceeding, several parties, including PSAPs and municipal authorities who have said they're very interested in the idea of some kind of governing administrator or body that would look over the transition to NG9-1-1. So we think there'll be sufficient interest by the PSAPs and other parties who are not telecom carriers who would join.

3119 That being said, it's possible that some of them might not wish to join. If that is the case, we will still work with them. We're not going to exclude them. We'll still try to have them participate in some manner, but we think that as long as we have a significant number of PSAPs and other agencies who are interested, voicing the concerns of that community within the consortium, their needs and concerns will be addressed within the consortium.

3120 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: In your remarks this morning you said that this group would be responsible for NG9-1-1 budget and fund allocation, carrying out inspections and investigations, reporting on reliability and resiliency and so forth. And when we were speaking earlier, you mentioned the need for potential Commission oversight in some of these areas, perhaps the need for an off ramp, if we go in this direction and it doesn’t appear to be working out.

3121 How involved -- I guess two questions: one, where do you see the line on a day-to-day basis being drawn between what the consortium will do and what we should be doing? And what oversight you think we will need to provide on a go-forward basis?

3122 MR. SLAWNER: We think the Commission should retain its policy-making abilities and it should be the one who actually has the final word, from the policy standpoint to ensure that we are moving in the right direction. We see the consortium as kind of being the legs and the mind of the effort here to implement NG9-1-1. They would be the ones who would set the timetables and then try and push people so we'd meet them. They would be obviously involved in selecting the RFP -- in constructing the RFP and then picking a winning bidder. They would be responsible for setting standards across the country for -- and goals for all the providers and telecom carriers to reach.

3123 That being said, what they will do is to ensure that you guys, the Commission, is content with the direction that we're going in, but we would periodically check in with you, especially early in the stages of the consortium and the RFP process that the -- for example, if the RFP process is robust, that we are doing a good job at vetting candidates, that there are the necessary clauses in the RFP to ensure that there's a smooth transition say, once the expiry of the initial contract is over.

3124 These are all things that we think you should be involved and have some oversight. But the day-to-day administration of the transition, we think the consortium should handle.

3125 MR. WATT: Maybe I'd just interject. I think Shaw identified a number of points at which the Commission would become directly involved. We would agree with those we think the Commission would be involved. When the consortium agreement was established, the Commission would review that agreement to ensure that it addressed some of the concerns that you raised earlier.

3126 When the RFI was prepared, they would review the sign-off on the RFI and then subsequently, the RFP and then the final selection of the provider, I think are the four key touch points.

3127 And then this becomes a question of -- well, at that point, I think there would be an assessment as to -- let me start over again. Really, at that point, we are that far down the road, I think the consortium will have proven to be a success, at which point you're probably looking at an annual review of issues, if necessary.

3128 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: What specific powers would you see us using? What mechanisms would you see us using if we needed to interject for some reason in the work of this group or to issue a directive on a specific topic?

3129 MR. SLAWNER: Well, to begin with, the creation of the consortium would probably be created under section 29 of the Act, which requires the carriers to get CRTC approval to have these arrangements between them. So you can set rules right off the bat with that.

3130 Going forward, you still have section 24 where you can set conditions on us; so for example, you would use section 24 just to mandate our membership in the consortium like you’ve done in other consortiums.

3131 So we think the Commission has various tools within the Telecom Act to actually ensure that the carriers, at least, do participate and do whatever that the Commission thinks is necessary to provide the best NG9-1-1 service in Canada.

3132 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do you see any geographic challenges with this type of approach and making sure that the right people are around the table? We heard -- I think it was from the Coalition of the Willing, and they were talking about specific legislation in some provinces in the Maritimes, which is helpful, versus Ontario, which perhaps has a -- I'm hesitant to say less coordinated model, but the situation is very different. So do you see that being an added complication?

3133 MR. SLAWNER: It -- well, provincial legislation will always be different in every province, clearly. It could affect us, but we don’t see the consortium as somehow being able to influence the provincial legislation. We might be able to make recommendations to various provinces on what they should be doing from the public safety standard, but as for some of the recommendations that other groups have put, like the Coalition Willing, as to streamlining the levying of fees or funding of their own PSAPs, to us that still remains a provincial area of jurisdiction. That is something that the individual provinces are going to have to work out on their own and see what is appropriate for them.

3134 What we'll do is try to explain to them why we need funding because we want to deploy the next-generation system within this time frame and therefore, they need to help participate in ensuring that that actually occurs. But in the end, we won't be able to actually have any influence directly on the provincial governments on how they're going to organize their public safety.

3135 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Rogers obviously has extensive relationships in many of the provinces with the different levels of government, potentially your service provider. Does 9-1-1 or NG9-1-1 ever factor into your conversations with the leadership or the political leadership in those provinces to suggest best practices, make them aware of what's going on in other provinces, lobby, for want of a better term, in this regard?

3136 MR. SLAWNER: I don’t believe we have to date discussed this, I mean, certainly at the working level, and we have contact with the PSAPs and municipal governments, but I don’t believe that at any higher level we've ever discussed the need.

3137 Simon-Pierre, do you have any ---

3138 MR. OLIVIER: As Howard just said, at the working level -- let's say when they introduced a new provincial tax, for example, back in 2009 in the province of Québec, then yes, we work a lot with the government people. Same thing in Alberta when they just -- two years ago, I think, launched their 9-1-1 fee as well. So we do have contacts with them. We know who they are and obviously, we could start to work with them.

3139 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Correct me if I'm wrong, but one of your potential suggestions was having one PSAP. Can you explain to me what you think the benefits would be of having one centralized PSAP? Are there service benefits or are they strictly financial benefits?

3140 MR. SLAWNER: Just to begin with, it’s only a recommendation. We recognize we don’t actually have authority over the PSAPs. And we also recognize that they have considerations that we don’t have visibility to, such as political issues, technical issues, HR issues that we don’t see.

3141 So we just think that as we’re trying to streamline the network itself, that it’s an opportunity for them to consider streamlining their own operations. So we’re not really sure if centralize is actually feasible. But what we’d like to actually see is perhaps a consolidation of the PSAPs. There will be fewer.

3142 I believe a couple of days ago Calgary 9-1-1 was even talking about how during periods of time when they’ve been upgrading their networks previously, it became clear that there was a need to consolidate in order for them to pull resources and deploy the next level of technology. So we think something similar could happen here, but we’re only recommending that they look at it. We’re not actually suggesting that they actually proceed and do it.

3143 MR. WATT: Thanks.

3144 And maybe just to explain why we think it would be a good idea, I might ask Jim to explain the cost implications of the number of PSAPs that we have today.

3145 MR. SMITH: Yeah. From a network perspective, fewer PSAPs means reduced testing cycles for all 9-1-1 services, particularly during network changes and in particular during network build out.

3146 It’s particularly relevant in the case of wireless access networks. So for example, a new three-sector cell site whose coverage area overlaps that of several PSAPs, requires testing of each technology –- 2G, 3G, 4G, or LTE -- on each sector of that cell with the PSAPs whose territory overlaps with that cell coverage.

3147 So testing must be end-to-end. That is a voice call from each technology on each sector of the cell to a 9-1-1 call taker, in the public safety answering point, has to be made. And that’s simple due diligence in the case of this critical service and making sure everything is fine after the network change or the network build. So multiple PSAPs requires multiple rounds of testing to ensure that.

3148 MR. WATT: And that actually –- it’s a burden both on us and it’s a burden on the PSAP. We impose burdens on them as we expand our network as well in order to test our facilities. And that takes away from their ability to handle the ongoing stream of calls. So if the system can be simplified, there are benefits for all parties.

3149 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So I get that there would be significant benefits, especially from a networking standpoint, fewer connections out there, fewer PSAPs to connect. Is there any concern that through a centralized model, you know, be it one central PSAP here in Ottawa or one in every province -- is there any concern that in a more centralized approach that local knowledge would be lost?

3150 And I think specifically rural Newfoundland, for example, doesn’t overly rely on firm civic addresses. It’s Bill Smith’s house on the old main road and everyone just knows where that is. Is there concern that that local knowledge would be lost?

3151 MR. DUPUIS: Thank you, Mr. Commissioner.

3152 If I may present to you some examples we already have in place today? For example, the Province of British Columbia, under E-Comm, looks after a better part of the province. We have similar situations today for Quebec and Ontario where one entity will look at over hundreds of municipalities and they’re spread out all over the province. So we would see that situation being similar.

3153 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Just on a much larger scale because we’re talking about the entire country, potentially?

3154 MR. DUPUIS: Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the entire country. It could be at a provincial level. But we already see that model in place today.

3155 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Sorry, go ahead.

3156 MR. WATT: I was going to say just that would be the absolute extreme, a single national body somewhat akin to the role that Northern plays today. That really isn’t what we -- in practical terms, we foresee. We would foresee possibly more practically a single provincial PSAP. But we recognize that even that is not a near-term prospect. The purpose of making these submissions is to try and identify the benefits that would be derived by fewer PSAPs and start to nudge people to thinking towards that end.

3157 So we proposed a centralized architecture and a centralized NG9-1-1 network provider. But in terms of the PSAP, it would be more accurate to call our position a desire for consolidation. And it might be viewed by some as extreme consolidation at the provincial level or in bigger provinces two or three PSAPs. But a significant reduction from the current number, but not to a national -- single national PSAP.

3158 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Just one final quick question on that. Even if the number of PSAPs were reduced, you still see PSAP funding being the responsibility of the provincial government or the municipalities in question?

3159 MR. WATT: Yes, we do.

3160 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: In your final reply you stated that:

3161 “Rogers believes that having only one national centralized database under NG9-1-1 architecture would reduce operational challenges, which would result in a higher quality of service and cost efficiencies.”

3162 Can you unpack that for me a little bit? Are those benefits similar to the benefits that would be derived, perhaps from a networking standpoint, of having a reduced number of PSAPs?

3163 MR. SLAWNER: Yeah. I mean, having one national network we think would have a lot of advantages. It would be just simpler. It would improve standardization across the country. It would improve interoperability between the networks and the PSAPs. And it would also be more cost effective.

3164 And I’ll ask Simon-Pierre to elaborate on that last point.

3165 MR. OLIVIER: First of all, if we are going to have a database in Canada and say to contain end-user and put it in formation or -- I have an example here -- under NENA i3 architecture they call this the “National Validation Verification Database”. So I think it’s to validate the street address and the street number, stuff like that. It should be a national database. If we’re going to have one it should be a national database.

3166 Today we have at least -- as far as we know it’s three databases maintained by the ILECs. It provides various difficulties for the national TSPs to deal with these different databases. They have different formats or different forms.

3167 I can give you an example of TEXT with 9-1-1, for example. If you’re a speech-impaired customer and you want to register for TEXT with 9-1-1, we have to update three distinct databases today. And if there is a problem on our side, on the link side, on the database side, and that customer is roaming in another province, it won’t work. So it’s an issue today.

3168 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So when you say one national database, do you also envision that there would be a backup somewhere else in the country, a diverse redundant backup system that’s updated in real time?

3169 MR. OLIVIER: Absolutely. It has to be a fully redundant network and this is how NENA i3 architecture was designed.

3170 We must state that what we have today, we have various databases in place. But these are not redundant. TELUS is not a backup for Bell and vice versa. It’s just a simple duplication.

3171 And I will give you another example. For the national LNP consortium, the national numbering database, we have millions of records containing all reporting activities in Canada and we have a single database plus a backup. So it works.

3172 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: You have mentioned one national network provider. Do you envision that being one company that the consortium contracts with and builds and manages one network? Or do you think there is potential for it to be multiple contracts with regional players, perhaps the ILECs, that are then -- the standards are established and they must meet those standards and the regional networks are interconnected to form a national network?

3173 MR. SLAWNER: Ideally, we’re thinking of one network, that there be one provider. That being said, if one or two or more companies out there come together to form a consortium of their own, you can call it, to be the NG9-1-1 provider and bid together an entity -- because they each have a different area of expertise that’s coming together that could actually be a very successful competitive bidder, then that could happen as well. But what we would -- I’d really like to see is a single, national NG9-1-1 provider in Canada.

3174 MR. WATT: Now, is -- a fairly colourful statement, what was it, “One neck to choke is one throat to choke”, is -- well, it’s not really what we want to have happen.

3175 But to pick up on the discussion, we would see on vendor, or one provider, but that company is going to lease facilities from other telecommunications providers. For example, if Bell were to be the winning bidder, it presumably would be leasing substantial facilities from TELUS, vice versa, that type of arrangement.

3176 If it is a non-ILEC bidder, they too would be leasing facilities from established ILECs and CLECs, et cetera.

3177 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So I understand that all of the ILECs, cable companies such as yourselves, have, you know, sophisticated carrier-to-carrier arrangements for access facilities and direct knock-to-knock relationships in times of outages, but if there is the one national neck to choke -- and you acknowledge that that organization would have to deal with multiple, perhaps regional access providers -- does that create any added complexity or any extra risks that we should be aware of versus a situation where under a more regional approach, a much higher percentage of the accesses into the PSAPs, for example, would be on that company’s own facilities and the people in Alberta know, “Okay, we contact Telus”?

3178 MR. SMITH: I think a single national network entity operating in that environment -- I think that would be not unusual. I think it would be -- it’s common practice to have a one-to-many relationship.

3179 We have -- as you said, we have a single national network; within that national network we interconnect with many of the other telecom providers in Canada, and we deal with that. I don’t see that as an insurmountable difficulty or obstacle in this. I think it’s almost normal business.

3180 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: I think it was the Coalition of the Willing was talking about the fear that the backhoe digs up the circuit, the conduit going into one of their PSAPs.

3181 How internally are some repairs prioritized over others? Obviously, if there was a larger network outage, I think it’s fair to assume we’d want to get the PSAP up and operational before the internet circuit was repaired going into the shopping mall. How are those prioritized?

3182 MR. SMITH: Let me try and answer your question a couple of ways. The view of a national NG9-1-1 network, that network would designed in such a way to be fully survivable. In other words, we would have redundant facilities; we already talked about duplication of databases and platforms and stuff like that. So a national NG9-1-1 network -- very unlikely that we would suffer an outage as to a single fault.

3183 9-1-1 is prioritized on our network as the highest priority in terms of service, hence the rigour in trying to test and doing as much integration and regression testing as possible when we do network changes and so on. So I would see 9-1-1 and PSAP access as being top priority in these situations.

3184 In terms of outages and that, in general, outages are dealt with from a customer-impacting point of view but also, “What facilities do we have existing there?” In cases where we have fully redundant fibre rings, for example, and we have a fibre cut, we still have service maintained through the use of a fibre ring, so that -- the priority in getting that fixed is slightly different to a case where we have a single linear transport system that has gone down and taken service out.

3185 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And that prioritization would also be reflected in your carrier-to-carrier contracts for any of these services if, for example, Rogers was leasing a circuit from Bell into a PSAP?

3186 MR. SMITH: I would say yes.

3187 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.

3188 Is -- obviously there needs to be redundancy in place. That doesn’t necessarily just mean two fibres, for example, going into the same facility; they need to be geographically diverse, on different routes, perhaps homing back to different head-ends or COs.

3189 What level of diversity do you think is required and is diversity improved at all if we’re talking about vendor diversity, for example, Rogers owning one circuit going into a PSAP and Bell owning the other?

3190 MR. SMITH: Yes, is the short answer. One of the situations that you have to guard against is, specifically where, for example, Bell owns one circuit and we own the other but, however, somewhere in the transport planning mechanism, we have a shared fibre that both circuits ride on.

3191 You have to avoid those situations and we have experience of doing that in our existing network where we avoid falling into a situation where we think at either end that the circuit is diverse but, in fact, in the transport -- in the physical transport, it comes together. So we have a process and rigour to make sure that that is not the case.

3192 In terms of designing the next-generation 9-1-1 network, I believe the NENA i3 proposal deals with diversity and redundancy. Sometimes you build to a single worst-case failure so, in other words, a single network would stand a single failure; can it withstand multiple simultaneous failures? I would think in this type of network, you would go for the higher order of redundancy.

3193 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Jumping back to the RFI and the RFP, those are obviously very useful tools, but they’re only highly effective if multiple bids are received. Are you aware of several organizations within the country that would have an interest in responding to such an RFP?

3194 MR. SLAWNER: We don’t know anyone who’s actually publicly expressed that yes, they would participate.

3195 We do think that the ILECs, who have a background experience in the area, would participate. We also think that there’s other companies, such as the manufacturers like Ericsson, who do more and more contract work of this type, might be interested; they have a lot of operations in Canada. There are also American carriers that are already working on this down South who would also be interested in coming to Canada and delivering this service.

3196 So we think there are some -- numerous parties who might have an interest in participating in this.

3197 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do you have any concern if a non-Canadian entity were selected through the bidding process?

3198 MR. SLAWNER: No, I think we could address that. I think what we’d do is, in the RFP process, we would require that the network be located within Canada and that it would be subject to all Canadian laws, both from a federal standpoint and provincial for public security. So we’re confident that anybody who participates would meet all Canadian law and would address any concerns that people may have.

3199 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So you envision the ILECs responding and you don’t have any concern if the ILEC -- or several ILECs end up being the successful bidders in the RFP process?

3200 MR. SLAWNER: No, if the ILECs have the most competitive bid, they should win. We invite the ILECs to participate in the RFP process, and compete against another, and deliver. If they are the best provider, they should win the bid.

3201 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: I mentioned earlier that 9-1-1 is obviously a critical service and if an outage were to occur, I think it could do potentially significant harm to a company’s brand and how they’re perceived by their customers.

3202 Are you at all concerned that we may receive no more than one bid under this type of scenario, that people, because of the risk to their brand, may say, “No, I don’t want to be in this business”?

3203 MR. SLAWNER: I don’t think that people will be avoiding participating because of the risk to their brand. I think there’s lots of companies in lots of areas that provide services in critical areas where there could be lives at stake. So I think that companies who have background experience in this area and are confident in their abilities to provide this service will, in fact, participate. So I don’t think that will be any issue, to be very honest.

3204 As for do we think only one provider is – no, I think the RFI process will help flesh that out. I think that's why we want to initiate that as quickly as possible. We're quite confident you'll find more than one bidder, but if that was to happen, we think we'd learn that at the RFI process and it would a very quick process and we would adjust accordingly.

3205 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So if there was just one company that responds to the RFI, you would see that as perhaps an indicator that we should take the off ramp and ---

3206 MR. SLAWNER: Very possibly.

3207 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: --- go with the other model? Okay.

3208 MR. WATT: If I could -- it's a very interesting discussion. I'm not sure that if there was only one bidder that you should immediately say, "Well, this wasn’t a competitive process; therefore, we're going to take the off ramp and go the alternative route."

3209 Now, if when I hypothesize that that bidder, when they bid, they didn’t know they were -- not going to be another bidder, presumably they could have put in -- it could be a terrific bid and in effect, be a competitive price.

3210 I think the concern arises if you think that there is communication amongst players and that particular bidder somehow learned that they were the only person likely to be bidding, that a concern would arise -- and I don’t quite know how you would comfort yourself that that hadn't been the case. It shouldn't be the case. I don't think it would be the case. It is not, obviously, what people are supposed to do. It would be illegal.

3211 But my fundamental point is that if there were only one bidder, I don't think you necessarily rule that out of order and just dismiss it.

3212 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So just because there's one bid doesn’t mean that that's not a very competitive bid?

3213 MR. WATT: Correct.

3214 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Price is obviously a huge factor in who wins the competitive bidding process. What other -- beyond price, what other scoring criteria do you think need to be taken in to consideration, because we may not want a 9-1-1 system that's built by the lowest bidder.

3215 MR. SLAWNER: We -- within the RFP process and the contract, the ultimate contract with the provider, we would have quality of service rules, we'd have service level agreements. We would do a -- vet all the potential carriers even before the process to ensure they actually have the ability to provide this. Someone coming along and saying -- doing a start-up is probably not the right provider to deliver 9-1-1 service, so we would look for a sufficient background in telecom and public safety to deliver this.

3216 So I think between the vetting process and the rules that we put in place into the RFP process would go a far way.

3217 I think Jim has some additional comments.

3218 MR. SMITH: Yeah, I would add -- and of course, there would be technical criteria based on what is their experience with the type of technology that the NENA i3 architecture proposes, which is IMS-based. What is their track record in delivering, operating, maintaining, building, those types of systems? That would also be a considerable contributor to the criteria for selection.

3219 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. So Chris Telecom need not apply? But is this a business that Rogers is interested in getting into?

3220 MR. SLAWNER: Once we have the full criteria fleshed out, then we will take a look at it and we will consider participating.

3221 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay, thank you.

3222 So different intervenors have obviously said that the first step in moving to an NG9-1-1 environment is to migrate the voice services. After that, where should we be focusing? I note that, you know, PSAPs have an important role to play in deciding what information they receive, but Rogers communicates daily with many, many Canadians.

3223 What trends are you seeing in the way that people want to communicate with yourselves or with governments or with each others that perhaps we want to move up the list and bring into an NG9-1-1 environment?

3224 MR. SMITH: So let me try and answer that one. I think you're correct. Voice would be obviously the first and top priority and the first service that would be migrated to next-generation 9-1-1. I think moving forward with text and improvements to the existing text service, I think the next-generation technology enables that and provides capabilities and opportunities. And then following on, I'm thinking in the context of image, an image being picture and/or video services. And even in terms of text, moving from existing text types to real-time text and over the top text prior to doing pictures and video.

3225 But again, the technology lends itself very well to all of these and it would be a matter of timing and staging that evolution with the PSAPs in mind.

3226 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Are certain technologies, certain forms of communication, more difficult from a technical standpoint to integrate in or it's an IP world so send me an image, send to me an email, yell for help on Facebook; none of it matters?

3227 MR. SMITH: Yeah, I'm the technology guy, so I'll say yeah, that is certainly the case. I think in today's environment that we all live in, I think all of that is pretty obvious, that people communicate text, image and occasionally now on voice as well. I think that the more important criteria around this is what is the impact on the call takers and the PSAPs and how do we ensure that they are properly prepared for those types of communication?

3228 I think from a technology point of view, I think we're there. I think that's possible. So the art of the possible is there. It's evident. It's -- we have lots of video calling going on. So I think the focus is -- should be more around preparing the PSAPs and in particular, the call takers on how they are going to interact and how they're going to deal with those types of communications.

3229 So from a -- in short, from a technology point of view, I think we're there. From an impact of that on the people in the PSAPs, the actual call takers, I think that's where a lot of work still has to be done.

3230 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So just so I'm clear on that point, technically, yes, it wouldn't be a problem, but there may be some forms of communication that we may want to potentially steer away from due to -- well, for example, sending an image could make a lot of sense, but it may also be a very traumatic image for someone working in PSAP to receive.

3231 MR. SMITH: Yeah, absolutely. I agree. As I said, I think dealing with the impact the new technology has on the people in the PSAP is very, very important.

3232 MR. OLIVIER: Yeah, maybe just to clarify on that point, it should always be the PSAP call taker who decides at the end what they want to see or what more information they want to get. This is why we distinguish the pull method versus push method. When we do a 9-1-1 call, we push the information, like the phone number and location information. When the call is set up between the end user and the 9-1-1 call taker, then if they want to receive more information like video or pictures or medical record, that information will be pulled from a call taker.

3233 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Thank you. With respect to the transition, I mean, everyone has commented that it needs to be a coordinated and smooth transition. Are there -- if, at the end of bidding process, a non-ILEC is selected, is it more complicated to migrate a service or implement a new service on a different service provider than the incumbent provider and then move that customer over to it if you're moving between providers?

3234 Or are there cost savings or efficiencies or risk -- reduced risk of an outage if it's a migration from a legacy service to a next-gen service but staying on the same service provider?

3235 MR. SMITH: Let me try that one. I don’t think so. The next-generation 9-1-1 technology, the next-generation 9-1-1 network implementation requires that kind of migration, regardless of whether there's one national one or some alternate arrangement. The technology itself provides facilities for what we call media gateways, so to move existing voice circuits over to a media gateway to interact with the all-IP NG9-1-1 infrastructure. So I think in either case, it's -- the challenge is the same, but I don’t think the challenge is insurmountable.

3236 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Does it create an increased risk of an outage being created or does it lengthen the time to deployment in any way?

3237 MR. SMITH: I don't think it increases the risk. If you think of it dealing -- what you would be doing is dealing with moving existing voice circuits from a PSAP over to the next-generation 9-1-1 technology. That establishment of those circuits and the testing of those circuits can all happen ahead of time before you start to move traffic. And that would be normal business in the course of introducing new technology like that.

3238 MR. OLIVIER: Yeah. Maybe just one example to complete what Jim has said.

3239 In the United States, for their numbering database -- you might have heard about that -- they switched vendor. They switched from Neustar to iconectiv. It’s a huge change. It will take two years. They are porting hundreds of millions of phone numbers per year. But they decided to do it. So it’s feasible. We can manage the risk like they are doing, for example, in the United States. All the U.S. carriers have to switch vendors. It is feasible.

3240 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Understanding that the current 9-1-1 system looks and feels very different from a next-generation 9-1-1 system will, are there specific facilities that are currently deployed or in use to support the current 9-1-1 system that should be leveraged or could be leveraged in a next-gen environment?

3241 MR. SMITH: From a technology point of view, yes. There’s a physical transport facilities that could be leveraged in a next-gen environment. The next-generation platform itself is a completely new deployment, albeit based on IMS on the IP multimedia subsystem. But yeah, there should be existing facilities, particularly in the area of transport.

3242 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And presumably those transport facilities are owned by the ILECs?

3243 MR. SMITH: In a lot of cases, yes.

3244 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So if those ILECs were not chosen in a competitive bidding process, would you see the successful bidder somehow compensating the ILECs for those facilities, and if so, how?

3245 MR. WATT: I think actually they would ask for a quote from the ILEC. Basically they are coming as a customer to purchase facilities from the ILEC in that regard. They’re actually purchasing lease circuits, lease pipes. Those pipes are owned by the ILECs; they can’t simply be -- they would not be given to the new network provider. This would be part of their bid in the same way that the ILECs today have the costs of those facilities underpinning the rates that they charge TSPs.

3246 The national provider would be leasing facilities from a -- leasing transmission facilities from a number of providers and they would try and get the best arrangement that they could and that would form part of their cost basis.

3247 But there’s no -- no, the concept here would not see a simple transfer of existing transmission facilities from the ILECs to the national network provider. And in fact, I guess to Jim’s point, there is going to be an overlap period; they couldn’t actually even use those existing -- the precise existing facilities. They might use other pipes within the same cable, but they would have to be separate pipes because they will be running in parallel throughout the testing period.

