Intervention: CPC (Intervenor 223)

Document Name: 2015-134.223929.2393357.Intervention(1f@q501!).html

To whom it may concern:Please see attached file. Thanks.Regards,Campbell Patterson*-***-***-****campbell@campbellpatterson.comRaisons pour comparaitre / Reasons for appearanceI wish to appear in order to provide clarification and address questions arising from my submission if any.

Intervention: CPC (Intervenor 223)

Document Name: 2015-134.223929.2393356.Intervention(1f@q401!).pdf

Re: Telecom Notice of Consultation 2015 – 134, Review of Basic Telecommunications Services

Campbell Patterson Communications (CPC)
Campbell Patterson
 I request to appear at the public hearing
About CPC Communications

For the past fifteen years CPC has been actively engaged helping regions, counties, municipalities, utilities, school boards, hospitals and user-based consortiums in Canada evaluate broadband networking opportunities, apply for funding assistance, researching and writing business cases, crafting business plans; and designing, procuring, building, deploying, and project managing community broadband networking operations. CPC’s experience in working with a broad range of stakeholders to extend the reach of broadband networks and deploy advanced technologies provides the basis for this intervention.


Broadband Internet access represents an increasingly critical aspect of the social and business infrastructure of Canada. Unfortunately, there are significant and documented concerns that remain about the quality and affordability of Internet access services available to Canadians. This is the case in both urban and rural areas, but higher cost rural areas are particularly susceptible to under-investment in new technologies and network capacity. Having worked with a wide variety of stakeholders to design broadband development strategies, obtain funding, and implement broadband network improvement programs, CPC is pleased the Commission has decided to review the position it adopted in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2011-291 about broadband access. By defining broadband as a basic service, adopting higher service quality/speed standards, and developing funding mechanisms for addressing the gaps in Canada’s broadband infrastructure the Commission would support efforts by lower levels of government and the private sector to meet growing demand by Canadians for network resources.

To help address concerns about access and quality of Canada’s broadband networks, the CRTC should mandate the delivery of broadband Internet to all Canadians as part of the basic service objective. Importantly, in order to ensure that Canadians can fully participate in the digital economy, the Commission should take a lead in setting basic service standards that encourage operators to meet demand by Canadian households and businesses for a world class digital infrastructure. Many Canadians, particularly those in rural and remote communities, still lack access to connections with 5/1 Mbps standards/targets the Commission adopted in 2011. One reason for this might be the low expectations of the Commission of the Canadian industry as the current basic speed/service quality targets are woefully inadequate for allowing Canadians to deploy advanced personal and business applications. The fact that CRTC’s standards are so far below that of the FCC in the U.S., the European Commission, and various other regulators in high income countries speaks for itself. If the federal government is truly committed to developing a world class communications system, it should define broadband Internet as a basic service, set service quality standards that are both 3

technologically feasible and motivation for service providers, and develop a sustainable funding mechanism to support local communities trying to improve quality and access to advanced broadband infrastructure residents and businesses demand.

Broadband and Economic Development

According to the 2014 CRTC Communications Monitoring Report (CMR), approximately 94% of telecommunications revenues were from services that the Commission has determined are sufficiently competitive and that tariff filings are no longer required. As the CRTC Communications Monitoring Report (CMR) data clearly shows, near 90% of fixed and wireless network access market revenues accrue to a handful of incumbent operators. A lack of competition and control by an oligopoly of incumbents is even tighter across rural and remote Canada (where service is available). In addition to substantially lower fixed broadband speeds, in rural and remote regions our citizens have limited access to ****-Term Evolution (LTE) or 4th Generation (4G) wireless services. The urban-rural digital divide has a direct impact on employment for our residents, the competitiveness of our businesses, and overall prosperity of our country.

To make matters worse, in rural and remote regions business incentives to deploy new technologies and capacity upgrades are limited. Limited access to next generation fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) and 4G in rural Canada represents a concern for communities across the country trying to attract businesses, retain youth, and deliver public services on the Internet. The problem is much bigger than the lack of incentives to deploy access network technologies. It also extends to middle mile and transport infrastructure required to support connectivity in relatively higher cost areas. For example, many rural areas are served only by legacy Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and **** Relay infrastructure. Consequently, many of our citizens and businesses do not have equitable access to Internet Protocol (IP) based applications and services compared to their urban peers, nor will the infrastructure scale to meet growing demand for advanced applications that require service quality guarantees such as the Internet of Things1.

Where modern Metro Ethernet Forum 2 standard broadband infrastructure has been built2, there are often only one or two service providers, who are not obliged to provide third party interconnection to their fiber transport facilities by the CRTC. This is the case even in larger cities like ****, Ontario or Winnipeg, Manitoba, where there are typically two facilities-based providers from which to choose. Our villages and hamlets have even poorer service and less choice. This situation makes it more difficult for our residents, businesses, and public organizations to compete and prosper in the global economy.

