Ontario 9-1-1 Advisory Board – Press Release

National Emergency Number Association
Ontario Chapter



May 21, 1997

The Ontario 9-1-1 Advisory Board, an entity sanctioned to serve andrepresent the 9-1-1 providers and users in the Province of Ontario is concernedover the recent release of Telecom Decision 97-8 and 97-9 on May 1st,1997 by the Canadian Radio-television Communications Commission. The Ontario9-1-1 Advisory Board after careful review of this decision has filed an appealwith the CRTC addressing the concerns for both the safety of our citizens andfor those costs associated with providing 9-1-1 service. We believe that theCRTC must respond to these concerns before a tragedy occurs. The public safetyaspects, liability issues, and costs associated with 9-1-1 must not be at theexpense of a telephone industry trying to gain initial and future market share.

We believe that the CRTC must respond to these concernsbefore a tragedy occurs.

The appeal to the CRTC has requested the following:

  • A clear set of rules for the interconnection of 9-1-1 by any existingor new telephone company without jeopardizing the safety of our citizens orcausing those municipalities that provide 9-1-1 service any additional expensesas a result of the unbundling of telephone service. Work is presently on goingwith a 9-1-1 sub-working group but the Telecom Decision of 97-8 provided noclear direction or timetable for interconnection of 9-1-1 to Public SafetyAnswering Places.
  • Telecom Decision 97-8 stated that 9-1-1 was not an essential facility. Intechnical terms that may be correct, but to those citizens that utilize thisservice when an emergency exists would certainly disagree. We believe 9-1-1is an essential facility and that the CRTC must assure the public of itspresent and future existence.
  • Telephone re-seller service has not been clearly addressed by the CRTC asit relates to the provisioning of 9-1-1 service. The CRTC has been vague as towho a telephone service provider is. We would insist that any company offeringlocal telephone service must provide the same 9-1-1 service asis presently available in that part of Ontario today.
  • The issue of wireless telephone service and 9-1-1 has been an on goingdispute with the emergency service providers and the wireless industry. The CRTChas failed to address this issue, yet fully knows of the recent ruling in theUnited States by the Federal Communication Commission on the provisioning ofwireless 9-1-1. We firmly believe that the time has come for theCRTC to take a stand on this very important issue. The world we livein appears to be heading to one of more mobility. The public expectation in amobile world is that 9-1-1 will work as it has in the past. The public does notunderstand the limitations of wireless 9-1-1, nor do they care until the needfor 9-1-1 arises.

The Ontario 9-1-1 Advisory Board will continue to work with the CRTC and thetelephone industry on the provisioning and interconnection of 9-1-1. The Ontario9-1-1 Advisory Board fully recognizes the position of the CRTC on the unbundlingof telephone service but needs to assure its citizens and emergency serviceproviders that there will be no degradation of 9-1-1 service as a result.

For additional information or clarification of the position of the Ontario9-1-1 Advisory Board please contact DeputyChief Derek Denson of the Durham Regional Police Service (905 721 4278), orJoe Moore of the Regional Municipality of Peel (905 791 7800, or Judy Broomfieldof the Metro Toronto Communications Centre (416 808 8899).

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