3248 Jim, would you like to add to that?

3249 MR. SMITH: Yeah. We would say a migration period where you would have the existing 9-1-1 service and circuits still in place while the new next-generation 9-1-1 facilities are already built and tested and migrating traffic over to it. In practical terms what will happen is you will see the access networks, whether that be wireline or wireless, starting to migrate traffic over to the next-generation 9-1-1 networks. So the utilization rates on the existing systems would start to fall away, would start to decrease.

3250 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So getting access to those facilities you don’t see as being any more complicated than any existing wholesale relationship where one provider may rely on the transport network of another provider?

3251 MR. WATT: No, I think that’s right.

3252 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. So let’s assume the network is built and it’s fully operational; that was easy. In the current 9-1-1 regulatory framework, we’ve established certain trusted entities that can connect to the 9-1-1 network. Are there other entities that you think in a next-gen environment will need to be classified as trusted entities to connect? Or should anyone be allowed to connect?

3253 MR. SLAWNER: That, we think, would be a role for the consortium, that they could evaluate new prospects.

3254 I think Sheila could probably provide you some further information this.

3255 MS. TAN: Yes. And we’d also see that any carriers that are meeting all the obligations of the master agreement for local interconnection would be trusted and trusted to interconnect to the NG9-1-1 network, as well as carriers that are also complying with all the ESWG standardizations that will come from this as well.

3256 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Are there any other new policies that you think we should put into place? Does Canadian ownership, for example, matter? Should whatever service that’s trying to connect have to have a minimum number of subscribers in the country?

3257 MR. SLAWNER: Well, I think if they are providing communication service to Canadians, their customers are going to expect access to 9-1-1. So I think anybody who is actually delivering service needs to be able to connect to the next-generation 9-1-1 network.

3258 Foreign ownership I don’t believe would be a consideration here. You know, foreign companies can buy and build communication service companies in Canada so they would need that same ability to meet. So I think anybody who comes new to Canada would have to be vetted and ensure they actually have customers and facilities.

3259 I think the bigger question will be what happens when new companies come with different types of technology? For example, what happens if Facebook comes and says they want people on Facebook to be able to connect directly to 9-1-1 through, you know, Facebook Messenger?

3260 And those are the kind of issues that will have to be addressed. You know, we recommend that the consortium take a look at that; see what technology requirements are there; have the PSAPs part of the conversation. Are the PSAPs in a position to actually accept a call through Facebook? So all those kind of issues could be addressed through the consortium and then we can move forward to see whether or not -- what technically and operational issues have to be done in order to facilitate that. Or perhaps we discover it’s just not possible.

3261 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So the consortium should vet these parties or they should establish the policies or both?

3262 MR. SLAWNER: Yeah. First set the policies and then when people have issues -- or new technologies or new proposals, they would then approach the consortium and the consortium could come together, have the NG9-1-1 provider, the telecom service providers, and the PSAPs together and can decide, “How would we go about actually implementing this, if possible?”

3263 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And at what stage do you see those policies being set? Should they be outlined in the RFI?

3264 MR. SLAWNER: I don’t think -- related to the RFI, I think the first thing that the consortium has to do is get the network implemented and get the voice services moved over and transited to the IP platform. I think once that key work has been completed, then they can look to see, “How do we get new technologies involved?”

3265 So I’d rather that the consortium was focused on the transition and then after the transition is complete then they can start moving on to what various new technologies can they start adapting.

3266 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Switching gears to talk about resilience and reliability. We have a general obligation that providers need to take all reasonable measures to ensure that their 9-1-1 networks are reliable and resilient to the maximum extent feasible. Is that adequate in a next-gen environment or do new principles or a broader service obligation -- is that required in a next-gen environment?

3267 MR. WATT: Can I ask you to read those words one more time?

3268 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Oh, sorry.

3269 MR. WATT: I just want to focus on them very carefully.

3270 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: That 9-1-1 network providers must take all reasonable measures to ensure that their 9-1-1 networks are reliable and resilient to the maximum extent feasible?

3271 MR. WATT: Yes, they certainly should do that. And the question you were asking is should there be something added to that particular ---

3272 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Yes, and any other specific measures or language be added into that obligation to account for the different technology and services that we anticipate from next-gen 9-1-1.

3273 MR. WATT: Maybe we could take that as an undertaking and give it some really careful thought. I don’t want to not do it justice.

3274 UNDERTAKING

3275 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. The date for that is the 24th.

3276 In your intervention you repeatedly raised concerns with respect to the costs associated with the current 9-1-1 structure and the tariffs that are in place. Other intervenors said that the current process lacked transparency as well, to use their words. Why are you of that opinion? Is it just because the cost study in question is 18 years old at this point?

3277 MR. WATT: That is a good starting point. Yes, that’s the principal reason that we think it -- we don’t know the answer here. We just think any cost study that is 18 years old probably should be updated. The cost of the equipment may have gone down. Some equipment that’s fully depreciated may still be being used. On the other hand, labour costs of maintenance may have gone up. We don’t know but we think there should be an updated study performed.

3278 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: If a new study was done, would that fully address your concerns with respect -- assuming we didn’t go with the model you’re suggesting and went with an ILEC-supported model, if a new cost study was done, would that fully address your concerns with respect to cost?

3279 MR. WATT: No, I don’t think it would. What we’re trying to do with a competitive process is have a competitive process looking for a centralized architecture. It’s to have the most efficient architecture put in place. It could be that you could do a perfectly excellent cost study of, say, four providers that would absolutely accurately capture the cost of those providers, and that would be good, but we don’t think that’s the optimal solution because we think the overall costs of the architecture to cover the country could be less if it was provided by a single integrated operator in terms of -- well, maybe I’ll just ask Simon-Pierre.

3280 So it’s not just the costs, say, of a static situation. What we’re looking for is we want to change that static, existing situation to a more efficient arrangement and then accurately cost that because we think there are about -- well, we think there are three ways of which a single centralized architecture would provide lower costs than having regional ILECs provide the service.

3281 Simon-Pierre, do you want to just quickly go through those three?

3282 MR. OLIVIER: Yeah. The realized cost study would fix the current issue with the existing ILEC tariff. But we don’t believe that the ILEC have any incentive to move forward fast with the transition to NG9-1-1. So having a centralized architecture with a centralized provider would bring -- it’s a better and a faster transition.

3283 And just before, talking about the costs, there are other efficiencies like true redundancy, as I said before. Today the TELUS database is not a backup for the Bell database. So there are advantages to build a centralized or national network. The 9-1-1 existing networks are great; they are working well. But we duplicate all the network elements in almost all the provinces.

3284 If I can give you an example, today Rogers is a national carrier. We interconnect with Bell Aliant to the 9-1-1 tandem in the Maritimes. We interconnect with Bell in Quebec, with Bell in Ontario, with MTS in Manitoba, with Saskatchewan, and with TELUS. We interconnect to about 30 different 9-1-1 tandems. It’s a lot. So having a centralized architecture just there, we would have a lot more efficiencies, less points of interconnection, and less costs, and probably as well a more consistent 9-1-1 services across the country for the end users.

3285 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So even if we did move forward with your proposal and establish a competitive bidding process for next-generation 9-1-1, you’d be of the view that since the existing 9-1-1 system is going to stay in place for several years, that a new cost study would be warranted just on the existing service?

3286 MR. WATT: Yes.

3287 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.

3288 MR. WATT: Most definitely.

3289 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Are you not at all concerned that by going through a competitive bid, that whoever is selected is going to put a price on this and not actually outline what their costs are to deliver the service? And the absence of a Commission cost study will a) not yield a lower rate, but b) be less transparent than the current situation?

3290 MR. WATT: well, this I guess comes back to the basic starting point of, I guess, market structures. We think of it as a competitive bid and that price is being set in a competitive market. And therefore, there’s no need to do a detailed cost study on the part of the Commission.

3291 If you’re of the view that -- and we think that would be the case if there were two or three bidders, whatever -- you raised the possibility of a single bidder and in that case I suggest that, well, it still might be a competitive bid because they would have thought other people were going to bid. Again, you would get a competitive outcome.

3292 But you have to believe in competitive markets to take this position. If you think that the competitive process is going to yield a higher price than is derived from a monopoly environment -- that would be the case where a single party was awarded the contract and then the price was set on the basis of a cost study -- it’s a sort of two opposing fundamental views here. And we dome down on the side of preferring exploring the competitive option.

3293 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do you have any concerns that by moving over to a competitive bid, that 9-1-1 is now going to be viewed by whoever the successful bidder is, that they’re going to view that as a new profit centre for their company versus a public-good, recover-our-costs, and provide-the-service model?

3294 MR. WATT: Well, certainly the bidder will be incorporating a rate of return on its invested money. They certainly will be attempting to make a profit on the service. But that’s not a bad thing. That could still -- still we would insist that paid lead to the lowest cost.

3295 But let’s look at the alternative. The alternative today -- the ILECs are operating -- their cost studies, when they were performed 18 years ago or whatever the price date was -- those cost studies would have included the allowed rate of return on equity that they -- even 18 years ago I think it was 11 percent. That would have been included in their cost studies. So again, there was a profit component, in the existing arrangement based, on the cost studies that were conducted 18 years ago.

3296 We’ve suggested that that profit now is higher than the 11 percent return on equity because of decreased costs over the years; that remains to be seen. And we definitely encourage you to have an updated study -- updated studies -- performed.

3297 But I think the mere existence of a profit motive, it exists in both scenarios. And a profit motive is not a bad thing in and of itself. I guess where you’re going as well -- not to put words in your mouth -- but the concern is the quality of service. Does that get compromised in the pursuit of profit in this case, which you certainly would -- you know, you just could not accept that in a 9-1-1 service. That would have to be dealt with through the request for proposal and the contract with the vendor to ensure to all extents possible that that did not happen.

3298 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: I don’t have a problem with people making money. It comes down to how much and what percentage that should be in relation to the capital outlay that's required. So -- and I confess, I don’t know whether the mark up in that cost study is 11 percent or 15 percent, but let's say it's somewhere in that range.

3299 If a provider was responding to an RFP and seeking a massive amount of capital to fund that build from the accountants in the finance department, what typical rate of return would they want to see on that type of outlay, and would it be higher than the percentage that we allow under the cost study?

3300 MR. WATT: I know you meant accountant in the finance department in the most positive manner.

3301 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Of course I did.

3302 MR. WATT: It's probably pretty clear from the answering here today that I'm not an engineer, I'm not a lawyer, but I am an economist accountant. So on this one, the concept is that the 11 percent return, say, that the ILECs were -- recorded in their cost study was to emulate a competitive return at that time. So you know, effectively, you're looking in that probably 11 to 13, 14 percent range at -- really, at most, this is -- you know, it would be a long-term contract, so there would certainly be a certainty of the revenue.

3303 And typically you're looking at trying to get a competitive rate of return and that's really the range you'd probably be looking at today. I'm going back to the old rate of return, rate base regulation days and effectively, you take the cost of debt and then you mark it up for the risk premium, and you got 11 percent at that time. You're probably -- that is what you would hope to achieve again.

3304 But again, it comes back to your fundamental approach, whether you want to try and derive that return through a competitive bid process in which you wouldn't necessarily have full insight into what exactly was the profit margin that they -- that the company had put into its bid versus the regulated approach where you would rely upon a cost study and have a very precise, distinct after-tax rate of return applied to the invested capital. They're two different models.

3305 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Two fundamentally different approaches?

3306 MR. WATT: They are, but the idea behind the 11 percent return on equity was that that would -- as close as a regulator could come to emulate what would have been a competitive outcome.

3307 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Should the RFI or the RFP -- should a requirement of that be that potential bidders have to provide some of their information or all of the information of what actually it will cost them to build and deliver that service? And if the answer to that question is yes, the follow-up is, should the consortium keep that confidential or make it public?

3308 MR. WATT: That really would be a hybrid scenario. It's not commonplace with RFPs today to do that.

3309 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. I think everyone knows that moving to NG9-1-1 is going to be expensive and the amount that it's going to cost is heavily dependent on what it looks like. So this is a bit of an unfair question, but we've asked it of others so I'll ask it of you.

3310 If you had to make an educated guess as to what the cost is going to be, if you want to compare it to the cost to provide current service, how much is it -- how much do you envision it increasing? Are we talking about a 50 percent increase over what's currently spent on 9-1-1, a 200 percent increase?

3311 MR. WATT: This won't be very helpful, but it's in line with what many of the other parties have said. We don’t know. It -- we don’t know what that cost would be. However, we can say that the cost of networks has been declining, and this is an IP network. It will be more efficient than the circuit switch network. Jim will correct me if I'm wrong here.

3312 A significant cost lies outside any type of expertise that we would have, and that is the cost to the PSAPs, the cost of the equipment at their stations, and that will not be insignificant. But as to a dollar figure, I can't provide you one.

3313 Jim, anything to add?

3314 MR. SMITH: No. I have nothing to add on that one.

3315 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do you have any thoughts on what the biggest cost drivers are actually going to be? If we can't put a dollar figure on it, what are going to be the big-line items?

3316 MR. WATT: I can take a first shot and my colleagues will correct me. But it -- well, you basically have your routers and you're going to have your transmission facilities. The 9-1-1 provider will have to have transmission facilities across the country. They'll have to link into the PSAPs and they'll have to have routing equipment to make sure that the calls get to the right place. That's on the network provider's side.

3317 And then you come to the PSAPs, and they will have to have the ability to receive the information in the digital format.

3318 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.

3319 MR. SMITH: I would -- elaborating on that, I think initial capital investment to establish the ESInet as defined in the NENA document, that would be a large chunk of the investment to begin with, and as David said, the integration of the PSAP infrastructure with that -- with the NG9-1-1 infrastructure.

3320 That being said, the initial voice service -- I think I said earlier about using media gateways -- media gateway is a common platform in modern telecommunications networks -- would be used in that case to move their voice circuits over to a media gateway that can then interface with the NG9-1-1 all-IP network. So that -- I think that mitigates that part of it, in terms of specific voice service that exists today.

3321 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: With respect to the RFP, what happens when the contract expires? Say it's a 5-year contract, 10-year contract, 20-year contract, do we -- or does the consortium start with a new document?

3322 MR. SLAWNER: What we envision is that first of all, the contract we anticipate would be very long, at least 10 years. And then secondly, what we do is have a -- the start of the renewal period would begin well in advance of the expiry date of the current contract, to three, four years in advance we would know exactly -- we'd start the process all over again to ensure there's continuity of service.

3323 And the last thing is, we would build in residual rights to equipment, so if a new provider -- so if the existing provider perhaps did not win the renewal, there would be rights by the consortium to get any key equipment as necessary that it could be transferred over. So it would all be built into the RFP process to ensure that there's always a continuous service for 9-1-1.

3324 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: If you're anticipating a long-term contract like that, is there very much value left in that equipment?

3325 MR. SLAWNER: It's possible not. It could be very likely that's it's all been amortized by the time the contract expires, and in which case, a new provider might just deploy new equipment. But we want to have at least the right if there is a key piece of equipment, to make sure that we can continue service without any hiccups.

3326 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do you envision any type of renewal clauses? Service is great. We've had no outages.

3327 MR. SLAWNER: We could build such a thing in. I mean, we'd have to periodically go back to RFP to keep the system fair, but we'd have to evaluate a renewal process. I think the consortium could look into that as to prepare the RFP.

3328 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Is there any concern that the costs may actually go up after the initial contract is -- expires? I’m thinking if there is one national provider that’s had a lock on the service and the industry for 10 years, they’re very entrenched. They may not be overly eager to sharpen their pencils and take a write-down. So they may not be as competitive after they’ve already got a lock on that business.

3329 MR. SLAWNER: Again, if we face a situation of problems in cost, then you would go back to an RFP process and reopen it to the market. And if there was this ability to have a good business here, we expect that other people would participate in the RFP. So I think the discipline of the market would keep it. David?

3330 MR. WATT: Well, again, I think you hit it right there in the last phrase. The discipline of the market, we would hope, would address that. And, you know, we face the same situation if you’re going with the current approach; presumably, you’d be looking at a new cost study.

3331 But this -- who’s to say that those costs are the lowest costs? Those would be the cost that would be provided to you, and you’d base your rate on those, but you don’t have any competitive discipline at that point imposed on those costs.

3332 MR. SMITH: Now, one of the other mechanisms you could use in terms of a long-term contract like that, any cost savings that may come about to the provider, we can write terms into the contract that, as a result of changes in technology, as a result of, you know, improvements in the base-infrastructure technology that’s being provided, that those cost savings can be passed on to the consortium. You can write that into the contract; that’s not untypical.

3333 MR. WATT: That’s right, Jim.

3334 Jim does this type of thing; he deals with the vendors. But certainly there are contracts where you sign, say, a five-year contract, you actually have built in during that time period -- you know what your prices are with certainty over the next five years. Year four you might have got a 10 percent reduction on what the cost of the equipment was in the first year of your contract. Those things are not -- those clauses are not unusual. They’re subject to the negotiation up front.

3335 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: What about potential cost increases over the life of the contract? If, say, year three a new service is anticipated that wasn’t envisioned in the initial RFP, or a particular province, for some reason decides to add an extra PSAPs for some reason and drives the overall costs higher, how do you see that working? Can the provider come back and say, “No, now we need more money”?

3336 MR. SMITH: Yeah, the nature of those increases would be in two cases, as you said. In terms of basic capacity requirements, because more PSAPS are more circuits -- or more data are circuits required, or larger data circuits are required, you can write those terms into a contract for base capacity -- units of capacity pricing and similar mechanisms to that.

3337 New service is a bit more difficult to deal with in that you don’t know what’s new right now when you write the contract. You don’t know what will be -- what will it look like in year eight of the contract and what will those new services -- I guess, again, my experience would be you write mechanisms into the contract to deal with that. To deal with those events, you may write something that says price can’t escalate by a certain amount for new services and new features.

3338 Whereas, on the capacity side, you can write in basic units of capacity pricing and how that capacity pricing might actually decrease over time, again, because as I said earlier, technology improvements over the term of the contract.

3339 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Who should pay for all of this what parties should be contributing? I think about -- I asked this question of Shaw earlier in the week. You know, it’s very simple today; there’s a -- the tariff structure is in place.

3340 In the future, I may contact the PSAP without ever dialing a telephone. So should internet service providers be forced to contribute? Should it just be a line item on the phone bill? What do you envision?

3341 MR. WATT: Our answer is very similar to Shaw’s answer. And consistent with the rollout that Jim described earlier. We see Voice as being the first product. We think, again, that costs would be recovered a fee based on telephone numbers, so the current regime.

3342 Then, as you start to introduce widespread text, again principally that is working off of telephone numbers today, you could again, for a certain period of time, leave it there.

3343 But then, ultimately, you’re getting into devices that do not have a telephone number, so into -- this may be old terminology, not discussed, but E-Num-type arrangements where there’s an identifier that allows you to place an internet-type transmission. You would have to, I think, include those. So it would be telephone number or equivalent in an IP world so you’re going to, basically, levy it on all of the access methods.

3344 So I think your other -- the question was, “Well, in that case, a person could be, in effect, paying twice.” This would be assuming that the -- you know, you could have an explicit change for the end user, a 9-1-1 fee or, as I think most of us do today, it’s included in all the costs and included in a base fee but, in effect, you would pay, for the sake of a number, 14 cents per month for a telephone number, then you’d also pay 14 cents per month for your internet access to the 9-1-1 service.

3345 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Is there any way to avoid that happening? I cited the example with Shaw that many households now may not just have one provider coming in. So my internet could be with Rogers; I could have a home phone with Bell Aliant. Neither provider would have visibility into what the other is providing but I, as a Canadian, don’t want to pay twice.

3346 MR. WATT: Well, I think there, you’re -- I’m not sure that you would be paying twice. Now, basically, if you have -- I think what you’re contemplating there is there are, just for sake of argument, 10 million telephone numbers, then you add another 10 million internet connections, you’re basically taking your total costs, now dividing by 20 million; you may be paying a telephone-related charge, an E-Num-related charge, but the sum of the two equals what you’re paying today with just a single unit of recovery, the Voice.

3347 And I don’t think you really need to ---

3348 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: I may be paying ---

3349 MR. WATT: It’s not an issue that half your services are taken from one company and half from the other company. In that way, in fact, it works -- it works that you’re per paying per unit whether you’re a Bell subscriber, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Videotron, whatever.

3350 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So I’d be paying seven cents on my phone, seven cents on my internet, but it still equals the same 14 cents, in your example? Okay.

3351 So Rogers is very big in the machine-to-machine business; you’re doing home monitoring, and potentially some other services as well. What are your thoughts on what type of telematics or notification we may want to look at?

3352 An example I cited earlier in the week is I’m sitting here; I think it would be great, if a smoke alarm went off at my house, for the fire trucks to automatically show up. Is there any specific types of information that you think we should be looking at there to incorporate into a next-generation 9-1-1 early in the system?

3353 MR. DUPUIS: Some examples that we may present would be telematic alarm systems, as you’ve mentioned, and perhaps facilities-monitoring sensors. Those are the only ones we can think of for the moment.

3354 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Do you think that information would need to go to the PSAP or could it go directly to the first responder? If my house is on fire I maybe don’t need an ambulance.

3355 MR. OLIVIER: In theory that is the -- probably a question for the PSAP. Would they like to receive all these calls from the machine? I’m not sure about that.

3356 From our standpoint, if we have services like home monitoring or OnStar with the car, usually you pay for that and you first reach an operator and then the operator, depending on the gravity of the -- or seriousness of the issue, will decide to call the PSAP from there. I don’t think we have a precise view as to whether or not it should reach the PSAP directly. It would bring a lot of risk and complexity. And again, I’m not sure the PSAPs would like to see that.

3357 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.

3358 MR. DUPUIS: It ---

3359 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Sorry, go ahead?

3360 MR. DUPUIS: Sorry, if I may add? Ultimately, I believe the PSAP will be better positioned to provide the input on that one as obviously they would have existing operating procedures on -- to use your example, your house is one fire. Should they only dispatch fire or also ambulance, perhaps? So these procedures are already existing at the PSAP level, and definitely they would be better-suited to decide whether one or the other should be used.

3361 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Some parties have suggested the idea of developing a 9-1-1 App. Do you have any thoughts on that given that you’re very big in the wireless business? What are your thoughts on the App on everyone’s smartphone?

3362 MR. WATT: I’ll ask Gerry to speak to that.

3363 MR. THOMPSON: Rogers sees a lot of potential benefits in a 9-1-1 App. But it must be developed with input from all stakeholders. And I’m thinking the major stakeholders here will be the PSAPs who receive the information, but also on a secondary basis, those responsible for privacy to ensure that privacy is met. So I’m thinking about something like ESWG or NENA.

3364 Also, the App, after it’s been created, must be administered. And that’s a perfect job for the consortium, to look after the administration of that App.

3365 There’s a lot of potential features that could be implemented within this App. You start off with basic static information like emergency contact information or just some call, ICE, case emergency, but also static health information. In my case, I’m allergic to penicillin. I’d want that information in it.

3366 It could become more sophisticated. With my consent as an end user, I could indicate in that App, which is protected by password on my smartphone, of course, who my family doctor is so an emergency ward can speak to that -- my doctor, get my medical background.

3367 Or taken another level, you have, in the case of Ontario, OHIP or health information number and they can get E-health records. So it enables a more continuous process for obtaining information in a quick process.

3368 Now, you may be wondering about updating of information. Well, the App could have timers within it that every 60 or 90 days, pick a good interval, that App would wake up and remind the end user or the owner, you know, to review the information and to see if it’s current to make that the static information was still correct or if it’s more dynamic information, that it’s correct.

3369 So overall it could be a big help. It’s important that we have the right stakeholders at the table to get their concerns into what goes into it.

3370 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So essentially a digital MedicAlert bracelet on steroids?

3371 MR. THOMPSON: Absolutely. And I’m thinking of a digital file folder or an information wallet, other ways to describe it.

3372 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And it would be the responsibility of the user to populate whatever information that they wanted?

3373 MR. THOMPSON: Absolutely. They’re are the best source of it. I see -- take all the information, yes. The user is the best source of that information. And like I say, if there is a concern about updating it, you have automatic reminders so the user will update it.

3374 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: How do see users being trained on the functionality of that App? Would that be the responsibility of Rogers Wireless when I walk in to buy my new iPhone at the store, that’s already preloaded with the App potentially?

3375 MR. THOMPSON: Correct, preloading App in their phone would be helpful. For consumer awareness there should be information within the App. It could be on each WSP’s website or even information from the consortium, which would source as information from the members, such as PSAPs, TSPs, et cetera. Remember, the PSAPs are the key recipient of this information, whether it’s primary, secondary, or I’m thinking downstream like emergency wards and hospitals may want to pull that information down.

3376 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: At times I can be quite lazy and I see a situation where I get my phone and I populate all of this information but then I never look at it again. And that information becomes stale. How would we mitigate against that?

3377 MR. THOMPSON: As I mentioned we’d, you know, put our heads together at the industry level to come up with creative ways to renew that information, like I mentioned, via a 60- or 90-day timer or X, 6 months, whatever a good value is that would politely encourage the end user to review and update that information.

3378 MR. SLAWNER: Also, I’d just add you could also have a “last updated” section so any emergency responder would know just how recent the information is so they know if it’s stale or not.

3379 And the last point I’d just like to make is voice, I think, for a long time will remain the primary means of contacting the emergency responders. So a lot of the information here is great if they’re unable to talk and explain the situation to the paramedics or the PSAPs. But still the primary means of calling for help would be just by talking to the operator.

3380 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And just so I’m clear, you would view whoever the wireless service provider is having some type of responsibility, when they sell that handset, to train the customer or at least inform them?

3381 MR. SLAWNER: Yeah. Well, these are all things I think the consortium would have to work out because you’ll have all kinds of issues. You can require it to be pre-loaded but what happens if somebody brings a phone from another country or they dig out an old phone from a drawer? Will they be then downloading it themselves?

3382 So I think there are a lot of issues around it that have to be worked out. I think having it pre-loaded is definitely an option, but there are some other issues we’d have to kind of work out to ensure that everybody is covered.

3383 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay, thank you.

3384 You mentioned in your intervention a couple of times that -- and again this morning -- that service providers should not be required to undertake the upgrades necessary to support NG9-1-1 until the PSAPs are actually ready to receive that information.

3385 Can you explain that to me a little bit? I would think that getting a head start and the providers implementing some of those changes would help deliver the service faster.

3386 MR. SLAWNER: Well, one of the benefits, we think, of the consortium is we can actually synchronize better. We can actually understand when the PSAPs will be ready and the TSPs could then ensure that they’re ready at that time. We’ve had situations in the past with TEXT with 9-1-1 where, you know, a lot of the TSPs were all ready -- years before a lot of the major PSAPs in this country were actually ready to use that information.

3387 So we think that it being synchronized would be better. It would be more efficient, more effective, and we could actually get everything deployed more quickly if we just worked together to doing it.