The combination of incumbent hegemony in wireless and wireline infrastructure is at the heart of the problem. Incumbent providers use their dominance in infrastructure and 1

2 5

content to reduce the scope for end users to competitively provision services and applications. This lack of access and competitive choice is an obstacle to our citizens’ social and economic well-being and an obstacle to the ability of public and private sector efforts to build a world class communications infrastructure in Canada.

Particularly in higher income countries, Internet access has evolved to become a human right and a basic service like access to electricity, water, and roads.3 The cost of deploying Internet access infrastructure is substantially lower than traditional public infrastructure such as roads, while the economic impact of Internet access far outstrips the impact of these other infrastructures, accounting for about 3.4% of GDP and over 21% in GDP growth4.

CRTC Notice: “In Telecom Regulatory Policy 2011-291, the Commission considered that the deployment of broadband Internet access services, including deployment in rural and remote areas, should continue to rely on market forces and targeted government funding. As a result, the Commission concluded that it would not be appropriate for it to either (i) require broadband Internet access service to be provided as part of any basic service objective or (ii) establish a funding mechanism to subsidize the deployment of broadband Internet access services.”

This writer strongly disagrees with this position of the CRTC because it does not serve the interests of Canadians that live and work in rural communities. As long as this position remains in place, providers will pick broadband access winners and losers based on their internal rate of return calculations (as they should do). Only communities with the right population density and demographics will receive investments in new technologies and capacity upgrades, entrenching the existing urban-rural digital divide even further. Evidence of this is in the recent Bell announcement to build a Gigabit Fibe service in Toronto,5 versus the imposition of very restrictive data caps by providers in rural Nova Scotia.6 If equitable access to the Internet is considered as a basic right and an economic imperative, then the CRTC and funding agencies at the federal, provincial and municipal levels would be compelled to intervene on behalf of all Canadians to ensure equitable broadband access.

3 United Nations, Human Rights Council, Twentieth session, A/HRC/20/L.13, **** 29, 2012 4 5 6


CRTC Notice further stated: “However, in recognition of the fact that Internet service was an increasingly important means of communication, the Commission considered that it would be in the public interest to establish universal target speeds for broadband Internet access in Canada. The Commission established target speeds of 5 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload, which it expected should be available to all Canadians, through a variety of technologies, by the end of 2015.” The target speeds the Commission adopted in 2011 may have been appropriate if they were adopted in the 1990s, but were woefully inadequate in 2011 and remain so in 2015. For example, the 1Mbps upload speed target in place today remains well below the 1.5 Mbps level the National Broadband Task Force (NBTF) recommended in 2001.

Furthermore, the Commission’s targets are not internationally competitive as most high income countries such as the U.S. and EU members have instituted substantially higher and symmetric speed targets.

Given the Commission’s low standards of achievement, it is not surprising that actual broadband speeds in Canada lag substantially behind a large number of leading countries where governments have been more committed to building a world class digital infrastructure.7 For example, in 2013 Canada was ranked 30th in the world behind Venezuela in affordable broadband access8. Notably, Canada has been falling in the rankings every year for 10-years. Almost a decade ago, the Telecommunications Policy Review Panel (TPRP) recognized the start of Canada’s comparative decline as a broadband leader and warned policymakers. Despite this and other warnings, little has been done to reverse this trend by the federal government through adjustments to wholesale and/or retail regulatory frameworks. Various municipal and regional associations of lower level governments have instead had to take the lead in addressing concerns by residents and businesses about available Internet access services. This proceeding offers another opportunity for the Commission to reform the federal policy framework in a manner that supports efforts by municipalities and local communities to promote service provider incentives to deploy new technologies, upgrade network capacity, and deliver reliable and affordable networks Canadians demand.

More generally, other governments such as the US9, Korea10, Australia11, and Japan12, have developed broadband strategies and plans that are far more robust than the 7

8 International Telecommunications Union, Measuring the Information Society Report 2014, page 124.


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current Digital Canada 150 Strategy published by Industry Canada13. The absence of a coherent plan to reverse Canada’s comparative decline by federal policymakers makes it even more imperative for the Commission to define broadband as a basic service and institute service/speed targets that encourage service providers to increase the quality of service they offer to end users in both urban and rural areas. We should be ashamed that a country as advanced as Canada lacks a strategy for improving the access of its citizens and businesses to advanced broadband networks and backward looking policy/speed targets.

