The CRTC has issued another update to Telecom Notice of Consultation 2009-261, which has been titled “Proceeding to consider the appropriateness of mandating certain wholesale high-speed access services.”
The Order in Council states that the Governor in Council considers that the continued development and availability of broadband Internet infrastructure and services is important for Canadians and the Canadian economy. It notes that it is critical that the regulatory regime provide a cohesive, forward-looking framework that provides the proper incentives for continued investment in broadband infrastructure, encourages competition and innovation, and leads to consumer choice.
So, TNC-2009-261-7 reopens the paper proceeding and delays the oral hearings that had been scheduled to open in early January.
Specifically, the CRTC is seeking comments by February 8 asking:
- the application of the existing essential service framework on a forward-looking basis such that it provides appropriate incentives for continued investment in broadband infrastructure, encourages competition and innovation, and leads to consumer choice; and
- in the context of the discussion provided in response to A, above,
- whether the speed-matching requirement, mandating the provision of the high-speed access services under consideration, or mandating access to any new types of Internet access infrastructure does, or would, unduly diminish incentives to invest in new network infrastructure in general and, in particular, in markets of different sizes;
- whether, in the absence of the speed-matching requirement and the mandated provision of the high-speed access services under consideration, there would be competition sufficient to protect the interests of users;
- whether the respective wholesale obligations imposed on ILECs and on incumbent cable carriers are equitable or represent a competitive disadvantage; and
- whether the impact of these wholesale requirements unduly impairs the ability of incumbent telephone companies to offer new converged services, such as IPTV.
The hearings will now take place May 31-June 4, finishing up in time for everyone to attend The 2010 Canadian Telecom Summit, which opens on June 7. We are open through the holidays if you are looking to register early with your remaining 2009 budget.