3388 I don’t know, Simon-Pierre, if you had any other comments to add?

3389 MR. OLIVIER: It will bring more consistent 9-1-1 service across Canada, again, for the end user. I’m talking about the end user because the end users are more nomadic and mobile. So if we have a common approach or a synchronized approach, and if we all spend the money at the same time over all the three, it will be more efficient. It’s -- go ahead, sorry.

3390 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: So you see your upgrades and the PSAPs’ upgrades happening in parallel? You’re not suggesting that the service providers just wait to get a notification from a given PSAP?

3391 MR. SLAWNER: No. I think the idea would be we work together and set a schedule together. So we do our upgrades at the same time they’re doing their upgrades so we’re all ready to deliver right about the same time.

3392 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And how long would the upgrades take, approximately?

3393 MR. SLAWNER: Well, we anticipate that to get just the current level of 9-1-1 service, a transition to the new network would be about three years.

3394 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay.

3395 MR. SLAWNER: Sorry ---

3396 MR. WATT: I think, actually, you may be coming to those questions later, but actually on the timing, Jim would like to speak to that.

3397 MR. SMITH: Yeah, sorry. Two things. First off, on the synchronization between the PSAP work and NG9-1-1 network, you know, one of the essences of this is end-to-end testing and verification of the service. And that requires that that’s truly end to end, and one end is the PSAPs, so I think the PSAP ready for NG9-1-1 is very critical.

3398 In terms of voice service, as I said earlier, one of the ways to assist with the synchronization and mitigate the risk of having one part of the end-to-end network in place is the use of media gateways to transfer existing voice circuits over to the NG9-1-1 network.

3399 In terms of timing, you know, based on our experience with the deployment of IP multimedia subsystems IMS services, we see 18 to 24 months during which the TSPs prepare their networks and integrate them with the new ESInet. And then that followed in the order of 12 months would be required for end-to-end service integration and testing with a further then 24 months after that to prepare and migrate PSAP infrastructure to an all-IP 9-1-1 service.

3400 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. Do you envision any problems with respect to equipment availability? I don't know, is there a very limited number of equipment vendors out there to support this? Are we going to be waiting for Cisco to deliver a bunch of switches?

3401 MR. SMITH: No, actually, I don’t think so. We look at benchmarking vendors with some of our industry partners and in terms of IMS infrastructure, which is -- it's largely what NG9-1-1 is based on -- there are many, many equipment vendors for this infrastructure.

3402 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay. You noted that timing was of the essence and that the transition should be as short as possible, obviously without sacrificing quality of service or anything like that. Do we need to set a sunset date for the existing 9-1-1 services as a incentive to push everyone along?

3403 MR. SMITH: Well, we foresee it would take about three years to actually have the next-generation 9-1-1 network implemented, and then we foresee about a two-year migration period. So we think that at about year five we'd likely be in a position to have the old network sunsetted, as you put it. I mean, things could slip, obviously, but we think that's about the right timetable.

3404 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay, thank you.

3405 Lucky you, you answered my next series of questions already, so I'll -- I just have one final one before I hand you back over to my colleagues.

3406 Do you have any experience in your operations with respect to inclusive design and do you have any thoughts or best practices on how this should be designed and implemented to address the needs of Canadians with disabilities?

3407 MR. SLAWNER: Well, the next-generation 9-1-1 network will be all IP based. The -- all the new services that are going to come along, whether they're based on audio or video, will provide a lot more opportunities, provide services for people with disabilities. So we think that once this network is implemented, the actual ability for people with disabilities to communicate with the 9-1-1 system will actually improve dramatically.

3408 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: And those are my questions. I will -- oh, sorry, go ahead.

3409 MR. WATT: Well, I was just going to say -- and I should have got in before the last question, but just picking on the timeframe and the sunset question, Jim has kept referring to media gateways, and that's a device that allows the current circuit switch to translate it and interface with IP and vice versa.

3410 It's not clear to us the 2028 timeframe that's been suggested by some of the current providers, whether that timeframe is based on the fact that there may be certain PSAPs who are constrained, in terms of their funding, their ability to move to IP technology. A media gateway would provide the ability for them actually to retain their current operation but still interface with the new NG9-1-1 central architecture, in which case, you could sunset the other -- the current network.

3411 So it's a way -- it's sort of a hybrid to maybe address the concern. We may not fully understand the concerns behind their 2028 date, but we think that's a principal one and we think it can be addressed through a media gateway.

3412 MR. SMITH: Yeah, so you know, an existing example is that today we interface with the legacy 9-1-1 tandem switches from the ILECs. Those circuits all terminate on media gateways in our all IP core network, for example, for our wireless network.

3413 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Thank you. I'll spare you my Columbo impression, but now just one more thing.

3414 Who should fund those gateways? Should that be the responsibility of the PSAP or should it be the responsibility of let's just say the ILEC because with the establishment of a gateway, it might enable them to shut down the current 9-1-1 system sooner?

3415 MR. WATT: We think it should be the ILEC.

3416 COMMISSIONER MacDONALD: Okay, thank you very much. Those are my questions.

3417 THE CHAIRMAN: I just have a question concerning your RFI RFP proposal. Do you believe that 9-1-1 services are critical infrastructure from a national security perspective?

3418 MR. WATT: I would say yes.

3419 THE CHAIRMAN: So earlier you were having discussion with my colleague about perhaps foreign entities potentially being bidders in this process. My experience when I was at Treasury Board and certainly in government for a number of years, there would be seriously important considerations weighed to bring in the national security exception to some of our public -- general public tendering rules on something that is critical infrastructure from a national security perspective.

3420 So I was a bit surprised of your answer suggesting that perhaps a foreigner would -- foreign entity -- would be perhaps managing our critical infrastructure.

3421 MR. WATT: Well, if it is an absolute no under current law, current rules, then clearly, that would not be feasible. But if it is permissible with appropriate safeguards and contractual terms, then we think we should pursue it.

3422 THE CHAIRMAN: You see, I know how to address those issues when it's a government-led public tendering process, but your consortium idea is a bit outside the public realm in some respects; is it not?

3423 MR. WATT: Well, it would be. It may be that you've identified the need for another stakeholder in the consortium, like explicit government participation from that perspective.

3424 THE CHAIRMAN: I guess we'll have to reflect a little bit more on that, and perhaps we could ---

3425 MR. WATT: Well, we're ---

3426 THE CHAIRMAN: --- you can help us with that in the next stages.

3427 MR. WATT: We're both reflecting at this time.

3428 THE CHAIRMAN: Yeah, before we get ---

3429 MR. WATT: Candid.

3430 THE CHAIRMAN: Appreciate that. Thank you.

3431 I believe legal may have some questions?

3432 MR. BOWLES: Yes, thank you, Mr. Chair.

3433 I just have a few questions for you. I'll try to be as brief as I can.

3434 At the beginning of your presentation this morning, you suggested that built into your RFI RFP process there could be this -- as you termed it -- an off ramp in the event that no suitable bid would be received. Who would be making the determination as to whether a suitable bid had or had not been tendered?

3435 MR. WATT: The consortium.

3436 MR. BOWLES: The consortium itself?

3437 MR. WATT: Now, I guess having said that, we indicated that the consortium would make a -- on this case, I was going to say is, it could be the case that the consortium thought they had an appropriate bid, but as we mentioned, that bid or a successful bidder would go to the CRTC and maybe for whatever reason, if the CRTC decided contrary to what the consortium thinks, we don’t think so, then you would exercise the off ramp.

3438 So I guess the better answer would be potentially two off ramps, one at the consortium selection time and then another at the CRTC approval of the consortium selection.

3439 MR. BOWLES: And this forwarding, if I can permit myself to use that term -- of the bid to the Commission for its approval would all be provided for in the section 29 agreements that ---

3440 MR. SLAWNER: Yes.

3441 MR. BOWLES: Yes. On that topic, section 29 agreements -- sorry, the agreements that are subject to section 29 -- are only agreements that are between a Canadian carrier and another carrier. But the consortium that you contemplate would involve a bunch of entities that are not carriers.

3442 Do you perceive a gap in Commission oversight given that any agreement that involves a non-carrier TSP is not captured within section 29?

3443 MR. SLAWNER: What we envision is to have -- the TSPs would form the base of the consortium and we would explain in the shareholder agreement what exactly the terms would be for the non-TSPs to join the consortium, and that shareholder agreement would be provided to the Commission for approval. So, indirectly, you would know the terms of the involvement of the non-TSPs.

3444 MR. BOWLES: Okay, but there would be no enforcement mechanism that the Commission could exercise if there’s a breach within one of those agreements, within an agreement that involves a non-carrier TSP?

3445 MR. SLAWNER: No, the consortium at that point would have to enforce its own rules under the auspices of the shareholder agreement. We would basically be enforcing on the Commission’s behalf.

3446 MR. BOWLES: In your submissions, if I recall correctly, you indicated that the consortium would essentially prepare the constated documents, like the shareholders agreement, and then submit those for approval?

3447 MR. SLAWNER: Yes.

3448 MR. BOWLES: Is there a little of a chicken and an egg problem here? How is the consortium established to create its constating documents?

3449 MR. SLAWNER: Yeah, so what we envision is there would be some lead participants who would take the initiative to create the consortium, and create the terms of reference, and the constating documents, as you put it, and then we would use -- provide that to the Commission for its approval and then incorporate the remaining parties.

3450 MR. BOWLES: Okay.

3451 MR. OLIVIER: And we do have many precedents here in Canada. The Canadian Olympic Consortium, Canadian Numbering Administrator, CTCC, Commissioner of Complaints. So I think we would be able to do something like that.

3452 MR. BOWLES: Okay. In your presentation this morning, you mentioned that the NG9-1-1 network provider would qualify as a telecommunications common carrier for the purposes of the Act.

3453 As you know, the Commission is tasked with ensuring, absent forbearance, that every rate charged for a telecom service is just and reasonable and, further that there’s a prohibition on the offering of telecom services otherwise in accordance with the Commission-approved tariff. Can you explain to the Commission how it is that your proposal conforms to these statutory requirements?

3454 MR. SLAWNER: I believe, on Monday, Shaw explained that under section 46.1, .2, and .3 that they could charge rates for providing the service. So we think that would be a very clean and simple solution for it to actually charge the fees necessary.

3455 I supposed if there were any concerns about using section 46, it would still be possible to have a tariff; the tariff would just be based upon what the RFP cost would be, perhaps some other administrative costs involved. We wouldn’t have to go through a cost study; it would just be the tariff could be implemented and then the NG9-1-1 provider could charge other carriers.

3456 MR. BOWLES: But given that the Commission can’t fetter its authority under section 27 when absent forbearance, how would a bid be tendered and approved if the ultimate rates to be charged would then be subject to Commission approval, which might not correspond with the rate that would have been established through the RFP process just by itself.

3457 MR. SLAWNER: I'm not sure I’m following here. So what we envision is that there will be an RFP process.

3458 MR. BOWLES: M’hm.

3459 MR. SLAWNER: The RFP process would set how much the cost would be. We would then understand how much we have to charge the ultimate end user based upon the number of telephone numbers or equivalents. So through that process, we would understand exactly how much should be charged.

3460 So either you do it through section 46.3 or, if necessary, you could then have a tariff under section 25 that would basically collect those revenues.

3461 MR. BOWLES: Assuming that the Commission would agree with the revenues before ---

3462 MR. SLAWNER: Exactly. Once the RFP would be there, they would approve the RFP so they would understand exactly how much money needs to be collected from everybody, and then you can determine exactly what the per-telephone-number equivalent fee would be. So I think either avenue is possible.

3463 MR. BOWLES: Okay. Just a few extra questions.

3464 If the Commission were to accept -- or, sorry, if the Commission were to accept a model, whether it be through the consortium proposal or otherwise, to have a single nationwide NG9-1-1 provider, would your organization be interested?

3465 MR. SLAWNER: We would be interested in bidding?

3466 MR. BOWLES: Yeah.

3467 MR. SLAWNER: Yeah, as we explained earlier, that we would evaluate the criteria and, if we were in a position to bid, we would bid.

3468 MR. BOWLES: Now, you mentioned earlier that you, or any other entity, would likely have to lease facilities under a national NG9-1-1 scenario. Are all the facilities that would be required, that -- if we take you as an example, are all the facilities that you would require, are they available from other providers on a mandated basis, or are there facilities that would have to be obtained through commercial agreements?

3469 MR. SLAWNER: I think most of it would be done through commercial agreements. I’ll ask Simon-Pierre to discuss the mandatory ---

3470 MR. OLIVIER: The mandatory portion?

3471 MR. SLAWNER: Yeah.

3472 MR. OLIVIER: Yeah, if -- the connection with the PSAP is obviously essential, and all these transmission facilities, for example, the IP facilities or internet or DS3 or DS1, were all forborne in Decision 2008-17.

3473 One idea that we got is that if we have 100 PSAPs, let’s say, in Canada, and we need connectivity, IP connectivity, to these PSAPs, one way of doing it is maybe to re-regulate just this route to be provided by the ILEC on a mandated basis, cost-based, to the NG9-1-1 provider. That could be one option to resolve that problem.

3474 MR. BOWLES: Which would require a whole new process, a whole new proceeding to determine whether forbearance should be rescinded on those routes?

3475 MR. WATT: And I think -- does it not really come down to you need, sort of, an Ethernet pipe into a PSAP? It might be quite a remote PSAP, so we’re talking about the last mile.

3476 And I think that is the issue in that you would want -- you know, if you were unable to reach a commercial, yes, you would probably have to change the regime and then rely upon the designation of 9-1-1 as a public good, and then have -- that particular type of facility used for 9-1-1 purpose, deemed to be, I guess, an essential facility and a 15 percent markup applied, something of that nature.

3477 Now, we listened to the discussion with Shaw and so I think that really is the situation you have in mind, that there is a location where it’s not easy to duplicate or put in a facility of your own, and it’s not a high-capacity facility, so you would want recourse under proper terms to a facility that’s already into that location.

3478 MR. BOWLES: Okay, one last question. Some of the ILECs have submitted that two tariffs should be applicable during the transition to NG9-1-1. Obviously, under their models, they would continue on as the providers for the NG9-1-1 network. And they’re suggesting that, at least for the time being, you would have two parallel tariffs, one for the access to the existing 9-1-1 network and one for the NG9-1-1 network.

3479 Assuming, for the purposes of this question, that the Commission doesn’t accept the consortium proposal and maintains a requirement on the ILECs to operate an NG9-1-1 network, should both those tariffs be applied? Should those tariffs be applied to both the -- sorry, should both tariffs continue to be applied to both the wholesale and the ILECs retail customers regardless of the network that that customer, be it wholesale customer or resale customer, is accessing? In other words, should someone be subject to both tariffs?

3480 MR. WATT: Well, I think in that circumstance I believe the answer -- people will correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the answer is, yes, there are costs being incurred on both sides once the NG9-1-1 goes into operation and you have your transition period. However, the cost of the legacy network, because the traffic is being offloaded to the NG9-1-1 network, those costs should be reduced.

3481 Now, we’ve spoken earlier about there being a new cost study for the existing infrastructure. This is -- it’s a complexity that -- that is -- not sure if you could build it into that cost study. What we're really looking at is the new cost study would remain valid for the five-year period. Then once your -- as we spoke a little earlier, once or when you start migrating traffic over, you're going to have the -- the cost structure of the Legacy is changing. But do you want to have that changed cost structure in say Year 4 or 5 impact the fee starting rate in Year 1? It's the issue I'm wrestling with.

3482 In following -- what I'm saying here, basically saying that as traffic moves over to the new network, the cost of the old should decline. Therefore, one shouldn't be too worried about paying the two fees or costs on both sides. So they're going to be recovered.

3483 But I think then you need a cost study for the Legacy network, maybe a new cost study over four years when you're starting to do this transition. We've also suggested a new cost study right now because the current one is 18 years old and we think we're paying too much and the complexity in my mind at least is can you deal with both of those circumstances in one cost study or do you need two.

3484 I think you need two because if you say I'm going to do a 10-year study, then you're going to have your traffic forecasts going down say in years 4, 5, 6. We would suggest you could sunset it probably around then but if you do that all in one cost study, it's going to impact the rate that we'd actually be paying in the first year and I don’t know if you want to do that because it's their sort of normalized rates. The same rate applies for the time period.

3485 MR. BOWLES: I apologize. I probably didn't formulate the question as clearly as I could. I was more looking at it from the customer perspective.

3486 So if we take Rogers as an example and assume that Rogers is obtaining wholesale 9-1-1 services from ILEC "x", if Rogers the totality of its traffic has migrated over to the NG network, would it be appropriate for it to still be levied both the charge under the NG tariff and the existing tariff?

3487 MR. WATT: So if all our traffic had gone over to NG, the problem I'm having is that -- that's what we talked about earlier. We have a wireless customer and he's in a location where PSAP is transferred over but he also could travel to a place where the Legacy network was still being used, so to have them not pay anything for Legacy, I don’t know. I need to think about that.

3488 MR. BOWLES: Okay. Can you provide some comments on that in the form of an undertaking?

3489 MR. WATT: Yes.

3490 UNDERTAKING

3491 MR. BOWLES: By January 24th, please.

3492 MR. WATT: Yes.

3493 MR. BOWLES: Thank you very much. Those are all my questions, Mr. Chair.

3494 THE CHAIRMAN: Just to build on the conversation you just had about the need to get somebody to get the ball rolling were we to agree with your position that there should be a consortium, would Rogers volunteer to be that initiator?

3495 MR. WATT: Yes, we would.

3496 THE CHAIRMAN: And you would carry the cost of that internally?

3497 MR. WATT: I think what was done in the CCTS circumstance and this was almost the exact same circumstance, it took maybe six months to get the constating documents all prepared and signed, and so on and so forth. I believe a number -- just being one that paid the cost upfront and then the costs were recovered from the fee structure that was set up for the consortium going forward. So in other words, it was a prepayment.

3498 THE CHAIRMAN: Right. So the answer to my question is no, you aren’t willing to absorb those costs. You would want to recover them from the consortium.

3499 MR. WATT: That's correct. We would be willing to initially fund the money so that the documents could be prepared but then we would look to recover the costs in the manner that was agreed upon by the consortium.

3500 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Thank you very much. Those are our questions.

3501 We'll adjourn until 11:35. Thank you.

--- Upon recessing at 11:24 a.m.

--- Upon resuming at 11:36 a.m.

3502 LE PRÉSIDENT: À l'ordre, s'il vous plaît.

3503 Madame la secrétaire.

3504 LA SECRÉTAIRE: Merci.

3505 Nous entendrons maintenant la présentation de Québecor Média et Vidéotron. S'il vous plaît vous présenter. Je crois qu'il vous manque quelqu'un. Ah, il s'en vient.

3506 Donc s'il vous plaît vous présenter et vous avez 20 minutes pour votre présentation.

PRESENTATION

3507 M. BÉLAND: Merci.

3508 Monsieur le président, Monsieur le vice-président, Madame la conseillère, Messieurs les conseillers, bonjour. Je m'appelle Dennis Béland et je suis vice-président, Affaires réglementaires, Télécommunications de Québecor Média.

3509 Permettez-moi de vous présenter les collègues qui m’accompagnent aujourd’hui.

3510 À ma gauche, il s’agit de Pierre Roy Porretta, vice-président, Ingénierie, Programme IPTV et jusqu’à tout récemment vice-président, Ingénierie, Recherche et Développement de Vidéotron.

3511 À la gauche de Pierre, il s’agit de Siân Morgan, directeur principal, Technologies Voix et Transport de Vidéotron. Et à la gauche de Siân, il s’agit de Jean Lachance, directeur principal, Opérations, Réseaux, Applications et Services de Vidéotron.

3512 À ma droite se trouve Patrick Désy, conseiller principal, Affaires réglementaires, Télécommunications de Québecor Média.

3513 Je passe maintenant la parole à Pierre qui commencera notre présentation.

3514 M. ROY PORRETTA: Merci, Dennis, et merci au Conseil de nous offrir l’opportunité de vous présenter de vive voix nos points de vue sur les importantes questions soulevées par la présente audience.

3515 Comme le Conseil le sait, Vidéotron opère à la fois un réseau de télécommunication filaire et un réseau de télécommunication sans fil à travers le Québec et dans certains endroits de l’est de l’Ontario.

3516 La qualité et la fiabilité du service 9-1-1 sont des composantes essentielles de ces deux réseaux et nous sommes engagés à atteindre les normes les plus élevées à ces égards.

3517 En tant qu’opérateur ayant une expertise considérable tant dans les services filaires que dans le sans fil, Vidéotron soutient sans réserve la transition vers des services de prochaine génération 9-1-1 au Canada basés sur la norme NENA i3.

3518 Cette transition vers un réseau 9-1-1 moderne complètement IP est importante et inévitable.

3519 Le point de départ de cette transition est l’acquisition et la mise en service d’un nouveau cœur de réseau 9-1-1 complètement IP, communément désigné dans la documentation NENA i3 comme étant un "Emergency Services IP network" ou ESInet.

3520 Dennis abordera plus tard la question à savoir s’il devrait y avoir un ou plusieurs ESInets au Canada, mais traitons en premier lieu de l’intégration d’un ESInet dans le système canadien de télécommunication.

3521 Vidéotron est d’avis qu’une telle intégration représente une tâche complexe, mais néanmoins réalisable. Une partie du défi viendra du fait que toutes les plateformes de télécommunication actuellement en opération ne seront pas en mesure de se connecter directement au ESInet le premier jour.

3522 Des plateformes plus récentes axées sur la technologie IP, comme celles employant la norme "Session Initiation Protocol", ou SIP, pourront se connecter plus rapidement que des plateformes traditionnelles employant la commutation de circuits.

3523 C’est une réalité que la communauté d’architectes 9-1-1 connaît bien et qui est bien intégrée à la norme NENA i3, notamment grâce à l’utilisation de passerelles pour des plateformes traditionnelles.

3524 Soulignons que les centres d’appels de la sécurité publique, les CASP, seront eux aussi confrontés à ces défis d’intégration. En effet, les CASP disposant de capacités IP seront en mesure de s’intégrer plus rapidement que ceux utilisant des plateformes traditionnelles.

3525 Ces complexités ne sont pas insurmontables. Comme nous l’avons déjà mentionné, elles sont bien connues de la communauté d’architectes 9-1-1. Elles nous font cependant réaliser à quel point nous devons être raisonnables quant à nos attentes au cours des premières années de transition.

3526 Chez Vidéotron, nous croyons qu'il sera important que toutes les parties concernées, les fournisseurs de services de télécommunication, les FST, les CASP et l’opérateur du ESInet concentrent dès les premières années leurs efforts et leur attention au succès de la transition des technologies de voix existantes vers la nouvelle plateforme NENA i3. Une fois cette transition en grande partie terminée, ces parties concernées pourront ensuite porter leur attention à l’intégration d’autres moyens de communication.

3527 Le nouveau moyen de communication le plus susceptible d’être intégré à la plateforme NENA i3 sera la messagerie. À notre avis, la façon la plus efficiente et efficace d’intégrer la messagerie à cette plateforme afin de l’offrir à l’ensemble de la population sera d’utiliser le protocole Rich Communication Services (RCS).

3528 Le RCS est un protocole basé entièrement sur la technologie IP qui fait actuellement l’objet d’une expansion rapide parmi les opérateurs sans fil de la planète. Il est en voie de devenir le standard non seulement pour les services de messagerie au sein des réseaux sans fil, mais aussi pour une variété d’autres services évolués au sein de ces réseaux.

3529 En ce qui concerne les services autres que la voix et la messagerie, nous partageons l’opinion exprimée par de nombreux intervenants à cette instance en vertu de laquelle le jour viendra où les Canadiens seront en mesure d’envoyer des photos, des vidéos et possiblement d’autres données au cours d’un appel 9‑1‑1. En effet, la facilitation de l’envoi de tels contenus est l’un des avantages explicites d’une transition vers un réseau 9‑1‑1 IP de bout en bout.

3530 Nous sommes toutefois d’avis qu’il est prématuré à ce stade-ci de spéculer sur l’identité des moyens de communication additionnels qui seront intégrés ainsi que le moment de leur intégration. Nous estimons qu’il est préférable d’identifier les différents critères qui permettront, le moment venu, d’évaluer le bien-fondé de l’intégration de moyens de communication additionnels spécifiques.

3531 Premièrement, il faut s’assurer que tout nouveau moyen de communication intégré au réseau 9‑1‑1 de prochaine génération soit basé sur le protocole IP.

3532 Deuxièmement, tout nouveau moyen de communication devra être normalisé tant au niveau du réseau que des appareils. Nous devrions privilégier les standards réseaux universels, et toute fonctionnalité permettant d’utiliser un nouveau moyen de communication devrait être préinstallée sur les appareils des utilisateurs.

3533 Troisièmement, il faudra s’assurer qu’un nombre critique de CASP soit en mesure de recevoir et de traiter un nouveau moyen de communication avant que celui-ci soit intégré au ESInet par les FST.

3534 Monsieur le Président, avant de rendre la parole à mon collègue, j’aimerais formuler certains commentaires d’ordre général sur le rôle que les FST auront à jouer dans l’environnement 9‑1‑1 de prochaine génération et sur la protection de la vie privée dans cet environnement.

3535 Pour Vidéotron, le rôle du FST en ce qui concerne le traitement des appels 9‑1‑1, que ce soit aujourd’hui ou dans le futur, comprend essentiellement trois aspects. Le premier, authentifier l’identité de l’appelant; le deuxième, déterminer le positionnement de l’appelant; et le troisième, transmettre l’appel au réseau 9‑1‑1.

3536 Nous n’anticipons pas que les FST auront un rôle à jouer dans l’hébergement, la validation ou encore le traitement des nouveaux contenus numériques transmis par un appelant lors d’un appel 9‑1‑1. Pour donner un exemple concret, lorsqu’il sera possible pour nos abonnés d’envoyer des photos aux CASP, nous ne prévoyons ni héberger, ni valider, ni manipuler ces photos. Notre rôle se limitera uniquement à les transmettre au réseau 9‑1‑1.

3537 Toutes les questions de confidentialité et de protection de la vie privée concernant le traitement et la conservation d’une photo transmise par un FST lors d’un appel 9‑1‑1 relèveront strictement de la relation entre l’appelant et le CASP, et ce, comme il se doit.

3538 M. BÉLAND: Monsieur le Président, nous aimerions maintenant aborder une série de questions concernant la mise en place du ESInet, le recouvrement des coûts et le rôle du Conseil en la matière.