Guiding Principles

Rather than only picking broadband bandwidth targets which become as obsolete as dial-up connectivity before the ink dries on the regulations, this writer recommends the Commission also adopts a set of broadband standards or guiding principles that are universal and scalable as follows:14

Broadband Access Guiding Principles

The following are the guiding principles would ensure equitable access for all Canadian users and providers regardless of the population density or demographics of where people live or work. Accordingly broadband access must possess the following attributes to be considered equitably available:

1. Standards-Based Architecture15: The network system that provides broadband will interoperate with all other systems and is easy to support.

2. High Availability16 and Scalability: Broadband access is available at any moment in time, wherever users need it, any time they need it, and the system can scale 12


14 Note: the principles stated below have been adopted by the Western Ontario ****’s Caucus for the **** West Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) project, The Ontario Association of School Board Officials,, in their “Manifesto for 21st Century Learning,” and the **** and Region Global Network (LARG*net),, in their “Connected ****” project.

15 Standards – the network must be standards-based such that it is compliant with current Metro Ethernet Forum standards (currently MEF 2 standard) and supports Internet Protocol and Ethernet specifications such as IEEE 802.1 and 802.2 and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards, Session Initiated Protocol (SIP), and Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS) also known as IP/VPN from Customer **** (CE) to Provider **** (PE). All electronics and equipment on the network must meet applicable standards, such as CSA, ULC, UL, EIA, ANSI, IEEE, FCC, CRTC, other Industry Canada requirements, FCC, Electric Safety Code general requirements and CSA, and other safety requirements.


to all user connections and applications dynamically without significant additional capital outlays or system delays.

3. Neutrality and Open Access: There are no barriers to entry for users and providers to access each other. The playing field is level, meaning there are facilities, contractual mechanisms, published rates, and oversight in place to ensure access is open to all users and providers.

4. Ubiquity and Equitability: Ubiquity means physical accessibility of the network to everyone17, and equitability means costs are the same for everyone to provide applications and services over the system or use applications and services on the system regardless of geographic point of ingress/egress.

5. Competition and Affordability: The system and processes promote competition in services and applications by providing open access, flat-rates, high-availability, and a differentiated system that supports multiple Classes of Service (CoS)18 and Quality of Service (QoS)19 for all applications that require it. More competition between providers leads to better services and lower prices for everyone20.

6. Sustainability and Transparency: All users pay fees to access the network are published and publically available. These fees provide the necessary cash flow in support of ongoing operational and capital expenditures to ensure the network is not dependent on taxpayer subsidies.

7. Service Level Agreement: The networks are covered by meaningful Service Level Agreements to ensure accountability and enforceability to the foregoing guiding principle attributes and service levels21.

16 High availability means the network is capable of supporting up to 99.9999% availability or 32 seconds of downtime per year.

17 “Everyone” can be users only, and/or public sector partners, and/or private sector partners, and/or farmers and residents subject to the model chosen by the community at the end of the assessment process.

18 Class of Service is a parameter used in data and voice protocols to differentiate the types of payloads contained in the packet being transmitted. The objective of such differentiation is generally associated with assigning priorities to the data payload or access levels to connection. To provide CoS the network electronics will be able to support multiple CoS and must support the use of Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) protocol for the purposes of network management and assessment and the provider shall provide around the clock network operation centre (NOC) surveillance and trouble-ticketing support.

19 Quality of Service (QoS) will be attained through the process of classification, traffic shaping, and invoking queuing disciplines on the ingress and egress ports at the access layer network elements, and compliance with accepted engineering standards.

21 Service Level attributes (current):
Specific issues raised by the Commission per Appendix B
Canadians evolving needs

Canadians are using telecommunications or more broadly ‘connectivity’ to do everything in today’s digital economy (i.e., they can’t live without it). As long as Canadians have inequitable access to connectivity a disparity will exist where some Canadians have better access to social, economic, and cultural resources than other Canadians.

Included in this digital economy basket is access to healthcare, education, government services, and marketplaces too. This inequity is not fair and it is not in the public interest. Moreover, this inequity exacerbates challenges facing historically economically disadvantaged regions, communities, and citizens across the country. The availability of equitable and high quality/speed Internet access services to would go a long way to  Latency – commitment of core system is 10 ms one-way in the core network and 15 ms in the edge network.

 Packet loss and jitter – of less than 0.01% packet loss or less, generally, and is 0.001% or less for traffic marked with a differentiated services code point (DSCP) of 40 through 47 and 5 milliseconds (ms) of jitter.

 MTTR – Mean time to restore of system should be supportable in less than 4 hours. This translates into a network that includes hotswappable inventory of parts for core network elements, same day hardware support on core network elements, and next day on edge elements. This translates into 30 minutes to respond to call with trouble ticket open and resources assigned, 4 hours to respond on site and restore the connection for identified mission critical sites and applications as identified by the user, and 24 hours to restore connection maximum for non-urgent applications as identified by the user.

