Playing nicely

I used to advise clients that disputes shouldn’t be taken to the regulator right away – too lengthy a process was just one of the complaints.

But every so often – perhaps too often – there are issues that simply can’t get resolved by negotiations. When I was looking through the CRTC’s weekly listing that previews coming attractions, I noticed that there are three files dealing with related matters: It appears that there have been some issues in the way TBayTel in Thunder Bay has been providing digital access services to its competitors. TELUS and MTS Allstream want refunds on overcharges; TBayTel wanting to change the tariff that is causing the complaint. 

Some things need the CRTC to step in, hear the facts and issue a ruling. In this case, the process has worked its way through the system pretty quickly: TELUS originally filed with the CRTC in late June; MTS Allstream in mid-July; the exchange of answers and final comments didn’t conclude until the end of September.

And the CRTC will resolve all three complaints later this week – about two months into its deliberations. The CRTC wrote to the applicants to let them know that these files were considered to be “Type 1 Part VII applications” as defined by Circular 2006-11:

  • Type 1 Part VII applications – 90 percent of determinations to be issued on an interim or final basis within four months of the close-of-record; and
  • Type 2 Part VII applications – 85 percent of determinations to be issued on an interim or final basis within eight months of the close-of-record.

How do you resolve issues quickly? Try to deal with the issues on your own – playing nicely with the other kids in the sandbox. Otherwise, try to keep the complaint simple: Type 1 applications are those that generally don’t involve multiple parties or raise significant policy issues.

After any CRTC decision, there are 3 avenues for an appeal, as I have described in the past.]

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