3539 Pour des raisons de principe, Vidéotron considère que l’exploitation du réseau 9‑1‑1 de prochaine génération ne devrait pas relever des compagnies de téléphone titulaires uniquement parce qu’elles opèrent déjà le réseau 9‑1‑1 traditionnel. Étant donné que la concurrence existe dans pratiquement toutes les sphères de l’industrie des télécommunications – que ce soit dans le domaine filaire ou celui du sans-fil – nous devrions nous donner comme objectif de départ d’identifier un opérateur de réseau 9-1-1 indépendant.

3540 Vidéotron est d’avis que le Conseil devrait considérer avec sérieux l’utilisation d’un appel d’offres afin de sélectionner l’opérateur de réseau 9‑1‑1 de prochaine génération le plus compétent et le plus efficace.

3541 Nous faisons remarquer qu’il existe un modèle du genre qui fonctionne bien et qui a permis d’acquérir sur une base complètement neutre du point de vue de la concurrence une plateforme utilisée actuellement par l’ensemble de l’industrie des télécommunications au Canada, à savoir la plateforme servant à la transférabilité des numéros de téléphone.

3542 Suivant ce modèle, un consortium pourrait être créé afin de préparer un appel d’offres et ultimement conclure une entente contractuelle avec le fournisseur retenu pour opérer le nouveau ESInet. Tous les FST qui génèrent des appels 9‑1‑1 seraient obligés d’adhérer au consortium et de s’interconnecter au ESInet par le biais d’une condition de service imposée en vertu de l’article 24 de la Loi sur les télécommunications.

3543 La surveillance par le Conseil des activités du consortium – notamment celles ayant trait au processus d’appel d’offres – pourrait se faire sous l’égide de la condition imposée en vertu de l’article 24 de la Loi, ou encore de l’entente cadre du consortium approuvée par le Conseil en vertu de l’article 29 de la Loi.

3544 Dans le cadre de son rôle de surveillance, le Conseil pourrait également spécifier que l’organisme habileté à définir les caractéristiques techniques du ESInet demeure le Groupe de travail Services d'urgence du CDCI, et qu’il revient à ce dernier de décider du moment et de la façon par laquelle les nouveaux moyens de communication pourront être intégrés au réseau 9‑1‑1 de prochaine génération.

3545 De plus, contrairement à l’opérateur de la plateforme servant à la transférabilité des numéros de téléphone, l’opérateur du nouveau ESInet serait considéré à titre d’entreprise de télécommunication, et ce, en raison du fait qu’il exploite des installations de transmission reliant sa plateforme aux CASP. Cela donnerait au Conseil le pouvoir supplémentaire d’étudier et d’approuver les tarifs de l’opérateur du ESInet, si le Conseil l’estime nécessaire.

3546 Vidéotron est convaincu qu’un processus d’appel d’offres piloté par un consortium indépendant, tel que nous venons de le décrire, constituerait un moyen efficace et équitable de choisir l’opérateur du nouveau ESInet. Nous croyons par ailleurs qu’il serait préférable d’établir un seul ESInet national plutôt que plusieurs ESInet régionaux, et ce, en raison des économies d’échelle potentielles. Cela dit, nous ne sommes pas dogmatiques quant à ce dernier point.

3547 En ce qui concerne les affirmations des entreprises de services locaux titulaires (les ESLT) à l’effet qu’elles possèdent des avantages inhérents à l’opération d’un réseau 9‑1‑1 de prochaine génération et que, ce faisant, c’est à elles que doit revenir la gestion des ESInet régionaux, nous croyons que le Conseil doit examiner ces dires avec précaution.

3548 Essentiellement, les ESLT affirment qu’elles possèdent une connaissance de base et des relations bien établies quant à l’opération d’un réseau 9‑1‑1, et qu’il existe des synergies importantes entre l’opération de réseaux 9‑1‑1 traditionnels et de prochaine génération. Les titulaires font référence notamment à la réutilisation des installations d’interconnexion IP récemment mises en service, et à la simplification des activités de transition entre les anciens et les nouveaux réseaux grâce à l’existence d’un point de contact unique.

3549 Au final, nous sommes d’avis que le Conseil devrait envisager d’accorder la gestion des ESInet régionaux aux ESLT seulement s’il est convaincu, en se fondant sur les éléments de preuve présentés lors de cette instance, qu’il en résulterait des économies substantielles et des efficiences opérationnelles importantes qui dépassent celles atteignables via un processus d’appel d’offres.

3550 Et si c’est effectivement le cas, il sera impératif que ces économies et ces gains d’efficience bénéficient à l’ensemble des entreprises concurrentes quand viendra le moment pour le Conseil d’approuver les tarifs des ESLT pour le réseau 9-1-1 de prochaine génération et de revoir les tarifs des ESLT pour le réseau 9-1-1 de dernière génération.

3551 Nous conclurons justement notre exposé en traitant de la question de la structure tarifaire. Quel que soit le mode de sélection de l’opérateur du réseau 9-1-1 de prochaine génération, Vidéotron recommande que le recouvrement des coûts demeure basé à moyen terme sur le nombre de numéros de téléphone actifs (filaires ou sans fil) appartenant à chaque FST. Notre recommandation repose sur le fait que tous les appels qui transigeront jusqu’à moyen terme sur le réseau 9-1-1 sont susceptibles de provenir de services utilisant un numéro de téléphone.

3552 Le moment viendra peut-être dans le futur où il sera possible d’effectuer des appels sur le réseau 9-1-1 à partir de services dépourvus de numéros de téléphone. Si c’est le cas, la question du recouvrement des coûts reliés à ces services pourra alors être réexaminée.

3553 Nous vous remercions de votre attention et nous sommes maintenant prêts à répondre à vos questions.

3554 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci.

3555 Par rapport à ce dernier point, lorsque vous parlez du moyen terme, est-ce que vous pouvez le définir un peu plus, d’une façon un peu plus précise?

3556 M. BÉLAND: Quand on parle de moyen terme, on envisage une période de deux à trois ans pour implanter/activer le nouveau réseau 9-1-1.

3557 Suite à cette activation initiale du réseau, on prévoit quand même une certaine période de transition pour que l’ensemble des CASP, notamment, s’interconnecte à ce réseau, vraisemblablement une période de deux ans additionnels.

3558 À notre avis, le nombre de défis qu’on a accumulés déjà durant cette période de trois ans plus deux ans est assez significatif. C’est rendu là où notre recommandation serait de partir l’examen de la possibilité d’ajouter d’autres moyens de communication.

3559 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc si on ajoute à ça la période décisionnelle du Conseil, peut-être les périodes d’appel qui vont durer peut-être une période de temps, plus les trois cinq ans que vous ajoutez et puis l’instance que vous voulez créer après, le moyen terme, dans votre définition, pourrait prendre huit à dix ans à partir d’aujourd’hui?

3560 M. BÉLAND : Non, parce qu’il y a quand même certaines choses qui pourraient se faire en parallèle. On peut imaginer, disons, que le nouveau réseau est activé après trois ans. On est en période de transition de l’interconnexion des CASP. La discussion des prochains de communication pourrait être engagée au sein du ESWG, par exemple, durant cette période-là. Donc c’est pas nécessairement si long que vous dites.

3561 LE PRÉSIDENT: Bon, comme j’ai dit pour les autres, j’ai une série de questions. À prime à bord, ça parait être du coq à l’âne, mais c’est la nature de la chose. Il y a beaucoup d’enjeux qui flottent. Donc je vais essayer de vous définir le domaine dans lequel je pose des questions pour mieux cibler des réponses.

3562 Tout d’abord, j’aimerais parler des enjeux de gouvernance. J’aimerais mieux cerner la motivation pour vous de proposer cette notion d’un consortium pour opérer le réseau.

3563 Des observateurs pourraient penser que c’est peut-être tout simplement une variation sur une confrontation continue entre vous et les fournisseurs traditionnels comme Bell. D’autres pourraient penser que c’est tout simplement pour réduire vos coûts ou les coûts de vos abonnés.

3564 C’est quoi votre véritable motivation?

3565 M. BÉLAND: Premièrement, dans le domaine du 9-1-1, il n’y a pas de situation de confrontation entre Vidéotron et Bell. Comme d’autres intervenants l’ont déjà dit, le système 9-1-1 actuel fonctionne bien. Nous n’avons pas de critique spécifique à lancer à l’égard de Bell, notre titulaire, à ce sujet-là.

3566 Donc notre motivation c’est véritablement une croyance qu’on vit dans une industrie... on opère dans une industrie concurrentielle à peu près à tous les niveaux et notre croyance qu’un processus d’appel d’offres dans un tel environnement concurrentiel est susceptible de produire la solution la moins couteuse et la plus efficace.

3567 LE PRÉSIDENT: Dois-je comprendre donc, contrairement à Rogers, vous n’avez pas de préoccupation par rapport à ce que le tarif actuel est juste et raisonnable?

3568 M. BÉLAND: Non, j’ai dit qu’il n’y a pas de situation conflictuelle entre Vidéotron et Bell au niveau opérationnel, mais au niveau tarifaire, nous sommes d’accord avec Rogers que, à notre avis, ce qu’on paie actuellement pour le réseau traditionnel est probablement exagéré et on serait 100 pourcent en faveur d’une révision du coût de livraison du réseau actuel.

3569 LE PRÉSIDENT: Alors si votre argumentaire est basé qu’on devrait aller vers un consortium parce que dans l’ensemble du système de la télécommunication, on semble aller de plus en plus... évidemment pas de plus en plus, carrément à travers une lentille concurrentielle. C’est peut-être vrai pour d’autres services, mais il me semble que le service 9-1-1, par sa nature même, est un service d’intérêt public, un service public, quelque chose d’une autre nature, et je comprends mal pourquoi on devrait appliquer une lentille de concurrence des forces des marchés pour quelque chose qui est tellement un bien public.

3570 M. BÉLAND: Le fait que ce soit un service de nature publique, cette réalité, à notre avis, est reflétée... devrait être reflétée dans la définition du service, notamment par rapport à la qualité de service dans les normes, dans l’architecture, dans la redondance, et cetera. C’est là où l’importance publique du service devrait être reflétée.

3571 Quant à décider qui est le mieux positionné pour livrer ce service de très grande qualité, de grande importance, nous sommes toujours d’avis que le marché concurrentiel est un véhicule approprié pour choisir l’opérateur, encore une fois, le moins couteux et le plus efficace.

3572 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais le service 9-1-1 n’est pas une extension du service de télécommunication. C’est une extension des services de protection publique, les pompiers, la police, les ambulanciers. On ne va pas en appel d’offres pour ces services-là. On ne cherche pas de la concurrence pour les policiers, pour les services d’incendie, puis les services ambulanciers.

3573 M. BÉLAND: C’est sûr qu’on ne fait pas d’appel d’offres pour décider qui est le service de pompier de la ville X, mais ce service-là va acheter bien, bien, bien des choses et des équipements sur le marché concurrentiel en définissant des normes extrêmement rigoureuses et précises.

3574 Mais je reviens au point...

3575 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais vous voulez mettre en appel d’offres qui offrirait le service. C’est tout à fait différent.

3576 M. BÉLAND: Qui offrirait le service de réseau 9-1-1...

3577 LE PRÉSIDENT: De télécommunication.

3578 M. BÉLAND: ...mais pas le service de réponse aux appels d’urgence, définitivement.

3579 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui, mais c’est exactement mon point. C’est qu’en matière de services ambulanciers, de services d’incendie, tous ces services-là d’ordre public, oui, pour l’opérationnalisation de tout ça, parce que c’est quasi-gouvernemental; on fait des appels d’offres, mais on ne fait pas le choix de qui va offrir ces services-là par voie d’appel d’offres. On ne l’a pas privatisé à ce point-là.

3580 M. BÉLAND: Mais encore une fois, le réseau 9-1-1 de prochaine génération c’est une combinaison de réseau de télécommunication et de réseau de fonctionnalité IP. Et Pierre va peut-être vouloir commenter, mais que le marché... que des acteurs présents dans le marché concurrentiel aient parfois la responsabilité de livrer des services qu’on appelle « mission critical » ça se fait dans notre industrie. C’est pas une situation étrange nécessairement dans notre industrie.

3581 LE PRÉSIDENT: Est-ce que vous êtes

3582 d’accord avec moi qu’étant donné qu’on a au-delà de 40 ans d’expérience avec un modèle basé sur l’offre par les titulaires de télécommunication, que le fardeau de la preuve d’un changement vous incombe à ceux qui proposent l’approche d’un consortium?

3583 M. PORRETTA: Si vous me permettez je finirais la question précédente.

3584 Le réseau NG 9-1-1 c’est un nouveau réseau IP. C’est une nouvelle composante technologique complexe; le ESWG le regarde, les États-Unis et ailleurs le regardent.

3585 Il y a un –- dans le –- la fonction du fournisseur de réseau 9-1-1, il y a une grande fonction technologique sur laquelle le fait d’avoir un consortium nous permet de bien définir toutes les métriques.

3586 On parlait de messages text dans le futur, on parlait de nouvelle... des futurs. On parlait de passerelles actuelles pour permettre d’interconnecter les réseaux existants.

3587 Alors en ayant le consortium qui encadre le RFP, le RFQ, on est capable de bien documenter cet élément-là, parce qu’une grosse portion de décisions technologiques ce n’est pas comme les réseaux 9-1-1 qui étaient des services de voix ou la définition du service était assez claire et précise.

3588 Là où est-ce qu’on va c’est dans un nouveau monde, des nouvelles fonctionnalités. Alors le consortium il y a un élément vraiment technologique très proche qu’on veut régler.

3589 LE PRÉSIDENT: Ce n’est pas une transition, ce n’est pas table rase. On fait quand même une transition à partir d’une situation de statut quo.

3590 Lorsque les câblodistributeurs sont allés vers la distribution numérique on ne vous a pas enlevé vos franchises. On vous a permis d’évoluer à l’intérieur de vos licences existantes.

3591 M. PORETTA: Tout à fait mais on... on parle d’un réseau et on parle d’un réseau 9-1-1 par Canadiens. Le... ce n’est pas la même chose, je crois, que d’avoir demandé à un fournisseur de service de télécom ou de service de télévision de décider de sa technologie puis prendre la décision.

3592 Là on parle d’un service pour le Canada et on ne veut pas que l’accès à la documentation des critères de sélection et technologiques soit trop loin des fournisseurs de service de télécom.

3593 Donc ce qu’on dit c’est le consortium vraiment c’est pour s’assurer de bien gérer le RFQ, l’appel d’offre, et de faire la transition technologique vers le service nouvelle génération et de prévoir le futur du service dans l’appel d’offre.

3594 LE PRÉSIDENT: Vous faites appel par analogie au consortium Canadien de la transférabilité des numéros locaux, mais n’est-il pas vrai que les activités de ce consortium-là sont beaucoup plus... ils sont peut-être compliqués mais ils ne sont pas complexes?

3595 Dans le sens qu’il y a une tâche qui est grande mais elle est relativement identifiable. Tandis que ce que vous proposez ici est une... un changement très important, très radical, de la façon qu’on procède depuis 40 ans.

3596 Pourquoi que c’est un processus... une analogie appropriée dans ces circonstances?

3597 M. BÉLAND: Je suis d’accord avec vous que l’opération d’un réseau 9-1-1 est une tâche plus complexe que l’opération d’un database centralisé de transfert de numéros et je suis d’accord avec vous sur ce point-là.

3598 Le database de transfert de numéros c’est néanmoins un élément critique du système de télécommunication au Canada et à toute fin pratique le réseau au complet en dépend pour le routage des appels.

3599 Donc même si la complexité n’est pas égale, nous sommes d’avis que le consortium, le modèle de consortium, qui gère si bien la gestion de la relation contractuelle avec le fournisseur de database de transférabilité de numéros c’est un modèle qui peut être emprunté pour le réseau 9-1-1 de prochaine génération également.

3600 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et vous êtes d’avis qu’une fois que le consortium est en opération il deviendrait une entreprise de télécommunication, assujettis à la compétence du Conseil?

3601 M. BÉLAND: Oui, en vertu du fait que cet opérateur-là du réseau de prochaine génération va opérer les installations de transports entre le cœur et les caspes à travers le pays.

3602 LE PRÉSIDENT: Est-ce que le consortium est sous la compétence du Conseil avant qu’il débute ses opérations?

3603 M. BÉLAND: Le... bien en fait c’est l’entente de création du consortium. C’est ---

3604 LE PRÉSIDENT: Parce que quand ---

3605 M. BÉLAND: Mais c’est une entreprise en devenir. Elle n’est pas opérationnelle. Comment peut-on avoir une compétence sur un concept?

3606 M. BÉLAND: Notre position est que le Conseil va avoir un devoir de regard à des activités du consortium en vertu de son approbation de l’entente ente les FSTs qui va créer le consortium.

3607 LE PRÉSIDENT: Okay.

3608 Mais êtes-vous d’accord avec moi que tant et aussi longtemps que le consortium n’est pas en opération, ça ne peut pas être constitué une entreprise de télécommunication?

3609 M. BÉLAND: Bien pour être très précis, le consortium ne sera jamais considéré une entreprise de télécommunication. C’est l’opérateur que le consortium va engager.

3610 LE PRÉSIDENT: Bon d’accord, mais mettons le dans vos termes. Est-ce que l’opérateur est assujetti à la compétence du Conseil avant de commencer ses opérations?

3611 M. BÉLAND: En toute franchise c’est une question à laquelle je ne me suis pas penché. Une fois en opération c’est sûr. Pendant qu’il prépare ses opérations je suis moins sûr.

3612 LE PRÉSIDENT: Voulez-vous y songer et nous fournir une réponse écrite d’ici le 24 janvier?

3613 M. BÉLAND: Absolument. Absolument.

3614 Mais si la motivation de la question c’est quand même de savoir à quel point le Conseil exerce un droit de regard sur les activités de cette entité-là, même si en théorie le droit de regard formel n’existe pas avant le moment de mise en opération, encore une fois je reviens au fait que le Conseil va avoir son droit de regard via l’approbation de l’entente constitutive du consortium, via la condition section 24 qui va vouloir imposer à tous les FSTs qui vont s’interconnecter avec cet opérateur, via le ESWG, l’approbation des rapports de consensus du ESWG qui va définir les standards et les normes du nouveau réseau.

3615 Donc je pense que l’implication du Conseil est quand même assez intense et c’est une bonne chose étant donné l’importance publique de l’activité.

3616 LE PRÉSIDENT: Je comprends bien sauf que ce que vous proposez c’est un changement majeur qui affecte certaines parties titulaires historiques et il y a un certain titulaire historique qui ne semble pas avoir des limites dans ses budgets pour attaquer les décisions du Conseil ces jours-ci.

3617 Donc il faut s’assurer que ce qu’on... si vous avancez comme approche dorénavant est tout à fait solide à tout égard au niveau juridique; n’est-ce pas?

3618 M. BÉLAND: On est confiant que cela l’est, oui.

3619 LE PRÉSIDENT: Seriez-vous soumissionnaire si on allait vers une situation d’appel d’offre?

3620 M. PORETTA : Ce n’est pas dans notre... c’est pas dans notre vision future que d’être soumissionnaire dans un appel d’offre pour Vidéotron. Nous n’avons pas l’expérience nécessaire pour faire un tel appel d’offre.

3621 Par contre, il y a les éléments de communication et de transmission sur lequel nous pourrions supporter un opérateur.

3622 LE PRÉSIDENT: Pourquoi que vous êtes confiant que quelqu’un ferait réponse à l’appel d’offre dans ce cas-là, si vous n’êtes pas intéressé? Qui serait intéressé à votre avis?

3623 C’est bien beau avoir des théories mais en pratico pratique est-ce que c’est vraiment un processus soumissionnaire si peu ou pas de personnes répondent à l’appel?

3624 M. PORETTA: C’est un nouveau marché. Nous avons quand même des liens avec des compagnies parce que nous avons des systèmes qui supportent les services 9-1-1.

3625 Ce qui semble sortir du marché c’est une volonté d’être soumissionnaire sur des appels d’offre.

3626 Il y a la portion RFI qui est une portion qui va nous permettre de déterminer qu’est-ce qui existe comme technologie et de voir qui serait les soumissionnaires potentiels, mais ce qu’on entend dans le marché en parlant à divers fournisseurs c’est qu’effectivement il y a des intérêts pour soumissionner sur ce type de service-là.

3627 LE PRÉSIDENT: Ça ne vous inquiète pas que les experts en matière de sécurité publique, notamment les services d’incendies, policiers et ambulanciers, semblent peu enclin d’appuyer votre idée d’un consortium? Ils sont par ailleurs les experts en matière de sécurité puis d’appels?

3628 M. BÉLAND: On comprends tout à fait. Le... disons... appelons-le le réflexe de vouloir continuer à travailler avec celui avec qui on travaille déjà. On comprend ce réflexe-là.

3629 LE PRÉSIDENT: Je pense c'est plus qu’un réflexe, je pense qu’ils sont là surtout à tous les jours 24 heures par jour, sept jours par semaine pour sauver les vies et la propriété des canadiens, et ils ne sont pas friands de votre modèle.

3630 M. BÉLAND: Vous avez raison et c'est une considération importante, on ne... on veut pas négliger cette considération. La décision du Conseil ça va être de contre-peser cette volonté-là contre les gains possibles pour l’industrie, et ultimement pour les consommateurs canadiens aussi si on peut trouver un moyen plus efficace à moindre coût pour fournir cette fonction-là.

3631 LE PRÉSIDENT: Êtes-vous d’accord avec la conclusion de Rogers plus tôt que l’infrastructure 9-1-1 est une infrastructure critique sur le plan de la sécurité nationale?

3632 M. BÉLAND: J’ai écouté la discussion avec intérêt, c'est sûr que c'est une infrastructure critique. De là à dire « pour la sécurité nationale »... je suis pas familier avec... appelons le la structure de politiques entourant la notion de sécurité nationale au Canada. Mon seul commentaire ça serait de dire encore une fois que il existe d’autres situations où des installations ou des infrastructures critiques sont opérées par des étrangers si ils sont bien encadrés. Et je donne encore une fois l’exemple de la « database » de transférabilité de numéros. Cette infrastructure critique dont tout le système de télécom au Canada dépend est opérée par un étranger.

3633 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui, sauf qu’ici contrairement à la Loi sur les investissements étrangers, il n’y aurait pas de revue par les autorités qui sont experts en matière de sécurité nationale pour vérifier. Il n'y aurait pas d’appel d’offres assujetti au processus de travaux publics pour s’assurer qu’effectivement la sécurité nationale est protégée par un opérateur étranger, peut-être le plus bas soumissionnaire, mais peut-être aussi non... dans lequel on devrait pas avoir confiance qui pourrait peut-être même être assujetti au « Patriot’s Act ».

3634 M. BÉLAND: Mais comme ce fut le cas aussi avec le « database » de transférabilité de numéros. L’autre commentaire que je ferais peut-être c'est...

3635 LE PRÉSIDENT: C'est pas tout à fait la même nature critique. Dans une situation d’urgence nationale, qu’on ne puisse pas transférer des numéros c'est une chose, mais qu’on ne puisse pas avoir des communications pour sauver des vies et la propriété des canadiens c'est un peu différent; n’est-ce pas?

3636 M. BÉLAND: Mais la « database » de transférabilité c'est pas juste pour transférer des numéros, c'est pour router les appels aussi quotidiennement même si y a pas de transfert de numéro en cours, donc c'est assez critique. Mais une autre solution... si y a des préoccupations par exemple qui touchent la protection de la vie privée des canadiens, dans la mesure où l’opérateur de réseau 9-1-1 de prochaine génération détiendrait des informations privées ou confidentielles – puis je suis pas sûr que ça serait le cas selon l’architecture – mais dans la mesure où ça serait nécessaire on pourrait par exemple ajouter à l’appel d’offres une exigence que ces bases de données soient localisées au Canada par exemple. Donc y a des solutions si y a des éléments de préoccupations précises.

3637 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais les soumissionnaires pourraient être étrangers à votre avis?

3638 M. BÉLAND: Absolument.

3639 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc une compagnie chinoise ou américaine pourrait être opérateur du système 9-1-1 canadien?

3640 M. BÉLAND: À notre avis, oui.

3641 LE PRÉSIDENT: Le soumissionnaire gagnant opérerait le système pour une période de combien de temps à votre avis? Parce que normalement lorsqu’on gagne des soumissions c'est pour une période donnée, est-ce que vous envisagez le côté pratico-pratique de ça?

3642 M. ROY PORRETTA: Habituellement dans les fonctions contractuelles on a habituellement un cinq plus cinq, donc un 10 ans avec un renouvellement à mi-terme. En bas de 10 ans avec les migrations technologiques, les avancés, ça serait pas intéressant parce que le retour sur l’investissement serait pas... serait pas bon, fait qu’on parlerait de 10 ans, donc...

3643 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et puis qu’est-ce qui arrive à la fin de la période mettons de 10 ans – si c'est la bonne période – est-ce que toute la propriété intellectuelle, tous les éléments qui font la valeur de l’entreprise, est-ce qu’ils sont transférés à un nouveau soumissionnaire...

3644 M. ROY PORRETTA: Oui, oui, tout à fait.

3645 LE PRÉSIDENT: ...en l’occurrence?

3646 M. ROY PORRETTA: Des exemples, dans certaines compagnies où lorsqu’un employé arrive dans une compagnie y a des clauses de gestion de la propriété intellectuelle, c'est tout à fait standard. Nous croyons que en ayant ces clauses-là à l’intérieur du RFP nous allons prévoir justement ces transferts appropriés nécessaires pour s’assurer que le... après 10 ans si l’opérateur change, que rien ne soit perdu.

3647 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui. Mon expérience dans les grands projets d’acquisition du Gouvernement du Canada lorsque j’étais au Conseil du trésor c'est que la plupart du temps on n’a pas vraiment de choix, parce que les transferts de fournisseurs sont tellement complexes que faut presque toujours retourner aux mêmes fournisseurs suite à la période initiale et même après la période de transition.

3648 M. ROY PORRETTA: Ben notre... je vais parler pour Vidéotron et mon expérience, je suis quand même responsable de recherche et développement, il est arrivé que nous avons transféré d’un fournisseur à l’autre pour des services extrêmement importants pour nous et nous avons effectué ces changements-là de façon à ne pas impacter... dans notre cas c'était notre clientèle. Dans les cas du service 9-1-1 ça va être de ne pas influencer les utilisateurs canadiens. Un peu avant l’échéance, un certain nombre d’années avant on regarde les termes du contrat, on regarde le marché, et suite à ça on se fait une tête informée pour dire y a plusieurs différentes options. Nous l’avons fait pour des systèmes extrêmement importants et ça c'est bien passé. Il s’agit de le prévoir dans les RFP.