 Trouble ticket resolution – more than 99% of priority 1 and priority 2 network incidents or disruptions are resolved within MTTR commitment.

 Trouble ticket reliability – Over 95% of tickets will be actionable and valid tickets created from all natively generated alerts.

 Utilization – at CE, measured as the average utilization during business hours (as defined in each SLA) should not exceed a threshold of 70% and when average utilization exceeds the alarm threshold of 80% for 2 consecutive hours, the service provider will be required to notify the user and designate and recommend additional bandwidth for the location.

 Change management – less than 5% of number of service disruption incidents will result from change requests to the user.

 Network manageability – more than 99% of devices that can be reached through the Ping command, and authenticated, accessed by the Telnet protocol, and accessed by the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) protocol when tested are reached in any 24-hour period.


enable Canadians equal participation in the social, economic, and cultural aspects of Canadian society.

a) Explain how telecommunications services are used to meet these needs. For example, uses may include e-commerce (i.e. the online purchase and trade of products or services), e-banking and/or telephone banking, e-health or telehealth services, telework, and distance education. Which of these uses of telecommunications services are the most important to ensure that Canadians meaningfully participate in the digital economy?

All of these uses are important to ensure that Canadians meaningfully participate in the digital economy. Indeed, these applications are only the tip of the iceberg. A whole host of business and residential applications require connectivity today and as those applications continue to grow the connection must provide Quality of Service (QoS) necessary support thousands of applications in use by tens of millions of users simultaneously and concurrently at a moment in time. As well, many of our public sector users and large enterprises do not have access to the connections they need to support the many applications they operate today. With the Internet of Things (IoT) applications that are being developed and deployed rapidly, an increase in the number of people, places, and things that need connectivity is expected to continue its exponential growth in applications and bandwidth needed to enable them.

b) Explain which telecommunications services are most important to support these needs and uses. What characteristics (e.g. capacity, mobility, high speed, and low latency) should these telecommunications services have?

Every person, place and thing in Canada that is assigned an IP address will need a combination of fibre optic and LTE mobile wireless connectivity in order to scale to the capacity, mobility, speed, and low latency required by the applications that communicate to every IP addressed device. The rate of creation, deployment, and adoption of IoT devices and apps is increasing exponentially. By 2020 Cisco predicts there will be 50 billion connected devices or 7 devices per person.22 Cisco estimates that the IoT will be worth $14.4 trillion in economic value worldwide over the next 10-years23.

c) Identify and explain the barriers that limit or prevent Canadians from meaningfully participating in the digital economy (e.g. availability, quality, price, digital literacy, and concerns related to privacy and security). Identify which segments of the Canadian population are experiencing such barriers.

There may be education and adoption barriers that face Canadians participation rate in the digital economy. However, in this writer’s view, the biggest obstacle between Canadian residents, businesses, and public institutions and full participation in the digital economy is equitable access to Internet connectivity. Because of the lack of 22 Cisco, ISBG, **** 2011

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telecom competition in Canada and the Commissions’ past regulatory forbearance Internet access is inequitable. The inequity manifests itself in the fact that Canadians have too few competitive choices of providers, resulting in poorer services and higher rates than in other countries around the world. Within Canada the digital divide persists creating inequities in Internet access which cause unequal access to healthcare, education, government, and marketplaces. This is not an economically or socially sustainable state.

d) Identify and explain any enablers that allow Canadians to meaningfully participate in the digital economy (e.g. connected devices and applications).

See “Guiding Principles” attached to this response.

e) As Canada’s digital economy continues to grow and evolve during the next 5 to 10 years, which telecommunications services are Canadians expected to need to participate meaningfully? Specify how your responses to parts a) through d) above would change based on your answer.

My answers to the parts a) through d) would not change based on the following response. Below are some anecdotal examples of how the evolving digital economy will affect the everyday lives of Canadians:

“Tuning your car: As more machines speak to each other and systems integrate, you will no longer miss an oil change. Your truly "smart" car will pre-emptively reach out to your mechanic when it is time for the annual tune up or your tire pressure is running low, and by cross referencing your calendar, appointment suggestions will be delivered to you to confirm a time with one click.

Monitoring your health: When a prescription is running low, an appointment will be made with your physician through connected RX bottles. Doctors will be kept informed with how often and when their patients are taking their medicine and those with ongoing health issues will be able to have things such as blood pressure and sugar levels monitored remotely. Activity, behavioural and lifestyle monitoring using body sensor technology. Monitoring a persons’ seizures and falls will enable more seniors to live out their lives at home. Health and motivational coaching for people trying to lose weight or recover at home from heart surgery. ****-based point of care testing and support for diagnoses and decision making by healthcare practioners. Provision of customized health information to patients at home. Remote monitoring to support rehabilitation and re-ablement in-home. Emergency responses to health events and vital signs monitoring will save lives by saving time between the event and the diagnosis and treatment.