3649 Puis une des choses dont on parlait c'est l'élément réseau. Y a eu des vagues de « best of breed », y a eu des vagues de systèmes intégrés. Il s’agit d’avoir la bonne portée dans le système et dans le RFP pour s’assurer justement qu’après 10 ans cette migration soit possible et d’y mettre les clauses nécessaires.

3650 LE PRÉSIDENT: Qui participera au processus décisionnel pour l’appel d’offres à votre avis?

3651 M. BÉLAND: Pour répondre à cette question j’aimerais préciser d'abord... parce que c'est important de faire une distinction entre le modèle de consortium que Vidéotron met de l'avant puis certains autres modèles qu’on a entendu à ce jour. Selon notre approche le consortium va être créé pour une seule raison, c'est la rédaction et la gestion d’un processus d’appel d’offres avec sélection d’un gagnant, avec gestion de la relation contractuelle avec ce gagnant jusqu’à la fin du mandat. C'est l’unique but de création d’un consortium de notre avis.

3652 Les autres... quelques autres idées qu’on a entendu depuis une couple de jours, que ce soit le consortium qui développe des standards, que ce soit le consortium qui effectue une fonction quelconque de distribution de fonds entre les PSAP, je suis pas sûr des détails des propositions, c'est pas... ce n’est pas dans notre proposition.

3653 Donc revenons au fait que la seule activité, la seule raison d’être du consortium selon notre modèle, c'est de gérer le processus d’appel d’offres et la relation avec le gagnant. Nous sommes d’avis que les actionnaires de ce consortium ça seraient les entités qui payent pour le système... pour le réseau 9-1-1. Et donc c'est... pour le moment ce sont les FST. Il y aurait peut-être place pour des observateurs au conseil d’administration venant des autres « stakeholder », mais les entités votantes ça seraient les FST.

3654 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc les centres d’appels, les CASP, ne seraient pas... ils seraient observateurs mais auraient pas un droit?

3655 M. BÉLAND: Ils seraient observateurs. Puis j’aimerais souligner que selon ce modèle-là les décisions en ce qui concerne la définition de c'est quoi le 9-1-1 de prochaine génération au Canada, les standards et cetera, ça serait... ça demeurerait au ESWG où ces entités-là participent pleinement avec les FST et autres.

3656 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et le droit de regard serait plutôt limité pour le CRTC par rapport à l’appel d’offres?

3657 M. BÉLAND: Le droit de regard, encore une fois, serait exercé via les mécanismes que j’ai nommés tantôt, l’approbation de l’entente, le cadre du consortium, l’imposition de la condition de « membership » au consortium. Le Conseil serait en mesure de rattacher à ça les conditions qu’il veut comme, par exemple, un droit de regard sur le RFP avant que ce soit publié sur la place publique.

3658 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et à votre avis, les gouvernements municipaux, provinciaux et territoriaux n’auraient pas de droit décisionnel par rapport à l’appel d’offres?

3659 M. BÉLAND: Pas de décisionnel, non.

3660 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc on verrait l’octroi, parlant d’une situation québécoise, l’octroi d’un fournisseur... la création d’un fournisseur et le choix d’un fournisseur national, possiblement même étranger, fait par des entreprises de télécommunications payantes sans que les gouvernements, y compris le Gouvernement du Québec, auraient un droit de regard?

3661 M. BÉLAND: En cohérence avec une définition et des normes et des standards définis par un comité public et approuvés par le CRTC, oui.

3662 LE PRÉSIDENT: Par rapport à la conception du réseau, vous avez mentionné dans votre présentation que vous n’êtes pas dogmatique, mais votre préférence demeure qu’il y ait un seul opérateur national, si je comprends bien. Est-ce exact?

3663 M. BÉLAND: Je peux peut-être inviter Pierre à commenter, mais oui, on favorise un seul réseau national, un seul ESInet canadien à cause des économies d’échelle, mais on n’est pas réfracteur... on n’est pas fermé à la possibilité qu’il y ait des ESInet régionaux.

3664 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc votre conclusion est basée sur une analyse économique ou est-elle basée en partie sur l’efficacité, l’efficience, la sécurité du système, la redondance même?

3665 M. ROY PORRETTA: Bien, le premier point c’est les standards, de s’assurer qu’il y ait une cohésion à travers le Canada. C’est vraiment la première approche d’avoir un opérateur pancanadien.

3666 Au niveau technologique, comme Dennis le mentionnait, on peut diviser pour s’assurer qu’il y ait effectivement un élément de redondance dans des régions pour que s’il arriverait quelque chose, c’est un peu l’effet de cascade que la région... que d’autres régions au Canada ne soient pas affectées, mais tout ça sous le chapeau d’un opérateur pancanadien.

3667 LE PRÉSIDENT: On entend souvent dans le domaine du 9-1-1 que les relations interpersonnelles sont bien importantes, parce que lors d’une crise, les systèmes formels, par contre, doivent céder à des relations interpersonnelles plus importantes.

3668 Vous ne croyez pas qu’un système national pourrait mettre en péril 40 ans de relations interpersonnelles?

3669 M. ROY PORRETTA: Aujourd’hui, nous avons des services que nous offrons à des clients qui sont clients chez nous et qui sont clients ailleurs avec une couverture élargie, une relation interpersonnelle qui existe, un fonctionnement. Je comprends qu’on ne parle pas de système 9-1-1, mais nous croyons qu’il est tout à fait possible de développer cette relation-là et de s’assurer du bon fonctionnement du système.

3670 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et bien que vous envisagez que possiblement vous pourriez offrir des éléments de réseau à cet opérateur-là, vous n’avez pas l’intention de vous mettre... de vous proposer comme l’opérateur national?

3671 M. ROY PORRETTA: C’est tout à fait exact, Monsieur le président.

3672 LE PRÉSIDENT: Je vais aborder un autre sujet et puis on va prendre une pause pour le déjeuner parce qu’on est déjà à 12h30, mais c’est parce que je pense qu’on en a pour un peu plus que 15 minutes. Donc pour tout le monde dans la salle, je pense que ça serait mieux comme ça.

3673 On parle ici d’interconnexion. À l’heure actuelle, dans le système actuel il n’y a qu’un seul nombre limité d’acteurs en qui on a confiance qui peuvent s’interconnecter, notamment les fournisseurs... les entreprises concurrentielles, les fournisseurs de télécommunications concurrentielles, les services sans fil, les centres d’appels.

3674 Est-ce que vous envisagez que ceux qui vont pouvoir s’interconnecter dans le mode nouvelle génération constitueraient... est-ce qu’on aurait une liste plus longue que ces joueurs-là?

3675 M. BÉLAND: Potentiellement, mais en toute franchise, on revient à la question de départ. Le jour où on va vouloir activement considérer l’ajout de tels acteurs est probablement à trois à cinq ans d’aujourd’hui.

3676 Donc on ne s’est pas penché, outre mesure, aux conditions d’accès de ces acteurs-là. Ça va dépendre beaucoup du point de vue des centres d’urgence. Mais à notre avis, c’est probablement une question qui pourrait être abordée par les ESWG lorsqu’on est un peu plus loin dans le processus d’implantation du nouveau réseau.

3677 LE PRÉSIDENT: D’accord.

3678 Mais vous n’avez pas aujourd’hui des critères à proposer, des catégories de fournisseurs qui pourraient s’interconnecter? C’est vraiment, à votre avis, quelque chose qui devrait être examinée plus tard?

3679 M. BÉLAND: Oui. Notre focus, comme on a dit dans notre allocution de départ, c’est vraiment sur la transition des services voix, la messagerie. Ce qui arrivera après, on a probablement un peu de temps pour le regarder de façon plus structurée.

3680 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et à votre connaissance, est-ce qu’il y a des modèles, des « best practices » qui pourraient nous aider à nous inspirer ici au Canada qui existent dans d’autres juridictions?

3681 M. BÉLAND: Mais en termes de « best practices », le domaine qu’on a touché dans nos discussions internes chez Vidéotron et puis qu’on a divulgué un peu dans notre allocution c’est par rapport à la normalisation, par exemple, des services qui seront ajoutés et aux points qu’on a identifiés dans notre allocution, ça devrait être des services de type IP. Ça devrait être des services normalisés autant au niveau du réseau qu’au niveau de l’appareil, préinstallé sur l’appareil.

3682 Si vous voulez, on peut développer un peu ces... les raisons pour lesquelles on a mis de l’avant ces critères-là.

3683 LE PRÉSIDENT: C’était pour être un sujet que j’étais pour aborder un peu plus tard, parce que là j’avais pas mal mis fin à mes questions par rapport aux grandes questions d’architecture, de structure. À moins que vous ayez quelque chose à ajouter à ce sujet-là, je proposerais qu’on prenne notre pause pour le déjeuner.

3684 M. BÉLAND: Peut-être on peut commenter les raisons pour lesquelles on aimerait que ce soit des services normalisés à ce niveau-là, Pierre ou Siân.

3685 Mme MORGAN: Bonjour.

3686 On voit un grand intérêt à assurer que le service de nouvelle génération 9-1-1 soit accessible à tout le monde, standardisé, que ça fonctionne bien « out of the box » comme on dit en anglais, et que ce n’est pas spécifique à un marché, alors que quelqu’un peut venir de l’extérieur avec un appareil de l’extérieur et puis que ça va fonctionner d’une façon transparente.

3687 Et je pense que cette vue de normalisation peut aussi s’appliquer à des tierces parties ici qui se connectent au service dans le futur, dans les années qui viennent.

3688 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc il faudrait s’assurer que sur les appareils, que l’interface normalisée soit déjà préinstallée?

3689 Mme MORGAN: Je pense que le plus qu’on peut être normalisé et standardisé, le plus ça va ouvrir des possibilités et la transparence.

3690 Alors même des applications préinstallées ne sont pas vraiment normalisées et ça c’est une condition à prendre en compte quand on évalue l’évolution du service.

3691 LE PRÉSIDENT: Parce que la normalisation peut avoir lieu au niveau du réseau de l’opérateur mais vous, vous poussez jusqu’au niveau des appareils des individus...

3692 Mme MORGAN: C’est ça.

3693 LE PRÉSIDENT: ...que les individus...

3694 Mme MORGAN: Les standards de l’industrie via le GSMO ou l’ITU ou le 3GPP, je pense qui a un grand avantage à se fonder sur ces standards pour assurer que les services sont disponibles et arrimés avec le marché mondial.

3695 LE PRÉSIDENT: C'est pas un peu utopique étant donné qu’on n’a même pas pu standardiser les bornes de recharge pour nos téléphones portables? J’en ai une boîte complète à la maison qui ne semblent jamais fonctionner avec mon nouveau téléphone.

3696 Mme MORGAN: Je pense que si on regarde un service comme SMS on a arrivé à atteindre peut-être l’utopie. Y a vraiment très... ça inter-fonctionne partout dans le monde, peu importe où on est on peut envoyer un SMS avec peu importe quel appareil. Alors on voit que c'est possible et dans un service aussi important que le 9-1-1 ça serait un critère important à considérer.

3697 LE PRÉSIDENT: À votre connaissance, est-ce qui a des travaux – je sais pas si au ITU ou ailleurs – pour développer sur ce chantier-là – ou peut-être que ça se fait en Californie – pour normaliser les interfaces?

3698 Mme MORGAN: Y a beaucoup de discussions ces jours-ci avec RCS qui... dont on a mentionné au début, Rich Communication Services, ça traite pas directement le 9-1-1 mais ça définit la façon normalisée que les abonnés sans fil vont pouvoir communiquer dans le futur, et on croit que l’évolution du 9-1-1 devrait être cohérent avec cette évolution.

3699 LE PRÉSIDENT: M'hm.

3700 M. BÉLAND: Puis j’aimerais ajouter, Monsieur le Président, parce qu’on entend beaucoup d’acronymes depuis un certain temps, mais il y a eu mention depuis une couple de jours de RTT, « Real-Time Text », ça c'est un sous-ensemble de RCS dont on parle présentement.

3701 LE PRÉSIDENT: O.k. Je pense qu’on est rendu à ma limite technique et donc c'est peut-être un bon moyen de... un bon moment pour prendre une pause pour le déjeuner, donc on est ajourné jusqu’à 13h30, alors pour une heure à peu près là jusqu’à 13h30.

3702 Merci bien, à tout à l’heure.

--- Upon recessing at 12:33 p.m

--- Upon resuming at 1:32 p.m.

3703 LE PRÉSIDENT: À l’ordre, s'il vous plaît.

3704 Est-ce que vous vouliez ajouter quelque chose ou non? Donc... c’est parce que je vous ai vu rejoindre le petit bouton.

3705 À l’heure actuelle dans le système existant de 9-1-1 l’obligation en est une de diligence raisonnable plutôt que de résultat par rapport à la résilience et la fiabilité du réseau. L’obligation est de prendre toutes les mesures raisonnables pour s’assurer que leurs réseaux... c'est-à-dire les fournisseurs de réseaux de 9-1-1 sont fiables et résilients dans la plus grande mesure du possible en mettant en œuvre une combinaison adéquate de certaines pratiques exemplaires de l’industrie. Donc la norme est plutôt une obligation comme je disais tout à l’heure de diligence raisonnable plutôt que de résultat. Est-ce que vous croyez que dorénavant – que ça soit en vertu de votre modèle ou d’un modèle plus traditionnel – est-ce que c'est la bonne approche pour assurer un certain niveau de fiabilité?

3706 M. ROY PORRETTA: Jusqu’à maintenant cette approche-là semble avoir fonctionné. Par contre dans nos relations avec d’autres fournisseurs, avec nos clients, nous avons maintenant les « Service Level Agreement » ou les ententes de niveau de service. Jean des Opérations a géré ce type d’entente-là de niveau de service, et nous croyons que effectivement y a lieu de bien documenter l’attente, les délais de réparations et d’autres éléments que peut-être Jean pourrait vous informer plus à ce sujet.

3707 M. LACHANCE: Essentiellement on recommande normalement d’avoir un niveau de service ne serait-ce que pour avoir ça comme cible, parce que comme on mentionnait tout à l'heure, ce genre de réseau-là est beaucoup plus complexe que le genre de réseau qu’on a actuellement. Fait qu’on croit fermement qu’une entente de service peut agir à titre de cible parce que si admettons que les gens ont pas de cible, ben des fois le temps a tendance à être beaucoup plus long. Donc on recommande d’avoir au moins une cible.

3708 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et est-ce que vous croyez que le Conseil a un rôle à jouer pour recevoir des rapports sur des pannes du réseau surtout dans l’environnement nouvelle génération?

3709 M. BÉLAND: À notre avis ce genre de rapport ça serait normal, oui.

3710 LE PRÉSIDENT: Puis vous envisagez ça quoi, à tous les six mois ou au moment qui a une panne, en réaction ou proactivement?

3711 M. BÉLAND: Si les normes sont définies proactivement dans une entente de service, dans les normes du service, les rapports peuvent être périodiques après coup, trimestriels ou semestriels, ça serait approprié.

3712 LE PRÉSIDENT: Est-ce que vous avez des SLA partout sur le territoire où vous opérez?

3713 M. ROY PORRETTA: Et qu’est-ce que vous voulez dire par SLA partout sur le territoire?

3714 LE PRÉSIDENT: SLA, des « Service Level Agreements ».

3715 M. ROY PORRETTA: Nous avons des objectifs de niveau de service. La différence entre un « SLA Agreement » et SLO, c'est que le SLA a des pénalités. Alors on pourrait parler de « Service Level Objective », oui, nous en avons.

3716 LE PRÉSIDENT: O.k.

3717 M. ROY PORRETTA: Nous avons des SLA avec certains clients qui exigent d’avoir la garantie supplémentaire. Mais pour nous...

3718 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais c'est pour exercer...

3719 M. ROY PORRETTA: ...SLO/SLA, peut-être juste un point, c'est notre réputation versus d’avoir à payer un montant d’argent, pour nous c'est aussi important. Mais nous avons SLO à travers toute notre clientèle pour s’assurer de bien gérer à l’intérieur des équipes, parce qu’on parle de beaucoup d’équipes d’opérations, les bonnes priorités, et de travailler sur les bons problèmes lorsque deux évènements pourraient arriver simultanément.

3720 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et est-ce que vous voyez un bénéfice au système si le Groupe de travail sur les Services d’urgence travaillait à développer un – que ça soit un SLO ou un SLA – un modèle, est-ce que ça serait utile pour l’industrie ou est-ce que la spécificité de ce qui se passe ou va se passer sur le déploiement du nouveau réseau sur une période de cinq, six, sept ans c'est trop tôt encore pour établir ces normes?

3721 M. ROY PORRETTA: Je crois pas qu’il est trop tôt. Une des forces que Dennis a mentionné, le ESWG, a autant des FST que des CASP que d'autres personnes. Alors d’avoir cette information-là qui provient des experts de l’industrie va vraiment nous permettre d’avoir une bonne... un bon objectif atteignable et raisonnable qui pourra au fur et à mesure que le temps avance être ajusté en conséquence. Mais le ESWG est vraiment le bon endroit pour avoir cette consolidation de l’information et les bons critères de par l'expertise qui existe dans cette équipe-là.

3722 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et si y a un manquement aux normes établies, soit contractuellement ou... contractuellement et avalisées d’une façon quelconque par le CRTC, quelles devraient êtres les conséquences outre que le dommage à votre réputation le cas échéant?

3723 M. BÉLAND: Ce serait un enjeu à discuter au sein du consortium aussi en termes de pénalités financières.

3724 LE PRÉSIDENT: Adonnant que c'est pas le consortium qui est maître d’œuvre, est-ce que la réponse est la même?

3725 M. BÉLAND: Si le consortium est pas le maître d’œuvre du contrat avec l’opérateur, donc si c'est un autre contexte où par exemple le Conseil a choisi l’opérateur, c'est potentiellement un enjeu pour le Conseil à décider lors de l'approbation tarifaire de l’opérateur choisi.

3726 LE PRÉSIDENT: Ça pourrait être des normes de services à l’intérieur des normes tarifaires par exemple?

3727 M. BÉLAND: Potentiellement.

3728 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et les conséquences seraient pour un manquement à votre avis?

3729 M. BÉLAND: Les conséquences seraient potentiellement financières. Il y aurait aussi des conséquences pour la réputation du fournisseur qui est non négligeable.

3730 M. ROY PORRETTA: Et qui pourraient aller jusqu’à un arrêt complet d’une relation avec un fournisseur. Je veux dire ça peut aller... il faut mettre cette clause-là finale dans un bon RFP. Siân justement était en train de finaliser en décembre une nouvelle entente avec un fournisseur pour un gros élément. On a mis beaucoup plus de clauses et il s’agira de mettre les clauses nécessaires pour répondre à nos attentes. On parle de service 9-1-1.

3731 LE PRÉSIDENT: Par rapport au financement, c’est clair je crois que vous avez dit plus tôt que vous croyez que le tarif... vous avez des doutes par rapport aux tarifs actuels pour les services 9-1-1, qu’ils soient véritablement justes et raisonnables. Je ne veux pas mettre des mots, mais je pense que c’est votre point de vue.

3732 M. BÉLAND: M’hm.

3733 LE PRÉSIDENT: Le... est-ce que... c’est encore tôt, mais est-ce que vous avez un estimé général sur les sommes supplémentaires que nous aurons à investir dans un réseau de nouvelle génération?

3734 Est-ce que ça va doubler, tripler une augmentation de 10 pourcent, 25 pourcent des coûts actuels pour l’opération du réseau?

3735 M. BÉLAND: Je suis content que vous avez posé la question parce que depuis le début de l’audience on... il semble planer une présomption que le nouveau réseau va nécessairement coûter plus cher que l’ancien réseau, puis même des suggestions que ça va coûter nettement plus cher.

3736 Nous on n’est pas capable de mettre un chiffre dessus présentement, mais on questionne la présomption que le nouveau réseau va nécessairement coûter plus cher que l’ancien étant donné des développements technologiques puis Pierre peut peut-être faire un ---

3737 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais est-ce que vous affirmez que ça va coûter moins cher?

3738 M. BÉLAND: Pierre?

3739 M. PORRETTA: On ne peut pas affirmer que ça va coûter moins cher, mais nous... c’est un renouvellement technologique avec des normes... ce n’est pas une norme Canadienne, puis prenez le pas mal, c’est une norme Nord-américaine et même utilisée internationalement.

3740 Ce que ça veut dire c’est qu’il y a beaucoup de fournisseurs qui ont intérêt à répondre aux appels d’offre et de la livraison de la technologie.

3741 Elle est encore nouvelle la technologie, mais ce qu’on voit aujourd’hui c’est beaucoup basé sur des logiciels. On met que... on met des serveurs et c’est vraiment une fonction logicielle à développer.

3742 Alors sans ayant pris le temps ou sans ayant pris la responsabilité de faire un premier RFI, qui serait de rencontrer des fournisseurs et de voir avec eux ça ressemble à quoi en termes de coûts, il est difficile pour nous de vous donner un chiffre.

3743 Par contre c’est une migration technologique dans la nouvelle génération avec des nouveaux systèmes. Il n’y a pas de raisons que ça coûte plus cher que ce qui existe présentement.

3744 En plus, bien on en parlait plus tôt mais ça fait... Rogers parlait de 18 ans. Le tarif a été fait il y a 18 ans, donc une étude nous permettrait de savoir le coût du service existant et l’RFI nous permettrait aussi de comprendre le cout de ce nouveau système-là.

3745 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et ---

3746 M. BÉLAND: Si je pourrais ajouter, un sens concret de l’économie potentielle aussi en transigeant vers une nouvelle technologie, que ce soit par RFP ou par choix de fournisseur unique, dans un cas ou dans l’autre on sait déjà qu’il y a des éléments d’infrastructure où il va y avoir des économies substantielles.

3747 Prenons le cas des tandems 9-1-1. Rogers ce matin a parler de 30 tandems à travers le Canada. Nous notre quotidien est au Québec. On sait qu’il y a deux tandems par ancien territoire de l’indicatif régional. Donc ça en fait huit au Québec.

3748 C’est sûr qu’un nouveau système entièrement IP de prochaine génération n’ira pas huit cas de commutation au Québec.

3749 Donc encore une fois on n’est pas capable de mettre un chiffre dessus, mais on questionne véritablement la présomption que ça va nécessairement coûter plus cher.

3750 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et si je comprends bien le renouvellement des coûts devrait venir des utilisateurs et des fournisseurs de services de voix pour la période initiale et pour... à moyen terme, tel que défini plus tôt?

3751 M. BÉLAND: Oui, encore une fois sous le thème de travaillons maintenant ce qui est pertinent à court et à moyen terme. À notre avis pour le moyen terme les services qui vont générer des communications au réseau 9-1-1 ce sont des services munies d’un numéro de téléphone, donc gardons ça simple. Gardons le mécanisme de recouvrement de coûts qui est basé sur les numéros de téléphone.

3752 LE PRÉSIDENT: Est-ce que vous êtes d’accord par contre qu’un moment donné possiblement si les contacts avec les centres d’appels se font par textos, une forme de textos quelconque-là à déterminer, que l’abonné qui a une relation avec un service de fournisseur internet mais pas nécessairement un fournisseur traditionnel de voix, devra un moment donné porter un peu le fardeau de... des coûts du système?

3753 M. BÉLAND: Mais comme Sian a décrit avant l’heure du lunch, nous l’avenir de l’évolution technologique qu’on prévoit dans le domaine de la messagerie, on va passer des SMSs à des technologies de messagerie « network based », basée sur la norme RCS.

3754 Donc le... la pertinence du numéro de téléphone dans le domaine de la messagerie va perdurer, mais vous avez raison qu’il existe aussi des applications de messageries alternatives qui passent plus sur le... par l’internet « over the top ».

3755 Oui le jour va peut-être venir que... qu’on va vouloir intégrer ces services-là, mais encore une fois on croit que c’est au plus tôt dans cinq ans et ça donne amplement de temps pour étudier la question d’ici là. Comment intégrer... comment faire contribuer les services qui n’utilisent pas de numéros de téléphone.

3756 LE PRÉSIDENT: D’accord. Donc on débute avec la voix, si je comprends bien, et ensuite la prochaine étape pour la transmission de données au service 9-1-1 nouvelle génération serait les... un texto sous une forme quelconque, associé dans votre... à votre avis avec un numéro de téléphone?

3757 Et première question, vous... est-ce que la voix vidéo est-ce que vous assignez ça à la voix ou vous le mettez après les textos, en termes de déroulement prévisible, prévoyable, du... des technologies alternatives?

3758 M. PORRETTA: Les réseaux 9-1-1 doivent, on en a parlé plutôt, être toujours disponible. La qualité de service doit être là.

3759 Les vidéos, il y a l’exemple de pousser un vidéo, tirer un vidéo. Il faut. Il faut expérimenter. Il faut comprendre. On parle de preuve de concepts, d’expériences. Il y avait des exemples sur des applications.

3760 Ce qu’on veut c’est que ça rentre à l’intérieur des standards. Alors ça vient vraiment après le message text de façon à s’assurer de ne jamais impacter le système et son bon fonctionnement.

3761 LE PRÉSIDENT: Par le système de vidéo moi je voulais dire des choses comme Facetime puis Skype-là. Vraiment là où que c’est... ça s’assimile beaucoup plus à une conversation téléphonique, même s’il y a une composante vidéo. Pas des éléments de vidéos-là absolument distincts.

3762 M. PORRETTA: Je pense qu’on arrive au même concept de les CASPs doivent eux pouvoir traiter un vidéo qui arrive. C’est quoi le background, qu’est-ce qu’ils voient à l’écran. Je vous dirais que peut-être Dennis pourrait --

3763 M. BÉLAND: Jean.

3764 M. PORRETTA : -- ou Jean veut ajouter quelque chose, mais ce n’est pas mon domaine d’expertise par rapport aux CASPs.

3765 M. LACHANCE: Peut-être ce qui est important de comprendre si on... lorsqu’on va mettre la voix, lorsqu’admettons qu’il y avait un évènement majeur, il y a eu à Montréal, Ottawa ou n’importe quoi, où est-ce qu’on voit un peu partout sur la planète, et plusieurs personnes tentent de contacter le CASP, à ce moment il pourrait avoir un risque de congestion.

3766 Donc c’est vraiment un point technologique à comprendre, parce que dans tous les cas on veut que le service soit fiable et résilient en toute situation. Donc on pense que la voix, la partie vidéo devrait être plutôt mise après.

3767 LE PRÉSIDENT: Après.

3768 M. PORRETTA: Parce que lorsqu’on va embarquer la vidéo par-dessus la voix et s’il y a plusieurs personnes qui tentent de le faire on a... il y a des exemples concrets qui est arrivé dans la société.

3769 Exemple, il y a une dizaine d’années à Montréal ou est-ce que tous les systèmes téléphoniques ont congestionnés et on ne parlait pas de voix à ce... de vidéo. Donc on... pour l’instant on suggère de mettre ça selon les comités technologiques.

3770 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et par rapport aux textos vous voyez une évolution graduelle vers une nouvelle norme qu’on a discuté avant la pause, dans un horizon de combien de temps?

3771 Mme MORGAN: Cette norme existe déjà. Ces services existent déjà en Europe. Aux États-Unis ils l’ont aussi dans ces services.

3772 Au Canada, un fournisseur a aussi lancé des services RCS l’année passée. Alors ça existe et ça devrait devenir courant dans les prochaines années et étant donné qu’on voit un cycle d’appareils qui est environ deux ans, ça peut donner une idée de la période où on va commencer à voir ces appareils très répandus dans le marché.

3773 LE PRÉSIDENT: Sauf que la masse critique nécessaire dans le marché, ça va prendre du temps parce que c’est pas tout le monde qui remplace leur téléphone, leur bidule, à tous les ans, à tous les deux ans.

3774 Mme MORGAN: C’est vrai, mais on a l’avantage dans le monde sans fil que ça se fait beaucoup plus rapidement. On voit vraiment un cycle... pas pour tout le monde, mais pour une majorité d’abonnés, un cycle d’à peu près deux ans.

3775 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et...

3776 Mme MORGAN: Si je peux juste aussi prendre le point du vidéo, parce que dans les standards voltés, il y a aussi des vidéos qui viennent avec, qui est standardisé.

3777 Alors encore on pousserait vers une implantation qui est standard et pas « over the top » et ça c’est traité comme la voix, avec les conditions comme... avec les contraintes qu’a expliquées Jean pour les conditions de « overload » et les risques associés à ça.

3778 LE PRÉSIDENT: Quelle est votre position par rapport à la messagerie textuelle par voie de contournement des trucs comme Facebook ou WhatsApp? Est-ce qu’on devrait envisager leur utilisation ou mettre entièrement la structure ou l’architecture technologique vers des textos évolutifs du système SMS tel que décrit plus tôt?

3779 M. ROY PORRETTA: Dans le système de 9-1-1...

3780 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui.

3781 M. ROY PORRETTA: ...il y a le ALI database, l’information sur la clientèle. Ça semble très intéressant de mettre WhatsApp, Facebook. On comprend l’idée. Peut-être l’élément sur lequel vous êtes même revenus au Conseil du grand niveau de qualité, je pense qu’il faut juste prendre le temps de voir... peut-être qu’il faut faire... pas peut-être, mais il faudra potentiellement faire une expérience, regarder qu’est-ce qui se fait ailleurs et en apprendre.

3782 Et c’est pour ça que pour nous, il y a l’élément... si on revient à ça, juste le trois ans pendant lequel nous allons travailler avec le consortium à mettre en place le réseau, le deux ans de migration, en parallèle avec ça, il va y avoir des avancées dans le marché. Il va y avoir de bonnes et il va y avoir de très mauvaises expériences. Je crois que nous allons pouvoir apprendre de ces expériences-là, mais aujourd’hui, à moyen court terme, ça serait mieux de conserver la relation qui existe aujourd’hui avec des numéros de téléphone telle qu’elle existe.

3783 Par contre, ce qu’on dit c’est que le réseau a les provisions nécessaires pour supporter des services comme ceux-là.

3784 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et donc par la même occasion, j’imagine que vous pensez qu’il serait plus louable de poursuivre le développement et la mise en vigueur de la nouvelle norme SMS plutôt que de développer, je ne sais pas, moi, une nouvelle plateforme canadienne texto 9-1-1 qui serait déployée sur les téléphones?

3785 M. ROY PORRETTA: Tout à fait.

3786 À un moment donné, si on veut livrer des projets, il faut avoir un focus. Il faut avoir les bonnes personnes. Si on commence à trop faire de choses en parallèle, on risque de ne pas livrer ce qui était prévu. Alors nous, on veut vraiment demeurer « focused » sur l’objectif du remplacement, qui est quand même un projet en soi, le remplacement du réseau par une nouvelle génération.

3787 Un des points... je ne sais pas si vous allez l’aborder ou ne pas l’aborder, mais les CASP aujourd’hui, on veut mettre un concept de passerelle sur le réseau 9-1-1 de nouvelle génération. On veut s’assurer que ça, ça fonctionne très bien. Dans les trois années, il va y avoir des pilotes. Les premiers, on va tester. On va regarder qu’est-ce qui se fait ailleurs. On va les mettre en place, puis par la suite, la migration peut peut-être aller plus vite qu’on le croit. Juste de faire ça correctement, il y a quand même un bon focus sur lequel...

3788 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et vous pensez que... donc effectivement implicitement vous dites que vous êtes d’accord qu’il devrait y avoir des projets pilotes comme étape intérimaire avant de déployer pleinement les nouvelles technologies nouvelle génération?

3789 M. ROY PORRETTA: Tout à fait.

3790 Et nous, comme opérateurs, on fait des projets pilotes. Il y a des projets pilotes que nous avons faits que nous avons décidé de ne pas lancer et puis il y a des projets pilotes qu’on a décidé de faire pour tester la technologie, prendre les choses un peu d’avance, mais oui, il faut trouver la bonne méthodologie pour fonctionner avec le consortium, le ESWG, et de mettre tout le monde sur la même longueur d’ondes. Il y a des CASP qui semblent prendre un peu d’avance sur le remplacement technologique. Ça va nous donner des opportunités.

3791 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et vous envisageriez que Québécor ou Vidéotron participeraient à un tel projet pilote si ça serait intéressant dans votre cas?

3792 M. ROY PORRETTA: Nous en avons faits. Il faudrait voir quelle est l’étendue ou le type de projet pilote pour vraiment répondre à votre question.

3793 LE PRÉSIDENT: M’hm.

3794 M. ROY PORRETTA: Mais nous sommes connus comme étant innovateurs dans le marché. Nous avons déployé de la téléphonie sur IP il y a très longtemps sur les autres câblodistributions. Tout à fait, nous avons toujours un intérêt de vous répondre et puis de commettre.

3795 Vidéotron a un processus d’approbation, mais nous regardons qu’est-ce qui peut être fait, puis on est toujours intéressé à faire une différence.

3796 LE PRÉSIDENT: Est-ce qu’il y a une spécificité du marché francophone ou de la réalité québécoise qui fait en sorte que ça serait utile, même si on faisait un projet pilote à l’extérieur du Québec, d’en faire un néanmoins au Québec, à votre avis?

3797 M. ROY PORRETTA: Je ne vois pas de spécificité précise.

3798 Peut-être que Siân peut... a des bonnes idées.

3799 Mme MORGAN: Si je peux me baser juste sur quelques défis qu’on a eus avec... dans le service texte avec 9-1-1, par exemple, la question d’accès à SMS, la question de pouvoir être assuré que l’utilisateur puisse s’exprimer dans sa langue de préférence. Ça c’est des choses qu’il faut être...

3800 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc il y a peut-être une spécificité linguistique dont on devrait tenir compte?

3801 Mme MORGAN: Oui.

3802 LE PRÉSIDENT: Je suis pas mal certain que votre propriétaire voudrait qu’on maintienne le fait qu’il y a une spécificité québécoise.

3803 Bon, je sais que vous présumez un certain modèle... vous défendez un modèle du consortium... mais advenant qu’on décide de maintenir un système plus traditionnel peut-être qu’il existe à l’heure actuelle, est-ce que en terme du modèle de financement, de la tarification, est-ce que vous croyez qu’on devrait procéder de la même façon, avec un système de tarifs, des tarifs assujettis à des études de coûts type Phase II? C’est la façon... je sais que ce n’est pas votre méthode préférée mais que ça serait la façon d’aller de l’avant advenant qu’on décide d’aller vers un modèle plus traditionnel?

3804 M. BÉLAND: Si c’est la voie choisie, oui, on serait d’avis que la meilleure méthode qu’on a à notre disposition... que vous avez à votre disposition pour fixer les tarifs ça serait les études de coûts Phase II. Nous sommes d’accord avec Rogers et puis peut-être d’autres intervenants qui ont affirmé que oui, il faudrait étudier non seulement les coûts du nouveau réseau mais réétudier les coûts du réseau existant dans un contexte de fin de vie. Ça serait absolument nécessaire.

3805 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et est-ce que vous avez des idées... parce qu’il semble qu’il y a une préoccupation que pour un service qui est un service public d’intérêt général, que l’approche d’étude de coûts de Phase II ne permet pas autant de transparence pour les tierces intéressées à questionner les coûts, d’intervenir pour avoir accès à plus de données.

3806 Le défi demeure le fait que ces systèmes-là qui sont à la base des études de coûts sont utilisés pour des services compétitifs aussi.

3807 M. BÉLAND: Étant donné qu’il y a des éléments de technologie qui peuvent être utilisés dans ce contexte et dans d’autres contextes, à notre avis, c’est inévitable que le fournisseur choisi voudrait garder confidentiel une bonne partie des informations.

3808 Le Conseil a fixé, il y a quelques années, des règles de base standard sur qu’est-ce qui doit être dévoilé et non dévoilé dans une étude de coûts Phase II. À notre avis, il n’y a pas de raison spécifique qui devrait inciter le Conseil qui devrait inciter le Conseil à changer cette approche uniquement parce que c'est un réseau 9-1-1.

3809 Un moment donné, la communauté des CASP pour prendre l'exemple, le grand public doit donner une certaine confiance à la capacité du Conseil d'analyser les informations même si certaines de ces informations sont confidentielles.

3810 LE PRÉSIDENT: Pensez-vous qu'il y aurait plus de transparence si on allait vers un modèle d'un consortium parce que même là y aurait des éléments concurrentiels de confidentialité? Les centres d'appels auront pas plus d'accès selon votre modèle à cette information-là. Il va falloir qu'ils fassent confiance là aussi.

3811 M. BÉLAND: C'est un modèle distinct qui est basé sur un marché concurrentiel, une concurrence d'offres. Donc la nature de ce processus-là c'est de voir le résultat final, le prix que le fournisseur propose. Donc c'est dans la nature de ce type de processus-là qu'y aurait pas de détail dévoilé sur la structure de coûts détaillés de chaque fournisseur potentiel, ni du fournisseur gagnant.

3812 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et où est le motif de profit dans -- soit dans un modèle traditionnel ou dans un modèle d'appels d'offres? Est-ce qu'il y a lieu de permettre à l'opérateur de faire un profit? Je fais la distinction aussi entre un profit puis un "markup". Le "markup" est supposé représenté des coûts fixes généralisés. Donc c'est supposé recouvrer des coûts, pas vraiment des profits au sens strict. Mais dans les deux cas, est-ce que ça devrait être un système net net, simplement recouvrir les coûts?

3813 M. BÉLAND: Moi je suis complètement d'accord avec ce que -- les commentaires que j'ai entendus de Monsieur Watt ce matin. C'est le modèle Phase II avec son taux de rendement et avec sa majoration. Le but explicit du modèle c'est de reproduire dans la mesure du possible le résultat d'un processus concurrentiel. Donc oui, dans un processus de RFP, le fournisseur gagnant va avoir à chercher un profit et dans le processus de fournisseur unique choisi par le Conseil, le profit est reflété dans l'étude de coûts Phase II. À mon avis, c'est cohérent.

3814 LE PRÉSIDENT: C'est cohérent de la même façon et puis y a pas de nécessité à votre avis de faire d'ajustement ou d'envisager un futur système 9-1-1 comme étant un centre de profit pour attirer une plus grande concurrence dans les fournisseurs possibles?

3815 M. BÉLAND: Excusez, j'ai pas -- j'ai pas ---

3816 LE PRÉSIDENT: Ben on pourrait envisager un système 9-1-1 de prochaine génération où que la marge de profit soit plus attrayante pour attirer plus de fournisseurs potentiels.

3817 M. BÉLAND: Mais c'est pas une question -- dans un processus d'appels d'offres, on définit pas la marge de profit d'avance. Les propositions viennent et sont déposées et on choisit le meilleur ---

3818 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui, mais dans le processus RFI, si les gens perçoivent que y a pas une marge bénéficiaire intéressante, ils viendront même pas soumissionner.

3819 M. BÉLAND: Et c'est ce qu'on apprendrait potentiellement lors du pré processus de RFI.

3820 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui. Est-ce qu'il y a un "off-ramp" un moment donné? Mettons là qu'on accepte votre proposition puis qu'on décide d'aller vers un consortium avec des appels d'offres, à quel point doit-on dire bien, on a tenté, on l'a essayé mais ç'a pas fonctionné?

3821 M. BÉLAND: C'est un nouveau concept qu'on a entendu ce matin et c'est pas bête comme concept.

3822 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais qu'est-ce qui va nous amener à décider de mettre un "x" sur la nouvelle façon de faire les choses et de retourner à la case de départ?

3823 M. BÉLAND: J'imagine que c'est lors du processus RFI qu'on apprend. On serait même étonné d'apprendre mais qu'on apprend qu'il y a pas suffisamment d'intérêt pour avoir un processus concurrentiel de RFP.

3824 LE PRÉSIDENT: On n'aura pas perdu plusieurs années parce qu'y a le processus décisionnel du Conseil, la mise en place d'une société qui s'occuperait de l'appel d'offres et tout ça. Ça peut prendre deux, trois ans avant d'arriver à la constatation que finalement c'était pas une bonne idée.

3825 M. BÉLAND: Un certain temps se serait écoulé. Des années, j'suis pas sûr de ça mais oui, un certain temps ---

3826 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais à votre avis, c'est combien de temps que ça va prendre avant de décider ou de constater que c'était un échec?

3827 M. BÉLAND: Le temps de mettre en place le consortium et que le consortium sorte son RFI, son appel d'intérêt. Donc ---

3828 LE PRÉSIDENT: Puis à votre avis, ça prend combien de temps ça?

3829 M. BÉLAND: De 12 à 18 mois potentiellement.

3830 LE PRÉSIDENT: À partir mettons de ---

3831 M. BÉLAND: De la décision du Conseil.

3832 LE PRÉSIDENT: --- de la décision.

3833 M. BÉLAND: Oui.

3834 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc on est au mois de janvier. Mettons une décision au début de l'été, on est quand même -- c'est quand même deux ans là.

3835 M. BÉLAND: Vous avez raison.

3836 LE PRÉSIDENT: Pendant ce temps-là, on n'a pas travaillé l'autre modèle en parallèle.

3837 M. BÉLAND: Vous avez raison.

3838 LE PRÉSIDENT: Avez-vous songé -- évidemment, les centres d'appels sont largement finan -- ben c'est un peu divers leur mode de financement à travers le pays mais ils ont pas toujours les moyens financiers peut-être pour suivre la transition. Est-ce que vous avez songé à des façons de les inciter à venir dans le nouveau modèle? Parce que si je comprends bien, on va mettre en place des passerelles réseaux qui vont leur permettre de continuer d'opérer dans l'ancien système. Comment qu'on les amène les décideurs -- en fait, c'est probablement des politiciens au niveau local, provincial qui vont investir dans le nouveau réseau.

3839 M. BÉLAND: Si vous me permettez, je vais faire le lien avec la dernière question comme introduction à ma réponse. La question des passerelles ça va être un élément décisionnel très important. Que ce soit qu'on détermine le gagnant encore une fois par un processus d'appels d'offres ou que c'est le Conseil qui choisit le gagnant, dans l'un ou l'autre contexte, le timing de la mise en place des passerelles sera extrêmement important. Et on peut voir l'importance en regardant les intérêts financiers de l'opérateur de l'ancien réseau.

3840 Imaginons, je sors des chiffres qui sont pas fondés sur une analyse concrète mais imaginons que la mise en place des passerelles coûte 25 pour cent du coût d'opération continu du réseau traditionnel. L'opérateur du réseau traditionnel a pas d'incitatif à décommissionner son réseau quand il gagne quatre fois plus de revenus que de mettre en place des passerelles au nouveau réseau.

3841 Donc ça, ça va être un élément décisionnel important. De l'avis de Vidéotron, une fois que le nouveau réseau 9-1-1 est en place et en opération, on devrait essayer de transférer l'ensemble des CASP à ce nouveau réseau si nécessaire via les passerelles à l'intérieur de 12-18 mois, ce qui va nous permettre de décommissionner l'ancien réseau 9-1-1 et d'économiser beaucoup d'argent pour tout le monde.

3842 Oui, il va y avoir le coût additionnel des passerelles pour permettre le "decommissioning" de l'ancien réseau mais on est confiant que le coût de ces passerelles est nettement inférieur au coût de maintien en vie de l'ancien réseau.

3843 Là ça m'amène à l'impact sur les -- sur les CASP. Dans le modèle qu'on vient de vous présenter, le nouveau réseau 9-1-1 va être mis en opération. Certains CASP seront déjà capables de se brancher à ce nouveau réseau directement IP-IP. D'autres seront pas capables. À notre avis, encore une fois, à l'intérieur d'un délai de 12 à 18 mois, l'ensemble des CASP devraient être obligés de se brancher au nouveau réseau via des passerelles si nécessaire.

3844 Là, rendu là, il va y avoir deux types de CASP. Il va y en avoir qui sont IP bout en bout, qui vont peut-être commencer à ajouter de nouvelles fonctionnalités au service qu'ils offrent à la population, qui vont aussi avoir des économies de coûts. On est convaincu de ça. Et il va y avoir une deuxième catégorie de CASP qui ont des équipements traditionnels, qui passent par une passerelle, qui n’ont pas de nouvelles fonctionnalités, qui ont peut-être une structure de coûts plus élevés. Il va y avoir des incitatifs naturels rendu là à ce que cette deuxième catégorie de CASP réfléchisse sérieusement à une transition IP de bout en bout.

3845 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc y a pas lieu à votre avis de... pour ceux qui vont maintenir la deuxième catégorie là, qui seraient reliés par une passerelle, de graduellement leur charger une quote-part plus élevée pour s’interconnecter de cette façon-là pour qui ait un incitatif à ce qu’ils se... qu’ils migrent vers le nouveau système?

3846 M. BÉLAND: Cet aspect tarifaire, j’avoue que c'est complexe. On aimerait prendre un engagement pour...

3847 LE PRÉSIDENT: Pour y penser?

3848 M. BÉLAND: ...y réfléchir comme il faut, vous faire une proposition, parce qu’il y aura une certaine complexité tarifaire d’être sûr que les incitatifs sont à la bonne place. Mais le message qu’on veut vous donner surtout, quoi que soit la tarification que... ce que Vidéotron voit comme étant extrêmement important c'est qu’on met en place ces passerelles rapidement...

3849 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui.

3850 M. BÉLAND: ...afin de décommissioner l’ancien réseau rapidement.

3851 LE PRÉSIDENT: Et implicitement... ou peut-être explicitement il faut une date de tombée, une date fixe à laquelle l'ancien système ne devient plus... n’est plus disponible?

3852 M. BÉLAND: Oui.

3853 LE PRÉSIDENT: Mais vous êtes pas prêts aujourd'hui à identifier cette date-là, c'est quelque chose que il faudra élaborer plus tard?

3854 M. BÉLAND: Pierre va compléter, mais comme j’ai mentionné tantôt, on envisagerait quelque chose de l’ordre de 12 à 18 mois après la mise en opération du nouveau réseau 9-1-1.

3855 LE PRÉSIDENT: Tout le monde... 12 à 18 mois pour tout le monde en opération avec des passerelles, et un autre 12 à 18 mois par la suite pour éliminer les passerelles?

3856 M. ROY PORRETTA: Non.

3857 M. BÉLAND: Non.

3858 M. ROY PORRETTA: Je peux peut-être prendre le point. Vidéotron y a plusieurs années a lancé de la téléphonie par câble qui était de la téléphonie IP, qui s’interconnecte à d’anciennes passerelles qui sont des passerelles de circuit en TDM. Ça nous a pas arrêtés de lancer nos services et on a des passerelles qui fonctionnent. Y a eu des approbations sur des interconnections SIP natives qui existent qu’on travaille avec certains fournisseurs, mais malheureusement on se connecte à d’anciennes passerelles.

3859 On veut pas mettre la pression sur les CASP sur une obligation de migrer, mais naturellement dans le marché lorsque vous avez un équipement d’installé, il existe deux choix. Le premier c'est un système téléphonique que vous avez dans un bureau sans contrat de service. Y arrive quelque chose, il n’est plus supporté, y a plus de pièces de remplacement. Vous prenez un risque d’affaire pour que si le système tombe en panne ça va prendre quelques jours puis vous allez vous acheter un système neuf.

3860 Dans un centre d’urgence 9-1-1 ces systèmes-là doivent être fonctionnels 24 heures par jour, doivent être réparés rapidement, les pièces de rechange doivent être là. Y a des fournisseurs qui vont faire... qui vont décréter des fins de support, des fins de disponibilité de pièces, on le voit dans la téléphonie traditionnelle sur certains commutateurs. Je pense que naturellement ça va arriver.

3861 Peut-être une des questions que le Conseil pourrait demander aux CASP c'est d’avoir une idée sur leur fin de vie des équipements, ça vous répondrait sur leur potentiel de migration. Parce que si l’élément n’est pas supporté, vous comme citoyen, comme administrateur d’une ville, comme policier, pompier, vous pouvez pas prendre le risque que ça l’arrête de fonctionner. Alors je pense qui a des éléments qui sont naturels qui vont je dirais forcer les CASP à se renouveler puis à renouveler leur technologie.

3862 Puis ce qu’on veut c'est ne pas ralentir la mise en place. Puis on revient souvent là-dessus, mais on veut rapidement faire la mise en place du réseau 9-1-1 de nouvelle génération, décommissioner l’ancien réseau, permettre aux nouveaux services de fonctionner. Alors on tombe dans un cycle ou à un moment donné les CASP vont renouveler leur équipement potentiellement de façon naturelle. De les forcer... je vais parler mettons comme citoyen puis dire que dans ma ville je suis obligé de faire un investissement, ben je peux peut-être attendre une année de plus parce que c'est pas un risque, c'est bien supporté. Je vous dirais on voit pas le fait de forcer ces gens-là à migrer, ça devrait arriver naturellement. On va vous répondre de façon plus exhaustive, mais essentiellement ça devrait arriver tout seul.

3863 LE PRÉSIDENT: Même si les situations peuvent être extrêmement différentes d’un endroit à l’autre là avec les plus de 100 CASP qu’on a au pays?

3864 M. ROY PORRETTA: Oui, mais la technologie c'est la technologie, puis après un certain nombre d’années ça arrête de fonctionner. Puis les fournisseurs peuvent pas prendre de risques eux de ne pas pouvoir réparer un problème, les fournisseurs de ces CASP là.

3865 LE PRÉSIDENT: Sauf qu’on a des endroits au pays où que ça pris beaucoup, beaucoup de temps même d’avoir un service 9-1-1 de base.

3866 M. BÉLAND: Donc si ça pris beaucoup de temps, on veut le connecter sur une passerelle pour que ce service-là continue de fonctionner.

3867 LE PRÉSIDENT: Non, mais ce que je veux dire c'est que la pression locale des citoyens dans des localités au Yukon, à Terre-Neuve, a été insuffisante pour amener les politiciens à prendre les décisions nécessaires pour protéger la vie et les actifs de leurs citoyens. Donc votre analyse qui dit, « Ben dans le cours normal des choses les gens vont prendre les bonnes décisions », c'est peut-être une bonne théorie d’économisme, mais en réalité c'est pas ce qui s’est passé par le passé et nous on doit se préoccuper des citoyens.

3868 M. ROY PORRETTA: Je vais laisser Dennis.

3869 M. BÉLAND: Et comme vous voyez nous on tente de ne pas... de ne pas donner des directives aux gouvernements locaux, aux responsables locaux en ce qui concerne l’organisation de leurs CASP ni la transition technologique de leurs CASP. Mais on voit potentiellement... y a potentiellement trois incitatifs pour les inciter à aller complètement IP de bout en bout. C'est la pression de la population locale, et oui, peut-être la pression est pas forte à certains endroits. Y a l’incitatif que Pierre a mentionné, c'est juste l’épuisement de la technologie qu’ils utilisent et l’incapacité de le réparer, et cetera. Y a aussi potentiellement un élément économique, tarifaire, et c'est ce dernier élément qu’on va étudier puis vous répondre sous forme d’engagement.

3870 LE PRÉSIDENT: Je veux pas être dans une situation de donner des directives aux gouvernements locaux non plus.

3871 M. BÉLAND: M'hm.

3872 LE PRÉSIDENT: Sauf que la réalité est que lorsque y a des rapports de coroner, ils sont envoyés sur mon bureau curieusement.

3873 M. BÉLAND: M'hm.

3874 LE PRÉSIDENT: Qu’en est-il de la fusion des CASP, est-ce que vous trouvez qu’on devrait encourager et inciter ces fusions ou... pour des raisons d’efficacité? Et est-ce que le Conseil a un rôle à jouer pour amener ce... pour accélérer cette transition?

3875 M. BÉLAND: En toute franchise, non. À notre avis les responsables locaux et leurs gouvernements provinciaux vont s’occuper de ces décisions-là. Puis c’est pas à nous à dire aux gouvernements locaux de fusionner leurs CASP par exemple.

3876 LE PRÉSIDENT: En ce qui a trait au stockage de l’information puis question accessoire, évidemment les questions de vie privée, si je comprends bien vous partagez le point de vue de Shaw, que ce stockage... ces données-là devraient être stockées chez les CASP et non pas chez un fournisseur – quel que soit le fournisseur – ou les opérateurs ou fournisseurs de télécommunications?

3877 M. BÉLAND: Comme mon collègue Patrick vient de me mentionner, c'est la position également de certains autres joueurs comme la Coalition... « Coalition of the Willing », peut-être même les groupes de dépenses des consommateurs.

3878 Si je me trompe pas, j’ai... je suis pas sûr d’avoir entendu qui que ce soit qui aimerait que les FST jouent un rôle dans l’entreposage ou le traitement de ces informations additionnelles qui pourraient être... qui pourraient être communiquées avec un appel 9-1-1.

3879 Nous on va vérifier l’identité de l’appelant, on va trouver sa position et transmettre sa position, et on va transmettre l’appel et à notre avis notre travail est terminé rendu là.

3880 LE PRÉSIDENT: Parce que vous êtes qu’un common carrier?

3881 M. BÉLAND: C’est définitivement cohérent avec une approche common carrier. Et donc toutes les enjeux de vie privée seront définis par le cadre règlementaire législatif qui s’applique au CASP, peu importe ou il se trouve au pays.

3882 C’est ma compréhension que ces exigences de rétention par exemple ce serait des décisions prisent en vertu de législations provinciales.