Energy consumption: High-energy consumption household appliances will adjust based on dynamic price signals to lower your electric bill. Thermostats and lighting will learn your habits to create the optimal setting based on your daily life, such as turning to your ideal temperature just before you arrive home. These gadgets will also sense when no one is in the house and turn off automatically to reduce wastes and costs.


Going to school: Students of all ages find many reasons to take all or some of their courses online. From public schools to four-year universities to completely online career colleges, education today offers a variety of online options for students. This means that no matter what students wish to study, from nursing to neuroscience, they can find online the courses or degree programs they need. They can also earn every academic degree online, all the way from a career certificate to a doctorate.

Grocery lists: **** refrigerators will sense when you are running low on staples such as eggs or milk and will automatically populate your grocery list. Stores will push reminders to add items to your list when it predicts you about to run out based on your historical purchasing behavior and average buying trends. When you are walking through the store, reminders will get pushed to you to ensure you never have to make that dreaded second trip.

Our morning alarm: The traffic on your route to work and the weather will soon affect what time your alarm goes off. If there is an accident or road construction on your usual drive, your alarm will go off early and alternate routes will populate in your dashboard.

Of course, your coffee machine will be in the loop to make sure you have your cup of Joe for the road.

Monitoring your baby: Through their smartphones, parents will monitor their baby's breathing, temperature and activity. Babies will don connected onesies that will send an alert when there is anything abnormal. Of course, the other babies in your life will also reap the benefits of connectivity. Pet monitoring systems will allow you to monitor their activity and behavior from afar, so you can see how well your potty training is working and how honest your dog walker really is.

What's on your body: Wearable tech has perhaps gotten the most attention in the Internet of Things chatter to date. Many products are now in their second or third generations, offering sleeker designs and more integration with different systems. From monitoring activity during workouts to sleeping patterns to hearing aids, the devices that we “wear” are becoming much more sophisticated, connecting to all of our social media accounts, and tracking much more quality and quantity data.

The budding number of sensors will detect and act on environmental and other contextual factors, such as weather; will be aware of who and how many people are around in its vicinity to change levels of input and output; and adjust to save resources and improve safety.

Smartphones will become not only everyone's portal into the Internet of Things ecosystem (look no further than smartphone-controlled light bulbs), but a complete remote control to your life (if it isn't already).”24


Everything we do today over the phone, over the counter, and over the Internet we will do over the Internet tomorrow. Every static and mobile device we own will communicate with other devices and with us via IP. Equitable access to the Internet will be as important to us as access to roads, water, and electricity is today. Some would argue, this future has already arrived. Moreover, the investment in broadband infrastructure necessary to make this happen pales in significance compared to investments currently being contemplated by premiers for a “national energy strategy.”25 Yet, for a relatively small investment in broadband, Canadians would consume far less energy traveling from home to work, home to hospital, and home to school. Investment in equitable access to the Internet would enable Canadians to consume less energy at home by employing smart devices embedded in thermostats, meters, HVAC systems, fridges, stoves and lighting which employ apps that send symmetrical signals to the monitoring servers in cloud.

2. The Commission’s current target speeds for broadband Internet access service are a minimum of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload, based on uses that consumers should reasonably expect to make of the Internet. Are these target speeds sufficient to meet the minimum needs of Canadians today? If not, what should the new targets be and what time frame would be reasonable to achieve these new targets?

As discussed in more detail above, the current target of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload are utterly unreasonably low targets for Canadian’s access to the Internet.

Canadians should have equitable access to 1 Gbps if we are going to compete with other nations26. However, as stated above, picking bandwidth targets is not an effective way to develop broadband policy. This writer advocates for a more strategic approach that sets standards of service, such as those spelled out in the guiding principles, which are bandwidth target independent. The standards if mandated will drive innovation, create competition, give consumers more choices, leading to better services and lower prices.

The Commission’s role regarding access to basic
telecommunications services

3. Which services should be considered by the Commission as basic telecommunications services necessary for Canadians to be able to meaningfully participate in the digital economy? Explain why.