3883 LE PRÉSIDENT: Vous avez probablement raison d’envisager... de dire que bien des parties on pris cette position, mais j’ai aussi entendu qu’il y avait une certaine... comment dire, une préoccupation que ce fardeau sur les CASPs aura un coût économique et que ça pourrait créer un incitatif négatif d’assurer la transition et d’avoir accès à ces nouveaux points de données qui pourraient être quand même disponible dans un régime nouvelle génération.

3884 M. PORRETTA : Pour être bien certain, vous dites que le fait que les CASPS recoivent par exemple des photos ---

3885 LE PRÉSIDENT: Bien c’est parce que si c’est eux de ---

3886 M. PORRETTA : Oui?

3887 LE PRÉSIDENT: --- de subir les coûts et les obligations juridiques. Par exemple à une photo supplémentaire, ça va créer un désincitatif à l’adoption des nouvelles technologies nouvelles générations pour le 9-1-1. Parce qu’ils n’auront pas les moyens. Ce n’est pas mon argument mais c’est – on l’a entendu avec un des groupes. Il y a une crainte qu’ils n’auront pas nécessairement les moyens financiers pour assurer ces nouvelles obligations.

3888 M. PORRETTA : Je ne veux pas trop m’avancer mais beaucoup de choses s’en viennent Cloud. Ce qu’on dit nous c’est que on est un transporteur. On stockerait pas l’information chez nous et on est en train de parler d’un futur qui va se passer dans quelques années.

3889 Le coût d’entreprosage des photos, le coût de stockage, les centres 9-1-1 ont des – avaient des bandes déroulantes qui enregistraient les appels téléphoniques. Maintenant tout est numérisé. Il y a une fonction d’archivage. Ça ne devrait pas représenter des sommes phénoménales, parce qu’il existe aujourd’hui des obligations de rétention de l’information, mais ça pourrait toujours... bon je suis en E et D là, je... on purrait toujours voire des CASPs qui utilisent des services, mais que nous on dit qui devraient être pas chez le fournisseur de service des télécoms et s’entendre pour dire que l’information qui est transitée est peut-être stockée dans un endroit qui leur permet d’accéder à cette information en fonction de certaines règles et de réduire le coût d’avoir à mettre dans chacun des CASPs un espace disque supplémentaire et il y a divers façon de répondre à la question.

3890 Je pense qu’un des points qui est très important sur lequel on revient c’est... je me répète mais on veut implanter un système de nouvelle génération, nous permettre à la voix ou text de fonctionner et de coprendre qu’est-ce qui ce passe dans des évènements importants.

3891 Parce que si on reçoit trop de photos d’un coup il y a d’autres évènements, mais dans cinq and le coût de la... ou dans trois ans le coût de la technologie va diminuer et il y a des approches au marché qui vont arriver. Il existe aujourd’hui des endroits ou vous pouvez stocker des informations qui sont chiffrées, sécurisées, entièrement robustes, qui sont ébergées au Canada. Je pense que c’est... il est peut-être trop tôt pour commencer à faire ça. Si on regarde un gros espace disque puis un coût par photo de... je vais utiliser... je ne vous dirai pas le nom mais il y a une compagnie qui existe qui est très connue. On peut mettre des fichiers personnels et des entreposages d’affaires. Je pense que ça ne devrait pas être un coût financier insurmontable.

3892 Avec des bonnes politiques de rétention.

3893 LE PRÉSIDENT: Non, encore un processus évolutif ou les gens vont voir que peut-être que ce n’est pas une charge additionnelle, mais en fait économiquement intéressante pour eux selon les cas.

3894 M. PORRETTA : Je vais le dire. Ils se prennaient un dropbox super sécurisé mais ---

3895 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui.

3896 M. PORRETTA : --- il existe je pense des méthodes hautement sécurisées avec les chiffrements qui existent, qui permettraient de répondre à ces besoins-là à coût moindre, avec comme je dis des bonnes politiques de rétention puis Dennis en a parlé, qui seraient régies au niveau régionales. Patrick veut apporter quelque chose à notre réponse.

3897 M. DÉSY : Je veux ajouter aussi en fait il y a souvent... c’est l’appelant qui envoie les informations. Il y a une notion de consentement déjà au départ, de partager cette information-là, donc il y a ce côté aussi qu’il faut prendre en compte dans l’établissement des politiques de protection de la vie privée et de la confidentialité. Qu’il faut comprendre que justement ce n’est pas une information qui est à certains égards oui confidentiels, mais en même temps il y a à la base le consentement exprès de l’appelant. De vouloir partager une photo, un vidéo, d’un évènement qui se passe pour justement aider le centre d’appel à répondre à la situation d’urgence.

3898 LE PRÉSIDENT: D’accord.

3899 Ma dernière question, avant que je me tourne vers mes collègues ou vers le contentieux, porte sur votre expérience. On en a parlé un peu tout à l’heure, à propos du Text-9-1-1, puis pour les personnes handicapées et votre expérience par rapport aux accents et le défis que ça créé.

3900 Est-ce qu’il y a d’autres expériences pratico-pratique comme ça auxquelles on devrait songer lorsqu’on pense aux services à la communauté avec des besoins particuliers, pour s’assurer qu’on ne répète pas les... des erreurs du passé?

3901 M. : Oui, je pense qu’on l’a vue dans l’établissement du service Text-9-1-1 pour les personnes sourdes et muettes, qu’il y a eu des défis au niveau de la coordination, de la mise en place du service à travers l’ensemble des centres d’urgence au Canada.

3902 Donc c’est peut-être... puis on a mis aussi... il faut prendre en considération que les FSTs ont mis des efforts assez substantiels pour mettre rapidement sur place, en place, se service là et que pour autant, en fait, plusieurs centres d’appels ont eu... ça été difficile à coordonner.

3903 Alors il va falloir prendre ça je pense en compte si jamais on souhaitait étendre l’ensemble, le service text à l’ensemble... 9-1-1 à l’ensemble de la population. Il faudrait s’assurer qu’il y ait un readiness dans l’ensemble des CASPs de manière à ne pas d’une part diverger de nos objectifs d’établissement d’un service 9-1-1 de prochaine génération dont on a parlé tout à l’heure, mais en même temps s’assurer aussi que justement les efforts sont bien concentrés puis qu’on en maximize leur utilisation.

3904 LE PRÉSIDENT: Donc un appel à plus de concertation et de planification?

3905 M. DÉSY: Exactement.

3906 LE PRÉSIDENT: D’accord.

3907 M. BÉLAND: Excuse-moi, et de masse critique de CASPs qui sont capables de recevoir le service.

3908 LE PRÉSIDENT: Oui. Y compris au niveau de la communication au public pour les informer de qu’est-ce qui est disponible ou pas disponible dans une région donnée?

3909 M. BÉLAN D: Absolument.

3910 LE PRÉSIDENT: D’accord. Merci beaucoup. Je crois que mes collègues n’ont pas te questions, mais le contentieux?

3911 M. : Oui, Monsieur le président.

3912 J’ai simplement une question pour vous mais j’admet qu’elle pourrait comporter deux-trois volet dépendant de les réponses.

3913 C’est une variante d’une question qui a été posé à Rogers ce matin. Je remarque que dans votre allocution... dans votre allocution, plutôt, vous faites mention qu’un tarif pourrait être déposé auprès du Conseil pour l’opérateur, pour les services qui seraient offerts.

3914 Vous envisagez que le consortium choisirait l’opérateur suite à un appel aux offres, mais j’aimerais savoir un peu comment que vous voyez que ce cadre règlementaire là avec obligation de déposer un tarif le mandat qu’a le Conseil de s’assurer que les tarifs, les taux, qui sont chargés sont justes et raisonnables, comment ça s’articule avec le processus d’un appel aux offres?

3915 En autres mots, comment est-ce que quelqu’un peut soumettre... comment est-ce qu’on pourrait... ou le consortium pourrait structurer l’appel aux offres et comment est-ce que quelqu’un pourrait déposer un offre et comment cette offre-là serait évaluée si à ce stade-là personne peut garantir que les modalités de services et les taux utilement approuvés, ou du moins laissez-moi rephraser n’étant pas une garantie finalement des modalités de service et des tarifs que le Conseil approuveraient au bout de son processus.

3916 M. BÉLAND: Notre espoir serait que le Conseil reconnaitrait qu’un processus d’appel d’offres est un processus légitime pour produire des tarifs justes et raisonnables.

3917 Fondé sur cet espoir-là, je crois qu’en pratique ce qui arriverait c’est qu’il faudrait mentionner dans l’appel d’offres que toute offre choisie est quand même sujet à l’approbation du Conseil en terme de tarification.

3918 Si c’est l’avis du Conseil exprimé dans la décision qui fait suite à cette audience que c’est nécessaire en vertu de l’article 25(1) de la Loi, il faudrait le mentionner dans le processus d’appel d’offres. Logiquement, un soumissionnaire mettrait dans sa soumission un genre de clause d’accompagnement qui va dire que sa proposition va tomber à l’eau si la proposition après coûts est modifiée de façon significative par le Conseil. Je pense que les deux vont jouer ensemble.

3919 Mais ça existe dans d’autres domaines. Par exemple, on est habitué avec Innovation Canada à conclure des ententes dans le domaine des fréquences, de transactions dans le domaine des fréquences où c’est sujet à l’approbation du ministère et cette réalité est reflétée dans les ententes.

3920 Donc encore une fois, tout ça est fondé sur une croyance qu’il y a une haute probabilité que le Conseil va voir que le résultat d’un processus d’appel d’offres bien géré, bien exécuté, va produire des tarifs justes et raisonnables.

3921 Me BOWLES: Juste une dernière petite question. Advenant que le fournisseur retenu à travers le consortium serait un ESLT ou un ESLC, êtes-vous au courant d’une ordonnance d’abstention qui couvrirait les activités?

3922 Vous mentionniez plus tôt que dans la décision, le Conseil, il faudrait qu’il stipule clairement qu’il devrait y avoir un tarif déposé, mais selon moi ça serait plutôt le revers. Il faudrait qu’il y ait un tarif qui soit déposé à moins qu’il y ait une ordonnance d’abstention qui couvrirait les services à être offerts.

3923 M. BÉLAND: Oui, oui. Quand j’ai mentionné le texte d’une décision potentielle, je le mentionnais plus dans le sens que le Conseil confirmerait ce contexte-là. Je m’attendais pas à une décision dans ce sens-là.

3924 Me BOWLES: Parfait. Merci bien.

3925 C’est tout, Monsieur le président.

3926 LE PRÉSIDENT: Merci beaucoup.

3927 Ce sont nos questions. Merci beaucoup pour votre participation.

3928 On va prendre une brève pause d’une dizaine de minutes. Donc de retour à 2h45... à 14h45.

3929 So we’re back at 2:45. Thank you.

--- Upon recessing at 2:33 p.m.

--- Upon resuming at 3:30 p.m.

3930 THE CHAIRMAN: Order, please. À l’ordre s’il vous plaît.

3931 Madame la secrétaire.

3932 MS. ROY: Thank you.

3933 We’ll now hear the presentation of MTS, who is appearing by videoconference from the Winnipeg CRTC regional office. Please introduce yourself and your colleague and you have 20 minutes for your presentation.

PRESENTATION

3934 MS. GRANDE: Thank you.

3935 Good afternoon Mr. Chairman, Mr. Vice-Chairman, Commissioners, Commission staff, and participants to this hearing. My name is Grainne Grande and I am the Director of Regulatory at MTS. With me today is Matthew Crowley, Network Architect.

3936 We are appearing before you by videoconference today to discuss the critical elements we feel must be present in the regulatory framework that the Commission is establishing for next-generation 9-1-1, NG9-1-1, in Canada.

3937 Effective access to emergency services is critical to the health and safety of Canadians. As the Commission has pointed out, the emergency communication needs and expectations of Canadians are evolving.

3938 MTS and its predecessor, the Manitoba Telephone System, has been a pioneer in the provision of 9-1-1 services. Winnipeg’s 999 service, introduced in 1959, has been widely acknowledged as the forerunner to 9-1-1 service in centres across North America. It wasn’t until almost a decade later that the United States formally implemented a 9-1-1 service. Winnipeg’s 999 emergency number was changed to 9-1-1 in 1972 and thus 9-1-1 in Canada was born. MTS’s desire to provide reliable and high-quality 9-1-1 network services has continued to this day.

3939 MTS was notably the first 9-1-1 provider in Canada to enable all public safety answering points, PSAPs, in its territory with both In-Call Location Update, ICLU, functionality -- that was in 2013 -- and Text with 9-1-1, T9-1-1, in 2014. This is a testament to the strong relationship and shared desire of both MTS and Manitoba PSAPs to implement new 9-1-1 functionality and services in a timely and coordinated manner, with T9-1-1 benefitting members of the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired community in Manitoba, and ICLU benefitting all users of wireless 9-1-1 service in Manitoba.

3940 Given our longstanding experience as a 9-1-1 network provider, we believe that three critical pillars must be addressed by the Commission when establishing the regulatory framework for NG9-1-1 in Canada: responsibility and adoption of defined architecture; realistic transition steps and timelines; and appropriate mechanisms for cost recovery.

3941 Regarding the first pillar, responsibility and adoption of defined architecture, we applaud the Commission’s approval of the recommendations made by the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee’s, CISC, Emergency Services Working Group, the ESWG, regarding the National Emergency Number Association, NENA, i3 architecture standard for NG9-1-1 services. Adoption of this standard will facilitate the transition to NG9-1-1 and provide a clear path forward for all 9-1-1 stakeholders in Canada.

3942 As part of that approval, the Commission requested that the ESWG and other CISC working groups make recommendations on the specific technical and operational aspects of the implementation of the NENA i3 architecture standard for NG9-1-1 in Canada. This important work is underway and we urge the Commission to wait for the ESWG’s recommendations on these matters. The ESWG has been immersed in 9-1-1 technical and operational matters for many years now, including the transition to NG9-1-1, and is Canada’s expert voice in this regard.

3943 As to who should be responsible for the NG9-1-1 network, the Commission need look no further than the successful current 9-1-1 network model that the ILECs have provided.

3944 Given the critical and sensitive nature of emergency services, the Commission must rely on the parties with the proven track record.

3945 Secondly, realistic transition steps and timelines towards NG9-1-1 will also become much easier given that ILECs have the experience, technology, and aptitude to handle a staged transition to NG9-1-1. More importantly, having ILECs manage the existing 9-1-1 system and NG9-1-1 system will make the transition seamless to Canadians and ensure the reliability and resiliency of the 9-1-1 system as a whole.

3946 Finally, certainty of recovery of investment and appropriate cost recovery mechanisms are critical. As the Commission has acknowledged, the transition to NG9-1-1 will both be complex and costly.

3947 Certainty on these framework pillars will drive the success of Canada’s transition to NG9-1-1.

3948 Responsibility and adoption of defined architecture. It’s clear that all parties to this proceeding value the continued provision of reliable and effective 9-1-1 services in Canada. Given the technical, logistical, and stakeholder complexity involved with transitioning to NG9-1-1, we believe that now is not the time to further complicate this transition by overhauling the existing and successful model of providing E9-1-1 network services in Canada. There is no reason to believe that this existing framework would not work with NG9-1-1. In fact, retaining the same model would expedite a reliable, resilient, and responsible transition to NG9-1-1.

3949 Some intervenors have recommended that a single national NG9-1-1 network be established. We do not believe it is necessary to build a single national NG9-1-1 network to achieve NG9-1-1 uniformity. Nor is there any concrete evidence that this national NG9-1-1 network would be more reliable, resilient, or cost-effective than the current 9-1-1 network models.

3950 ILECs are the logical party to continue operating NG9-1-1 networks. We have the existing infrastructure, processes, PSAP relationships, and expertise with 9-1-1 systems and networks. Moreover, the overall reliability and resiliency of the current 9-1-1 model has been investigated and confirmed by the Commission just last year in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2016-165.

3951 Many PSAPs and other parties to this proceeding also support the current 9-1-1 network model. We have recently heard from Calgary 9-1-1 and E-Comm 9-1-1 on this point. They have specifically recognized the value that the ILEC 9-1-1 network providers bring to the 9-1-1 ecosystem and the agility with which we are able to deal with issues.

3952 In our jurisdiction, we note that the Winnipeg Police Service PSAP stated in its Intervention:

3953 “It has been our experience in Manitoba that once regulatory requirements have been outlined and detailed our ILEC, MTS, is quick to respond and perform the necessary work.”

3954 MTS’s efforts with respect to ICLU and T9-1-1 are but just two examples of MTS’s willingness and efforts towards the success of Canada’s 9-1-1 system. Other ILEC 9-1-1 network providers have offered many similar examples on the record. ILECs remain, therefore, best qualified and situated to provide NG9-1-1 network services to Canadians. That said, MTS, like the other ILECs in this proceeding, is not opposed to interconnecting regional 9-1-1 networks if required by the Commission.

3955 Furthermore, given that there will need to be a transition phase where both the existing E9-1-1 system and NG9-1-1 system will be operational, it is imperative that ILECs continue to have the responsibility over the both 9-1-1 networks. This will ensure that Canadians continue to receive the benefit of reliable and effective 9-1-1 services. Practically, this also means that PSAPs will continue to have the benefit of ILEC experience, expertise, and support at a time when they will be migrating to NG9-1-1 and addressing the evolving emergency communications needs and expectations of Canadians.

3956 Many of the same intervenors calling for a single national NG9-1-1 network have also proposed that a national consortium, governing body, or other multi-stakeholder entity -- which we'll refer to as a consortium -- be created to govern most, if not all, NG9-1-1 activities. The proposed role of this consortium seems to vary between different intervenors, but generally these intervenors advocate that the consortium be in charge of governance as well as operational, reporting and budgetary matters, and also lead network design, setting of standards and deployment of NG9-1-1.

3957 We note with concern that several intervenors were not able to fully explain the governance model, mandate, or actual benefits that would come from such a drastic overhaul of the current and successful 9-1-1 model.

3958 Introducing a new national consortium at this juncture is not only unnecessary but it may impair the provision of reliable and effective 9-1-1 services in Canada. It would almost certainly delay transition timelines given the inevitable time needed to create the national consortium and confirm its operational readiness. Past experience demonstrates that structural changes such as the institution of a consortium typically take more time to implement than expected, with then even more time needed to work out operational bugs.

3959 Between inconsistencies and lack of clarity on the governance model for this new national consortium, there is cause for concern, which begs the question, why would we put this critical public safety service at risk by overhauling the provision and governance of it entirely? The Commission is more than capable to continue to govern the provision of NG9-1-1 network services in Canada as it has been doing so for many years successfully.

3960 We also support the continued mandate of the CISC working groups such as the ESWG and the Network Working Group, NTWG. The ESWG in particular is an open forum composed of specialized and experienced stakeholders: PSAPs, 9-1-1 industry specialists, and TSPs, including 9-1-1 network providers such as MTS. One just has to look at the sheer number of hours participants in the ESWG have dedicated to working through the multitude of technical and operational issues related to adapting the NENA i3 architecture for Canada’s transition to NG9-1-1.

3961 This work is critical. Certainty on how the NENA i3 architecture should be adapted to meet Canadian NG9-1-1 requirements, along with other NG9-1-1 technical and operational recommendations the ESWG and NTWG may make, will reduce the risk of stranded investment. This is a very real and valid concern of 9-1-1 network providers just as the Commission itself has acknowledged.

3962 To replace these ongoing efforts with a newly formed and unproven national consortium simply does not make sense. If the intent is that the national consortium would “accentuate” such existing efforts, we are of the opinion that, in reality, it would likely end up complicating, or worse yet, casting doubt on the existing efforts of these specialized CISC committees, thus delaying the transition to NG9-1-1.

3963 At this juncture, all efforts should be focused on the timely conclusion of the valuable work that these CISC committees have been doing and thereafter, the successful implementation of a vital NG9- 1-1 regime. The majority of TSPs and PSAPs support the EWSG’s continued involvement as well.

3964 I will now turn it over to my colleague, Matthew Crowley, to discuss realistic transition steps and timelines.

3965 Matthew?

3966 MR. CROWLEY: Once the adoption plans of the NENA i3 architecture for Canada are finalized, and the Commission determines the services that NG9-1-1 will support and how NG9-1-1 will be funded, realistic transition steps and timelines can be finalized.

3967 In the interim, it is important to note that many stakeholders are already contemplating the transition to NG9-1-1. For example, in anticipation of NG9-1-1 and the evolving emergency communication needs and expectations of Canadians, when upgrading its E9-1-1 network in 2015, MTS invested in an IP platform to ready itself for NG9-1-1. This investment created a stepping stone that will allow for an easier transition to NG9-1-1 once Manitoban PSAPs are ready.

3968 9-1-1 network providers and PSAPs are currently at different stages of readiness. In Manitoba for instance, the Winnipeg Police Service Primary PSAP has migrated to the new IP-based platform, along with several Secondary PSAPs, while the City of Brandon Primary PSAP has not. The story of differing states of PSAP-readiness is similar across Canada. Moreover, wireless service providers and TSPs who interconnect to the existing 9-1-1 networks are also at various stages of readiness.

3969 An orderly transition plan and realistic timeframes are essential to manage the many different stages stakeholders are at. Transition to an NG9-1-1 network will require careful coordination between key stakeholders under the guidance of the ESWG. Migration to an NG9-1-1 network should only occur after it has been provisioned, operationally tested, and verified. The PSAPs’ transition to NG9-1-1 will depend on the readiness of each PSAP as it will have to obtain the necessary funding. We agree with other participants who have indicated that a staged migration approach, dependent on PSAP-readiness, will be required.

3970 As we stated earlier, during this staged migration, it will be necessary to maintain both the existing 9-1-1 system and the new NG9-1-1 system. It will also be critical to ensure that, during this time, Canadians are well-informed about which methods of communication can be used to contact 9-1-1 and where. We believe the ILEC 9-1-1 network providers are best situated to manage the migration and communicate with their customers, with input and guidance from the ESWG as well.

3971 I will now turn it back to Grainne Grande to discuss mechanisms for cost recovery.

3972 MS. GRANDE: Thanks, Matthew.

3973 Mechanisms for Cost Recovery. MTS believes that the current overall funding model, which uses Commission approved rates, provides the industry with the most appropriate means to recover its costs. This cost-based method is understood by both the industry and consumers. Until the transition to NG9-1-1 is complete, we will require the ability to recover costs under both the existing E9-1-1 tariff and a new NG91-1-1 tariff.

3974 Some straightforward modifications to this established funding model can be made to facilitate the transition to NG9-1-1. The Commission should assess funding mechanisms for Secondary PSAPs within the NG9-1-1 funding model, to ensure proper cost recovery is included for all appropriate stakeholders.

3975 Secondary PSAPs play an important role in emergency services and ILECs agree that Secondary PSAPs should interconnect to the NG9-1-1 network. Cost recovery for Secondary PSAPs must consider actual costs incurred to interconnect to the NG9-1-1 network.

3976 It is also imperative that the cost recovery method supports the evolution to NG9-1-1. 9-1-1 network providers must be able to recover the costs to upgrade the existing systems or to replace their 9-1-1 systems with NG9-1-1 components and features. This cost recovery method must also allow for forward-looking cost recovery.

3977 And to the extent costs are incurred solely to facilitate the transition to NG9-1-1 prior to the responsibility, adoption -- sorry prior to the responsibility, adoption of a defined architecture and regulatory framework being determined, such costs should be recoverable as well.

3978 There is no financial incentive or administrative incentive to maintaining two 9-1-1 network systems longer than required. Accordingly, subject to any guidance the ESWG may provide on recommended decommissioning steps and timelines of the E9-1-1 networks, once the PSAP migration to NG9-1-1 in Manitoba is complete, we would begin to decommission the E9-1-1 network.

3979 In conclusion, we believe the Commission’s proceeding to establish a regulatory framework for NG9-1-1 in Canada is very timely, given technological advancements and the evolving public safety needs and expectations of Canadians. We support the Commission’s goal to ensure that the provision of NG9-1-1 continues to provide reliable and effective 9-1-1 services, while at the same time maximizing the benefits to all stakeholders.

3980 We do not believe that in order to meet the Commission’s goal, a structural overhaul of the 9-1-1 regime is required. Innovation does not always need overhaul to succeed. The current 9-1-1 service model which designates ILECs responsible for the provision and maintenance of 9-1-1 networks has led to a successful, well-understood, reliable, and resilient 9-1-1 system in Canada. Governance of the NG9-1-1 network should remain with the Commission.

3981 The Commission’s delegation of technical and operation matters to the ESWG and NTWG remains appropriate given that these specialized sub-committees contain the expert voices on 9-1-1 in Canada. The majority of PSAPs before you have implored that the -- also that the Commission not change this well-working model. Simply put, no compelling reasons or evidence has been supplied by those parties opposing this model to warrant a complex overhaul of this critical public safety regime.

3982 ILECs have the required experience, networks, and stakeholder relationships to provide NG9-1-1 and are best situated to transition this critical emergency service to a new framework. ILECs have demonstrated the willingness, capability, and expertise to design high-quality 9-1-1 networks, and have the ability and agility to navigate through the transition.

3983 The funding model governing the provision of current 9-1-1 system services is transparent, just, and reasonable as it is Commission approved. The new funding model we propose for NG9-1-1 will closely mirror the existing model but with several enhancements, and will thus remain transparent, fair, and subject to Commission approval.

3984 Moving forward, the regulatory framework for NG9-1-1 as determined by the Commission must include three important pillars in order to succeed. First, there must be certainty of responsibility and adoption of defined architecture. Second, realistic transition steps and timelines must be articulated. And third, there must be appropriate mechanisms for cost recovery.

3985 Clarity on these three important issues will drive the success of the transition to NG9-1-1 in Canada. This will, in turn, ensure that Canadians have access to an emergency services ecosystem that meets their evolving needs and expectations.

3986 This concludes our presentation today, and we are ready to take any questions you may have for us. Thank you. We appreciate the opportunity to present to you today.

3987 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for that presentation. I'll put you in the hands of Vice-Chair Menzies, please.

3988 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you. Good afternoon. I thought maybe we'd start with going through and I expect we'll repeat over them a little bit, but your three pillars.

3989 The first one is, you're concerned for defined architecture and designated responsibility. And one thing that maybe you can clarify for me is in paragraph 8 of your oral remarks, you referred to the NENA i3 architecture standard. But this is important work and we urge the Commission to wait for the working groups' recommendations on this matter.

3990 I understand that to a certain extent, but it implied a little bit to me -- and I may have taken it the wrong way -- that you just kind of want us to do a time-out here and put everything on hold until we get those set of recommendations. Is that what you're suggesting?

3991 MS. GRANDE: Oh, no, not at all. Thanks for the question. Let me clarify. What we're recommending is, we don’t want that important work put on -- held, while perhaps, as some other parties would suggest, a national consortium maybe be created, implemented, and then be also tasked with looking at certain work. We want to make it clear on the record that we think this work that the ESWG is doing is critical. It's important. It should currently on go and we wouldn't -- we would not want to see it stopped and nor do we think it should be performed or repeated by another body.