It is the position of this writer that the CRTC mandate the delivery of equitable access to broadband Internet to all Canadians as part of the basic service objective. As part of this mandated service the CRTC must require ILECs, SILECs, and non-dominant carriers to provide open access in a carrier neutral environment. Open access is 25


necessary to enable more applications and services competition. More competition will provide consumers with more choices, leading to better services and lower prices.27 Given that most users now rely on both fixed and mobile networks, depending on prices and service quality they can obtain, the Commission should include both fixed and mobile connectivity in the basic services framework.

a) Explain whether the underlying technology (e.g. cable, digital subscriber line, fibre, fixed wireless, mobile wireless, and satellite technology) should be a factor in defining whether a telecommunications service should be considered a basic service.

See attached guiding principles. It is the contention of this writer that the only underlying technology or access media that should be a factor in defining equitable access to basic telecom service is access to fibre optic wireline and LTE wireless. All other access media are bridging technologies that will not yield equal accessibility for all Canadians and will not be sufficiently scalable for handling rapid growth in demand for network resources over the next years.

b) Identify, with supporting rationale, the terms, conditions, and service characteristics under which basic telecommunications services should be provided. Should any obligations be placed on the provider(s) of these services? If so, what obligations and on which service provider(s)?

See attached guiding principles and related technical endnotes for discussion of the necessary terms, conditions, and service characteristics under which basic telecommunication services should be provided on the understanding that basic service constitutes equitable access to fibre optic and LTE connectivity for every Canadian.

ILECs, SILECs, CLECs, and non-dominant carriers should be mandated by the CRTC to provide these basic services and subsidized by municipal, provincial and federal governments to achieve the initial capital builds required. Governments should be obligated to provide funding, which in return will yield costs savings in the delivery of government services, social services, healthcare and education by all levels of government.

c) What should be the prices for basic telecommunications services and how should these prices be determined? Provide rationale to support your answer.

Prices should be based on competitive choices for customers. In an open access, carrier neutral network Canadians could choose from hundreds of application and service providers that meet their individual needs. As such providers will be highly motivated to provide better services and lower rates so they remain competitive and maintain market share. Evidence of this phenomenon may be seen in Australia with the National Broadband Network28, Coquitlam BC with QNet,29 and the City of ****’s 27


Broadband Utility Network.30 There are many examples of open access, carrier neutral networks from around the world. In each case open access has led to increased competition while eliminating the wasteful expenditure of scarce capital to overbuild telecom facilities. For example, imagine how much more effective Alberta Supernet would have been at connecting all Albertans in its initial phase had Service Alberta and Bell not needed to expend most of their capital to overbuild Telus’ backbone infrastructure.31 This issue is obviously also related to the review of wholesale access services (CRTC 2013-551), regarding which the Commission has yet to issue a decision at the time of the deadline for submissions for this proceeding regarding basic services.

4. Can market forces and government funding be relied on to ensure that all Canadians have access to basic telecommunications services? What are the roles of the private sector and the various levels of government (federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal) in ensuring that investment in telecommunications infrastructure results in the availability of modern telecommunications services to all Canadians?

Market forces and government funding alone cannot ensure that all Canadians have access to basic telecommunications services as described by the writer. The evidence of this is the dismal level of current Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) deployment in Canada versus the other developed countries around the world according to the OECD.32 Legacy copper/DSL and cable networks simply cannot deliver symmetric connectivity speeds and service quality guarantees required to serve the evolving needs of Canadians.

The role for all levels of government in Canada includes regulating, funding, and mandating the deployment of ubiquitous, equitably accessible, open access, carrier neutral fibre optic and 4G wireless networks to every Canadian citizen, business, and public sector entity.

5. What should be the Commission’s role in ensuring the availability of basic telecommunications services to all Canadians? What action, if any, should the Commission take where Canadians do not have access to telecommunications services that are considered to be basic services?

The role the Commission includes regulating and mandating the deployment of ubiquitous, equitably accessible, open access, carrier neutral fibre optic and LTE wireless networks to every Canadian citizen, business, and public sector entity and advocating for funding of these networks by all levels of government.


31 32


6. In Telecom Regulatory Policy 2011-291, the Commission stated that it would closely monitor developments in the industry regarding the achievement of its broadband Internet target speeds to determine whether regulatory intervention may be needed.

What action, if any, should the Commission take in cases where its target speeds will not be achieved by the end of 2015?

The target speeds of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload are wholly inadequate. The Commission should be setting out policy mandates that set targets of 1 Gbps per second if the Commission thinks bandwidth targets are useful tools for gauging policy success. Moreover, to enable Canadians to take full advantage the IP applications available today and be able to use more IP applications as they become available through the IoT, every Canadian needs equitable access to symmetrical and scalable connectivity capable of providing QoS and Service Level Agreement performance commitments. This is critical to the use of cloud-based applications and peer-to-peer applications today in healthcare, education, government services, business, and entertainment as shown in Figure 1 below. Tomorrow we will be so dependent on connectivity that we won’t be able to function without it. So it must always be on and always support our applications, and always have consequences to service providers if it is not.

Figure 1 Bandwidth Bottleneck or Super Highway

7. In Telecom Regulatory Policy 2013-711, the Commission stated its intention to establish a mechanism, as required, in Northwestel’s operating territory to support the provision of modern telecommunications services. Such a mechanism would fund 17

capital infrastructure investment in transport facilities (e.g. fibre, microwave, and satellite), as well as the cost of maintaining and enhancing these facilities. The Commission considered that this mechanism should complement, and not replace, other investments from the private sector and governments, including public-private partnerships.

a) Explain, with supporting rationale, whether there is a need for the Commission to establish such a mechanism in Northwestel’s operating territory. As well, explain whether there is a need for such a mechanism in other regions of Canada.

The business case for incumbent telecom service providers is based on their internal rate of return targets for contributed capital. If the resident or business which requires a connection is too far from the providers’ facilities or if a neighbourhood or community has too low a population density or unfavourable demographic characteristics or is too far from the backbone, the provider has a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders not to invest in infrastructure to enable those connections. If there is little or no telecom competition in an area and/or the services are forborne from regulation, then invariably the incumbent telecom service providers’ IRR targets are higher (i.e., they will charge what the traffic will bear and if the traffic will not bear, they do not build). Therefore, a mechanism to fund transport, aggregation, and access infrastructure is needed in order for the service providers’ business case to pass. However, these funds should only be provided where the CRTC or the funding agencies have means to interrogate the network, audit the performance, and enforce service level commitments of incumbent providers to provide these facilities as openly accessible and carrier neutral. As such, it is required that these facilities be regulated by the Commission. More generally, lack of access to fiber transport facilities represents a key problem in extending connectivity in rural and remote communities. The Commission should impose third party access obligations on transport facilities if it hopes to improve connectivity in rural communities in a sustainable manner.

b) What impact would the establishment of such a mechanism have on private sector investment and government programs to fund the provision of modern telecommunications services?

It would have the effect of forcing incumbent telecom providers and other providers to invest more in network facilities and equitably connect every Canadian resident, business, and public sector site to fibre optic wireline and LTE wireless Internet services and applications. Public subsidies are often required to improve the business case for operators, but business operators have incentives to privatize the subsidies once they have been allocated by closing the network to competition. Consequently, credible open access standards such as those detailed above are critical for balancing these contradictory incentives.

Regulatory measures for basic telecommunications services

8. What changes, if any, should be made to the obligation to serve and the basic service objective?

It is the position of the writer that the CRTC mandate the delivery of equitable access to broadband Internet to all Canadians as part of the basic service objective. As part of this mandated service the CRTC must require ILECs, SILECs, and non-dominant carriers to provide open access in a carrier neutral environment. Open access is necessary to enable more applications and services competition. More competition will provide consumers with more choices, leading to better services and lower prices33.

9. Should broadband Internet service be defined as a basic telecommunications service? What other services, if any, should be defined as basic telecommunications services?

Fibre optic wireline and 4G/LTE wireless should be defined as basic service. Other access media such as fixed wireless, copper, coax, and satellite should not satisfy the definition of basic service and therefore not be eligible for funding. In other words, the public sector should only invest in next generation technologies and implement policies that encourage incumbent operators to decommission legacy network platforms.

10. What changes, if any, should be made to the existing local service subsidy regime?

What resulting changes, if any, would be required to the existing regulatory frameworks (e.g. price cap regimes)?

The main issues related to reviewing the contribution/local subsidy regime in the context of including equitable access to broadband service as described above relate to the requirement for a regulatory regime that would complement the inclusion of access to fibre optic wireline and LTE wireless Internet service in an revised definition of basic service. Since fibre optic wireline and LTE wireless is not currently equitably and universally accessible, then the Commission should enhance the existing local subsidy regime needs to address costs related to these services, as this will allow telecom service providers to comply with requirements for equitable access.

Any funds to be allocated should be made available to both incumbent and non-dominant carriers based on open procurement processes to maximize the impact of public funds in terms of private sector investment growth and broadband network improvements. Given past problems with connectivity programs managed at the federal level, it might be more efficient for the Commission and Industry Canada to allocate any funds to lower levels of government such as municipalities and provinces who might be in a better position to identify and address broadband infrastructure development concerns of residents and businesses.

This writer recommends that any funds should be allocated on the condition that the networks that are deployed provide equitable access, are carrier and traffic neutral, and offer their customers verifiable service level commitments/guarantees. All providers 33


should be subject regulation, interrogation, auditing, and performance metrics that include penalties and remedies for non-performance administered by the Commission and the partner funding agency managing the project.