3992 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And do you -- right, so you're concerned about overlap there rather than straight line, and you want a staged approach as well; is that correct?

3993 MS. GRANDE: Correct.

3994 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Like, how can you -- describe for us a little bit how you see that staged approach unfolding. Do you see -- I understand that there's, you know, many unknowns for people still at this stage, but do you -- are there certain, I guess, landmarks would be -- I'll try to use that word -- that you see in the future where there would be a stop and then a reassessment and then a decision to move forward?

3995 MS. GRANDE: So when you refer to staged approach, are you referring to the entire migration to NG9-1-1?

3996 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes.

3997 MS. GRANDE: Staged approach, are we still on the CISC ESWG work?

3998 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No, we're ---

3999 MS. GRANDE: I just want to make sure. I'll have to try my best ---

4000 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: No, I'm doing the whole thing there, staged approach. That was -- my interpretation was that you were looking for a staged approach to the ---

4001 MS. GRANDE: Yes.

4002 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: --- entire thing. Can you just describe a little bit for us what you'd see that looking like?

4003 MS. GRANDE: Okay, certainly. So we know right now we've got the ESWG investigating some -- how to adopt the NENA i3 standard for Canada. This work obviously should continue to go on. What we envision is you have this hearing before us to discuss other critical elements as -- that should go into the regulatory framework for NG9-1-1. That obviously would continue.

4004 What we see next is once the framework is determined, you know, work would begin on -- in looking at how to best transition to NG9-1-1. That could involve trials. There could be cost studies. There could be -- you know, there'll be the transition between the existing -- the need for the existing E9-1-1 network and the NG9-1-1 network to exist while PSAPs are becoming ready for transition.

4005 And eventually, at the end of the migration -- so when the PSAP in a certain territory has migrated, then we would look at the eventual decommission of the E9-1-1 network.

4006 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And the responsibility, you’ve made clear, you wish to remain as it is designated with the ILECs, the -- who traditionally have been designated the responsibility of 9-1-1. That's clear.

4007 I have a just a bit of an aside question. It doesn’t -- I'd like your view on it. It doesn’t necessarily just apply to you, but over the years from time to time, things like mechanisms like 9-1-1, which people have executed their responsibilities on it quite well, have, from time to time -- and I'm not saying you did this -- but from time to time, then referenced in more in terms of an obligation, not quite burden, regulatory burden sort of obligation sort of thing. Burden is probably -- that's more a term I hear in broadcasting than that.

4008 But all of a sudden, the prospect of it being taken away seems to cause a great deal of affection for it that I sort of hadn't heard before. And the one big ILEC without 9-1-1 responsibilities appears willing and quite keen to take it on, which makes me think that there might be some sort of commercial value to having a 9-1-1 responsibility.

4009 Am I just jaded with that view, or is there some commercial value to being an ILEC with a 9-1-1 obligation?

4010 MS. GRANDE: Well, I would say that what you’ve got is, you’ve got a situation where we were -- that the obligation was -- and not that we would say it was a burden or is a burden, but it was imposed on the ILEC. And what happens is you then build up to meet those requirements. And as you go on, you develop those working relationships with all stakeholders involved. And so you then create, within your serving territory, you know, a mini-ecosystem, if you will, involving, you know, you as a network provider and your primary PSAP, your secondary PSAP.

4011 Is it a commercial opportunity per se? I don’t know if I would term it that. I would say that what you do is you build relationships. I would say that there is definitely -- you become a very close-knit community. And I think that’s how I would phrase it.

4012 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, that’s sensible. Thank you. I understand that.

4013 Can you just remind me of what the rate is that you charge for 9-1-1 services in Manitoba?

4014 MS. GRANDE: Seventeen (17) cents.

4015 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thirteen (13) cents? Seventeen (17)?

4016 MS. GRANDE: Seventeen (17).

4017 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Seventeen (17), thanks.

4018 MS. GRANDE: Yes. Yes.

4019 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And how are the PSAPs funded in Manitoba?

4020 MS. GRANDE: Provincially.

4021 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: There’s ---

4022 MS. GRANDE: Provincially or -- sorry.

4023 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Is there a provincial levy on bills or anything like that or is it just general revenue funding for the PSAPs?

4024 MS. GRANDE: General revenue funding.

4025 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So the only charge on anyone’s bills is the 17 cents from MTS for 9-1-1 services; is that correct?

4026 MS. GRANDE: Yeah.

4027 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.

4028 MS. GRANDE: Yes.

4029 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And I have not been -- I’ve been to Brandon but not to the PSAP there. I’ve been to Winnipeg. And those are the two primaries, right? Winnipeg is Winnipeg and Brandon is not Winnipeg; is that correct?

4030 MS. GRANDE: Correct.

4031 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And then you refer to “secondary PSAPs”.

4032 MS. GRANDE: Yes.

4033 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And those are which?

4034 MS. GRANDE: Okay, we have four secondary PSAPs. We have the RCMP. We have Fire and Paramedic Services. We have Shilo, which is a military base. And we also have the Medical Transportation Coordination Centre.

4035 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And the RCMP deal with which areas?

4036 MS. GRANDE: Pretty much for the most part the areas that Winnipeg and Brandon do not cover. They cover a large portion of the province where the municipalities are ready for 9-1-1.

4037 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Okay, thanks. It keeps me roughly in the picture there, anyway.

4038 Do you have, beyond -- because I had, prior to your oral presentation, just your earlier submission. And I’m aware of your circumstances while you await approvals and that sort of thing because you needed a little extra time to get your initial submission in.

4039 But do you have a more fully-formed view yet on how much more NG9-1-1 is likely to cost than the current system is costing? For instance, if it’s 17 cents that you require right now for your system, would NG9-1-1 be looking like 34 cents, 51 cents, a buck 70? Do you have any sort of ballpark-ish -- it’s not something we’re going to tie you to, but just to help us get some sort of idea. Because obviously at this stage in the development it’s difficult for people to have certainty of costs. But can you give us a feel for what you think the costs might be?

4040 MS. GRANDE: Yes. I can tell you that we hadn’t really settled on a ballpark figure just because there’s been so many unknowns, in particular the possibility of a national consortium coming in and just something of the different proposals that are currently on the table in this proceeding.

4041 You know, we can tell you that we know that there will be, like, capital costs to build. There will be capital costs to build improvements to the network. We anticipate other costs. Whether this ends up that at the end of the day that cost is greater than 17 cents, I can’t say with certainty. We just needed some more clarification on some of the big issues that are before us and in particular things like whether, you know, there would be one national 9-1-1 network or even, you know, multiple regional networks and if those multiple regional would be interconnected.

4042 So that’s one of the matters that we are awaiting -- we’re anxiously awaiting this hearing to determine what would be the outcome and begin planning from there.

4043 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And in terms -- because we’re talking about funding, which is one of your pillars or mechanisms for cost-recovery, I guess, to use your terminology -- you clearly prefer the incumbent tariffed approach in terms of that. I just want to confirm that in terms of that, do you see that a tariffed rate like that applying equally to wireline and wireless? And do you see it also applying to ISPs?

4044 MS. GRANDE: Well, at the beginning -- you know, we haven’t fully, you know, analyzed it to exactly how the staged migration would go. But what we anticipate is at the beginning we would have an E9-1-1 tariff that would continue to apply to the legacy -- you know, to the legacy 9-1-1 platform network services, and then an NG9-1-1 that would apply initially to voice because that, we believe, would probably be the first platform network -- or first application that would be on that NG9-1-1 network.

4045 We do envision a time definitely that messaging and perhaps even video will be carried over that network. And at one point, yes, we believe that there will be need to look to whether that, you know, ISPs should be charged as well.

4046 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And just to clarify, do you see the -- leaving ISPs aside for the moment -- wireline and wireless rate being the same?

4047 MS. GRANDE: Yes.

4048 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay.

4049 MS. GRANDE: Oh, sorry, in an NG9-1-1 situation?

4050 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yes. Yes.

4051 MS. GRANDE: So currently the rates are the same. In an NG9-1-1 situation, again, much like my response on the wireline, we haven’t fully done the marble drop on what that might look like until we have a little bit more certainty on what the actual solution is going to be. But it’s possible they could be very close.

4052 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you. You talked about -- one of your other pillars is realistic transition steps and timelines and the staged approach in terms of that. We touched on the staged approach.

4053 But in terms of timelines, there’s been some numbers bandied about in the course of the week and used a little bit. In terms of getting up and running, three to five years, getting up and running for NG9-1-1, has been sort of the rough estimate in terms of timelines given to us to get started. Would you agree with that?

4054 MS. GRANDE: I would agree in principal, yes, that’s reasonable. I would say that I think timelines might be quicker if we are continuing to build on the successful model we already have. I have concerns with the notion of introducing a completely new consortium, having to establish a governance structure for it, potentially going out to an RFP process.

4055 I see that time taken to do those sort of things as valuable time that could be directed to activities like trials and other important work, building off the knowledge and expertise in the systems we currently have in place. So it’s my opinion that it will be quicker if we are building off what we have -- the very successful foundation we have.

4056 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. And in terms of completion and a shutdown of the current system, I believe it was TELUS that stuck a year on it as 2028, so roughly 11 years from now. Does that make sense to you in terms of a timeline?

4057 MS. GRANDE: You know, that ---

4058 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Given the caveats that you already -- sorry, I meant given the caveats that you already expressed on the start-up.

4059 MS. GRANDE: Yes, yes. The problem with the end date is it’s not always a date that’s going to be in our control. So you’ve got to have the PSAPs ready to migrate to NG9-1-1, so that will be -- that will very much be a factor that will go into that end date.

4060 But that said, assuming that we get started on the important work right away and build off the great foundation we have, I would see that as being, you know, 2022 to 2028, anywhere in that timeframe, as being possible to, you know, get towards that NG9-1-1 for most, if not all places in Canada.

4061 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you. I understand your argument in favour of the existing one, but I want to get some comment from you regarding Rogers' argument for the single national provider.

4062 They -- to sort of summarize what I understood their view to be, is in part, they said that this would give the opportunity to introduce a more competitive dynamic that could lower costs of the system with better service for Canadians. And I mean, the whole point of this is to give the best possible service to Canadians at obviously an efficient rate and a good return on their investment, in terms of that.

4063 Why, in your view, would an introduction of that competitive dynamic be less of a public good than the continuation of the system we have right now?

4064 MS. GRANDE: You know, a lot of it is just that there's no concrete proof that what they're saying is actually going to come to fruition and that we're going to get that competitive bidding between parties for that -- to operate the network. And you’ve got -- you're going to have additional costs on top of it.

4065 Whoever -- if it moved to the model that Rogers is suggesting, we just see that it's incremental costs being added, and additional unnecessary costs when we've got a model that clearly is almost there. You've got, you know, four main ILECs that provide the 9-1-1 network system in Canada; I believe everyone's on the record as ILECs saying they'd be willing to interconnect if so required. I really don’t see we need that extra competitive model.

4066 All the cost studies before you that went into that original network were approved and we can note that in the case of MTS, our last full cost study on 9-1-1, E9-1-1 in Manitoba, was just approved in 2010. So it's definitely more current, as has been suggested.

4067 But you've got a system that works and there's no -- there's really been no concrete argument, in my opinion, to suggest that continuing on with that and building on it and just transitioning it to an NG9-1-1 framework wouldn't continue to be as cost-effective for Canadians.

4068 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thank you. And speaking of costing, if I did not already touch on it, you're comfortable with the continuation of Phase II costing methods?

4069 MS. GRANDE: Yes.

4070 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Thanks. Now, I understand your view on a single national network operator, but you have a fairly clear view as well in opposition to the consortium. And I can understand that you would hold that view in terms of the consortium as being operator or overseeing operation of a single national network. But some have suggested during the course of the week that it have a -- you know, that it's possible to -- for it still to be making a valued contribution in addition to the working group.

4071 So first of all, can you describe how heavily involved you are with the working group or have been in recent years? What is your level of involvement and participation with the working group?

4072 MS. GRANDE: Well, MTS definitely participates on ESWG. We contribute to TIFs. We attend face-to-faces where we can, and in the odd instance that we may not actually physically be able to be there, we dial in and we listen. So I would say that we do make a contribution and we are an active participant. You know, I would say that that's going to continue.

4073 And in terms of a national consortium being able to enhance that, I would really -- I just -- my belief on this is, we've got a model that's there. If there was something that was broken within the ESWG or something that could be improved, there's lots of opportunities to do that. But I don’t think we need to create a whole new national overseeing body and have to, you know, address all the governance models and everything else that comes with it -- funding, administration -- to you know, really have the main players that have a voice into that governing administrator.

4074 It would be the same players that are in ESWG. ESWG is a well-functioning, well-operating group. You know, it's an open forum. Parties are welcome to attend, contribute, listen, and we've got that solution in place. We've got that body to discuss these technical and operational matters. It really -- I can't envision a need at this time to -- as we just embark on the NG9-1-1 system -- to overhaul it with something whose value really is a theoretical value at this time.

4075 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, I understand that. Just one more proposition for you to comment on, in terms of that.

4076 I mean, given the complexity and the number of unknowns, going forward, in terms of what the demands might be and even -- I mean, we have a better handle today on what NG9-1-1 is than we did even a year ago in terms of its complexities. Is there not some additional merit to having a coordinating body that would have, obviously not jurisdiction, but some at least moral suasion in terms of -- I mean, we have the Coalition of the Willing and there are some unwilling.

4077 And if we are going to move forward with this successfully, and like, the -- as we said, that we talked about 2028 as an end date, the end date will be when the last one's on board, essentially, in many cases.

4078 We need some mechanism to be able to build enthusiasm for this project where it may not currently exist, and have people coordinate it so that Canadians, no matter where the go in the country, will have a sense of what services are available to them.

4079 Or do you believe that there's nothing in that the working group can't already achieve, and why?

4080 MS. GRANDE: I think most of that, if tasked, the working group could look into. The biggest issue we're facing in your comments is getting on-board parties, which, you know, are not under the jurisdictional control of the telecommunication -- you know, CRTC and its telecommunication mandate.

4081 We've got -- you're looking at some of the (inaudible), say for instance, a municipality, that really just isn't on board, doesn’t want to provide funds to a secondary PSAP or a PSAP. Those are the parties that, you know, may be -- and I don’t want to say they are -- but may be some of the unwillings in your scenario.

4082 Those -- there's a lot of different ways to get the support and input from those parties, and I would suggest that, you know, that there are PSAP participants and large PSAP participants in the ESWG that certainly, you know, have a large voice in their ecosystem and I would think that it's an appropriate place to start and see if you can't garner that support and that interest from within the ESWG first and bringing it outward to the different communities that may not be as completely on board as others.

4083 And then if that's not working, you know, there may be some necessity to do some further discussions, you know, on a more government level.

4084 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, then what would your advice be to us on how to manage in the future?

4085 I mean, tomorrow -- and in their written submission already, the Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing give an example of a woman sending a Text-to-9-1-1 message not realizing that the jurisdiction she’s in it’s not available yet and that causing distress.

4086 How would you suggest, then, that if Saskatchewan had Text-to-9-1-1 in the future and Manitoba did not, we would either avoid that situation or find ways to manage it to make sure that launch times were the same, education campaigns were the same. How do you suggest we manage that or do you think that we don’t have to and you will?

4087 MS. GRANDE: I think, look, a situation like Text-to-9-1-1, you know, there’s a lot of parties -- all stakeholders have a role in ensuring appropriate public awareness and communication. You know, services like that and 9-1-1 services, you definitely want -- you want Canadians to understand what’s available to them, where, and when. I agree; those are very critical components.

4088 TEXT with 9-1-1, I mean, we had a very successful implementation of it so we didn’t have that experience in Manitoba. But I would suggest that there was an entity that was very involved, a single entity that was very involved, in coordinating the rollout and the communications regarding it. So these situations can happen whether it’s one single coordinating entity or whether it’s, you know, done in conjunction with regional providers.

4089 I think the lessons learned from that is the next time something is rolled out on that scale, communication plans will need to just be looked at and make sure that they’re very clear. That would definitely be a lesson learned from that situation, then. Again, we don’t want the situation where there’s not clarity as to what -- you know, where an important service is available to a customer.

4090 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: And how would you encourage us to ensure, for instance -- I mean, you have a -- it’s not that your approach lacks enthusiasm for efficient and enhance 9-1-1, but a cautious and prudent approach, I guess, in some sense, towards it. But what do you think, then, would be the best way for us to be influential and building enthusiasm for the advancement of NG9-1-1 just in terms of assistance to the public?

4091 The City of Calgary gave a couple of very compelling examples the other day regarding how a perpetrator was able to be identified and photos sent, even though an officer was using their own -- their personal cell phone to receive the message; a story of a young woman being assaulted on a train, for instance, and that sort of stuff.

4092 Those are compelling examples of how this system can help make people feel and be safer. And they’re worthy of our enthusiasm. So how would you suggest we could be the most effective at helping build that enthusiasm?

4093 MS. GRANDE: You know, I have to start by saying I thought the Calgary 9-1-1 presentation was excellent and it was very -- it was great to listen to and very -- just very educational.

4094 How can the Commission continue to build and ensure that we get to where we need to be? Again, starting from a strong foundation; you’re not losing any time by having to create anything new and starting from an unknown. And getting behind -- you know, getting behind the ESWG Committee and, you know, encouraging the participation. TSPs do participate in ESWG and as well as PSAPs. It’s a great forum that way.

4095 But again, I think just by looking at -- starting from the stages that we recommend, which is the current successful model we have, right there and then you’re increasing the chances that this important NG9-1-1 service is going to be rolled out sooner and trials can start sooner.

4096 And then important issues, like which methods of communication, can be carried over it, can be discussed, reviewed, to ensure, you know, as we’ve heard, that there could be some security or privacy, you know, concerns in terms of the types of applications that are running on it or accepted and whether the PSAPs, you know, are in a position to accept. But all of that work can happen, you know, quite effectively and quickly, you know, after the model is determined.

4097 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. So determine the model and then make those -- and obviously, well, we’re going to do that.

4098 I’m a little shy on the building enthusiasm portion of that, but you made your position clear on that anyway.

4099 I wanted you to comment, if you could quickly, on E-Comm’s position, where they were strongly in support of the status quo in terms of networks and operation and the sense of building a national network via interconnection of regional networks. But they had some room for a national oversight or coordination at an enhanced level, even if not as pitched by the Coalition.

4100 What was your view of E-Comm’s position? Would you find that acceptable?

4101 MS. GRANDE: I think if 9-1-1 network providers, such as MTS, were asked to participate or present to different PSAPs or provincial or municipal governance bodies and if they were to take the stance and create, you know, a national, you know, PSAP committee, would I say we wouldn’t participate? Absolutely not. We would participate.

4102 Is it necessary for the Commission at this time to implement that structure, whether it’s a full administrator or a quasi-administrator? I would say -- and it’s not a reflection on any enthusiasm or lack of enthusiasm to want to get moving with NG9-1-1, because we see the importance of it and we want -- you know, we want to get to the best 9-1-1 network and public safety mechanism we can for Canadians. I’m still not convinced, from our perspective, that that needs to be in place in order to get where we want to get.

4103 But that said, you know, we definitely would be willing to look at what they’re proposing, if they’ve got something concrete, you know, where they think that ILEC network providers could add value.

4104 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay, thank you. I have two or three or four questions left for you. I’m not going to trouble you with commenting regarding some of the specific methods of communication that we talked about because you were very clear in your written presentation that you believe those are the -- and they are -- in possession of the PSAPs to comment on and that you are at their service in regards to that once you have a network and building a network that will serve them.

4105 So I’m going to ask you who do you think should be responsible on that -- because it could go both ways -- for education of the public regarding advancements in 9-1-1 access? Should that be done at a national level, a provincial level? Should it be done at a TSP, ILEC level or should it be done at a PSAP, provincial or municipal level?

4106 MS. GRANDE: Well, I think, you know, a comprehensive awareness campaign would be very helpful. I think this is something again that, you know, very well could be handled by the ESWG to look into and make recommendations. Those comprehensive national complaint campaigns can easily be supplemented locally by local providers and PSAPs, you know, as supplementary messages to what the national campaign happens to be. So I think in that respect, you know, 9-1-1 is a critical public good. So I think, you know, that is definitely reasonable and would be, again, supported on a more local basis as well with ancillary messaging.

4107 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So do you think NG9-1-1 should or could be designated as a basic telecommunications service?

4108 MS. GRANDE: Well, it has public -- it’s a public good; it’s been designated as a public good service. Does it need to be designated a basic telecommunications service as well? I don’t think there’s a necessity now that it has that -- now that it’s been defined as a public good, to extend it any further. You know, it’s been a very effective model with the current designation.

4109 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: So yes or no?

4110 MS. GRANDE: Should it be further defined as a basic telecommunications service?

4111 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Yeah.

4112 MS. GRANDE: No.

4113 COMMISSIONER MENZIES: Okay. Thank you very much. Those are all my questions.

4114 My colleague may have one or two for you and legal might as well. But thank you for your time and enjoy the rest of the day.

4115 MS. GRANDE: Thanks, Mr. Vice-Chair.

4116 THE CHAIRMAN: Just one area of exploration before I turn it to legal. You include in your opening statements some comments about secondary PSAPs and specifically about the cost recovery for them should be established by the Commission. And you’re not the only party to have suggested secondary PSAPs are probably important, if not key, to the overall rollout of next-generation 9-1-1. A few questions about that.

4117 First of all, how do you define secondary PSAPs?

4118 MS. GRANDE: So how do we define secondary -- a secondary PSAP would be the providers that -- so we’ve got our primary PSAPs, which would be our city -- Winnipeg Police Services and the City of Brandon. And secondary PSAPs are those emergency providers or other agencies that calls are flowed down to to respond to. So that would be the RCMP, the -- in Manitoba it’s the RCMP, the Fire and Paramedics Service. There’s the military, the Shilo secondary PSAP as well as another fourth secondary PSAP.

4119 THE CHAIRMAN: Would you agree with the statement that connecting all those secondary PSAPs will be a costly undertaking?

4120 MS. GRANDE: That’s a blanket statement to be made in terms of, you know, again depending on the framework we’re talking about.

4121 I think, you know, secondary PSAPs are definitely trusted entities. It really will depend, to be honest with you, in how many secondary PSAPs we’re talking about and what your territory is.

4122 In Manitoba I haven’t really done a lot of cost analysis to see, you know, whether that would be a huge undertaking. But I think it’s necessary and I think it’s one as a result that should be -- fall under the tariff and be entitled to cost recovery. I think it just further enhances the provisions of 9-1-1 sources. So I see the inclusion of secondary PSAPs as both realistic. I also feel that Canadians would expect and want secondary PSAPs to be included.

4123 So that’s, you know -- presuming that it all falls under the same costing tariffs, you know, rates would be approved, deemed to be just and reasonable. And I would feel that it would be appropriate.

4124 THE CHAIRMAN: Yeah, we don’t always deem things to be just and reasonable; we actually analyze them.

4125 But how would you ---

4126 MS. GRANDE: No, but ---

4127 THE CHAIRMAN: When you look at the inclusion of secondary PSAPs, whether it’s a cost concern or challenge or a complexity challenge of setting it up, how would you mitigate it, mitigate those risks associated with extension of the costing recovery to secondary PSAPs?

4128 MS. GRANDE: So I’m just -- I want to make sure I understand your question. How do you mitigate the risk of interconnecting them or ---

4129 THE CHAIRMAN: I mean, you’re proposing that they would be part of the process. So potentially there’s costs associated with that?

4130 MS. GRANDE: Yes, yes.

4131 THE CHAIRMAN: I mean, we don’t know if it’s excessive or not because it’s still too early. It adds complexity. And it’s adding it to what is not the current status quo inevitably adds complexity. And I was wondering if you had views on how to mitigate that complexity and the risks and challenges associated with that change from the status quo?

4132 MS. GRANDE: So adding secondary PSAPs to an NG9-1-1 cost-recovery method as opposed to current where they’re not included?

4133 THE CHAIRMAN: That’s correct. Because I took it that was your proposal.

4134 MS. GRANDE: Yes, absolutely. But in terms of, like, the complexity, I’m not -- I’m going to say that in terms of mitigation strategies, where I’ve got to think a little carefully -- because I can’t see the difficulty that I’d have to mitigate if we’re including them, if we would get the costs, we include them in our cost study, and it’s approved. Is it a network -- like, is it a cost mitigation you’re looking at or is it a build mitigation? That’s just where I’m not clear on the question. Sorry.

4135 THE CHAIRMAN: Well, it’s because you’ve made the proposal and I was wondering how far down you’ve unpacked it to find out whether it is doable or not and what are the challenges in doing it?

4136 Perhaps you want to reflect on it through an undertaking? Because you’re one of the few parties with ---

4137 MS. GRANDE: Yeah. You know what? That would be a good idea.

4138 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay, why don’t we do that. And they’re due on the 24th of January.

4139 MS. GRANDE: Thank you. Yeah.

4140 UNDERTAKING

4141 THE CHAIRMAN: Okay. Thank you. I’ll pass you over to legal.

4142 MR. BOWLES: Thank you, Mr. Chair.

4143 I only have one question and it might also be one that’s appropriate for an undertaking. We’ll decide that at the end.

4144 You indicated that during the transition from existing 9-1-1 to NG9-1-1 ILECs should be able to recover the costs of operating the existing 9-1-1 networks and also be able to recover the costs of implementing and operating the NG9-1-1 network. And if I understood you correctly, you were contemplating the existence of two separates, one for each network, during that transition period?

4145 If I’ve understood correctly, can you explain how the evolution of 9-1-1 to NG9-1-1 would be costed during the transition given that demand over time would be flowing away from the existing 9-1-1 networks and over to the NG9-1-1 networks?

4146 MS. GRANDE: Yeah, I think what I could do is at the same time I’m responding to the other undertaking I’d like to respond to this one. And then I can give you a comprehensive answer on what our proposal is in that respect.

4147 MR. BOWLES: Yes, perfect. Thank you.

4148 UNDERTAKING

4149 MR. BOWLES: That’s all, Mr. Chair.

4150 MS. GRANDE: Thank you very much.

4151 THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for your intervention.

4152 So I think that does all the intervenors for today. So I think what we’ll do is adjourn til nine o’clock tomorrow morning. So thank you very much. On se revoit demain matin à neuf heures. Merci.

--- Upon adjourning at 3:50 p.m.


Court Reporters

Sean Prouse

Mathieu Bastien-Marcil

Lyne Charbonneau

Julie Payette

Ian Schryer

Kathy Poirier

Karen Noganosh

Krisa Campbell

Renée Vaive

Mathieu Philippe


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