This approach would alter the current subsidy regime which only requires telecom service providers to cover the spread between the cost to provide the service and the rates for local service that is currently available in high cost serving areas. By adding these additional specifications, telecom service providers would be mandated to make significant investment in providing equitable Internet access in areas broadband service is not currently available. By instituting a robust system of performance monitoring in a future subsidy regime, the Commission will limit the scope for problems that have emerged with the sustainability of past federal and provincial subsidy programs.

If the definition of basic service is changed to include equitable access to the Internet, then this may need to be phased-in over a period of time to enable telecom service providers to plan accordingly. Moreover, the specification of carrier neutrality will require fundamental changes to incumbent investment approaches that are based on market dominance and regulatory forbearance and skewed toward retail services. The carrier neutrality requirement will create a much more competitive wholesale marketplace driving up service levels and driving down prices.

11. What changes, if any, should be made to the contribution collection mechanism?

Your response should address, with supporting rationale, which TSPs should be required to contribute to the NCF, which revenues should be contribution-eligible and which revenues, if any, should be excluded from the calculation of contribution-eligible revenues.

This writer has no response for this question.

12. Should some or all services that are considered to be basic telecommunications services be subsidized? Explain, with supporting details, which services should be subsidized and under what circumstances.

Based on basic service being redefined as equitable access to fibre optic wireline and 4G/LTE wireless service subsidies will be required as explained above. No other access media, such as fixed wireless, copper, coax, and satellite, should be eligible for subsidy as they will not meet the requirements for symmetry, QoS, scalability, and equitability described throughout this response. This approach will help the Commission design a forward looking regulatory framework that promotes technological change required to deliver equitable access to reliable and affordable communications services as mandated under Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act.

13. If there is a need to establish a new funding mechanism to support the provision of modern telecommunications services, describe how this mechanism would operate.

Your response should address the mechanism described in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2013-711 for transport services and/or any other mechanism necessary to support modern telecommunications services across Canada. Your response should also address, but not necessarily be limited to, the following questions:

a) What types of infrastructure and/or services should be funded?

See point 12 above and throughout this response.
b) In which regions of Canada should funding be provided?

All regions of the country including cities, towns, village, hamlets, rural and remote locations such that universal equitable access to the Internet is achieved.

c) Which service providers should be eligible to receive funding, and how should eligibility for funding be determined (e.g. only one service provider per area, all service providers that meet certain conditions, wireless service providers, or service providers that win a competitive bidding process)?

All service providers who are willing to provide fibre optic wireline and/or LTE mobile wireless connectivity on a carrier neutral, open access basis and willing to provide service level commitments as specified in the Guiding Principles listed above.

d) How should the amount of funding be determined (e.g. based on costs to provide service or a competitive bidding process)?

Competitive bidding process on a periodically recurring basis to ensure ongoing competition in the marketplace between telecom service providers.

e) What is the appropriate mechanism for distributing funding? For example, should this funding be (i) paid to the service provider based on revenues and costs, or (ii) awarded based on a competitive bidding process?

Awarded based on competitive bidding process that meet local needs and conditions.

Consequently, it might be more effective if lower levels of government are running the process that public agencies far away. More auditing and monitoring by the Commission and Industry Canada of broadband subsidy programs can also enhance how they are delivered in the future.

f) Should any infrastructure that is funded be available on a wholesale basis and, if so, under what terms and conditions?

All infrastructure that meets standards detailed above should be available on a carrier neutral wholesale basis. Wholesale rates would be provided on a competitive basis.

The Commission would require that all wholesale rates be published. Oversight by the Commission to enforce neutrality would ensure ongoing wholesale competition, such that small, emerging, and new service providers could compete on a level playing field with incumbent telecom providers. Ongoing wholesale competition would lead to better retail services and lower rates for all Canadian residents, business, and public sector institutions.

g) Should the Commission set a maximum retail rate for any telecommunications service that is subsidized?

No. In a carrier neutral, open access regime, the Commission would be free to let market forces work. The commission would specify and regulate neutrality and open access to ensure compliance. This combination of market forces and regulation would 21

yield the best services and lowest rates for consumers at a moment in time by lowering the barriers to entry of non-dominant telecom providers and thereby increasing wholesale competition.

h) Should this mechanism replace the existing residential local wireline service subsidy?

If so, explain how the existing subsidy should be eliminated, including details on any transition period. In addition, explain whether the small ILECs and/or Northwestel should be subject to any special considerations or modifications for this transition period.

Either this mechanism should replace the existing residential local wireline service subsidy or the existing mechanism should be modified to include the new mechanism.

SILECs and Northwestel should not receive any special consideration. Special consideration results in consumers of those incumbent receiving inequitable access to the Internet versus consumers in other jurisdictions.

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