Archived — SOR/98-488

Industry Canada

JUS-97-238-01

(SOR/DORS)

International Submarine Cable Licences Regulations

interpretation

1. The definitions in this section apply in these Regulations.

"Act" means the Telecommunications Act. (Loi)

"terminating cable licence" means an international submarine cable licence issued, amended or renewed under section 19 of the Act for the construction or operation of an international submarine cable, including its associated works or facilities, that extends between any place in Canada and any place outside Canada and is connected or is intended to be connected to telecommunications facilities in Canada. (licence de câble terminal)

"through cable licence" means an international submarine cable licence issued, amended or renewed under section 19 of the Act for the construction or operation of an international submarine cable, including its associated works or facilities, that extends through Canada between places outside Canada, and does not connect to telecommunication facilities in Canada. (licence de câble de transit)

classes of licences

2. Subject to section 3, a person may hold the following classes of international submarine cable licences:

  1. a terminating cable licence; and
  2. a through cable licence.

eligibility

3. A person is eligible to hold an international submarine cable licence if the person controls the administration and operation of the international submarine cable, including its associated works or facilities.applications

4. (1) An applicant for a terminating cable licence or a through cable licence shall file a written application with the Minister that includes the following information:

  1. the name of the applicant;
  2. the address of the head office of the applicant or, in the absence of a head office in Canada, the address in Canada where service on the applicant may be effected;
  3. if the applicant is a corporation, the province, state or country where the applicant was incorporated and the date of incorporation;
  4. the origin of the cable, its intended route and, in the case of an application for a terminating cable licence, the points where the cable will connect to telecommunications facilities in Canada;
  5. documentation indicating compliance with the requirements set out in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act;
  6. the term being requested for the licence, which may not exceed 10 years; and
  7. information relating to the capital costs and technical capabilities of the cable and its associated works or facilities.

(2) In cases where more than one person is a party to the construction or operation of a terminating or through cable, each party shall be named in the application and the application shall include for each party the information referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c).

fees

5. An applicant shall pay, at the time of filing the application, a licence fee of $100 for the first year of the term of the licence.

6. (1) The licence fee for each subsequent year of the term of the licence is $100.

(2) The licensee shall pay the licence fee to the Minister annually, on or before the anniversary of the date of issue of the licence.

repeal

7. The External Submarine Cable Regulations(1) are repealed.

coming into force

8. These Regulations come into force on October 1, 1998.

1. C.R.C., c. 1515

Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement

(This statement is not part of the Regulation.)

Department or Agency:

Department of Industry

Title of Proposal:

International Submarine Cable Licences Regulations

Statutory Authority:

Telecommunications Act,
subsection 22(2)

Federal Regulatory
Plan No.:

Identified in the Report on Plans and Priorities for 1998

Submitted for
consideration for:

Publication in the
Canada Gazette, Part II

Minister of Industry

Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Description

The External Submarine Cable Regulations were adopted pursuant to the Telegraphs Act in 1960. The Telegraphs Act consisted of a consolidation of four previous statutes which dated back to 1852. In the 1985 consolidation of the Statutes of Canada, Part IV of the Act dealt with external submarine cables. Its provisions were based on those of an 1875 statute and have been amended over the years to accommodate a changing economic, political and technical environment.

The new Telecommunications Act came into force on October 25, 1993. The new Act is a consolidation of a number of previous statutes which establishes a new legislative and regulatory framework for all telecommunications common carriers regulated by the Federal government. The Act applies primarily to telecommunications common carriers under federal jurisdiction who own and/or operate their own transmission facilities. In the Act, these carriers are referred to as "Canadian carriers". The Telecommunications Act also applies to external submarine cable operators, whether or not the definition of Canadian carrier applies to them.

The Act provides that a licence is required for the construction and operation of international submarine cables and ancillary works. The provisions applicable to the licensing of submarine cables are contained in sections 17 to 20 of the Act. Section 19 has recently been amended to broaden the scope of this provision which initially limited the issuance of a licence to corporations. This section now provides for the issuance of licences to persons.

The Telecommunications Act has been amended recently to exempt the international submarine cables from the Canadian ownership and control provisions set out at section 16 of that Act. With this amendment, Canada meets one of its international trade obligations under the Fourth Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). This obligation will come into effect on October 1, 1998. Section 22(2) of the Act is the provision applicable to regulating the issuance of international submarine cable licences. The regulations are being modernized to better accommodate a competitive market and to ensure consistency with the Telecommunications Act. The External Submarine Cable Regulations are to be revoked in their entirety and replaced by the International Submarine Cable Licences Regulations. The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations supports the modernization of these regulations.

Alternatives

Maintaining the status quo was unacceptable because the regulations were adopted pursuant to the Telegraphs Act which was replaced by the Telecommunications Act. The current regulations are inconsistent with Canada's obligations under the GATS to liberalize the ownership and control of international submarine cables as of October 1, 1998. It was considered necessary to update the regulations to ensure consistency with the Telecommunications Act and our international trade obligations. Alternatives to regulations were also unacceptable because the nature of this initiative does not allow for self-regulation. Sections 17 and 18 of the Telecommunications Act provide for regulating the framework for international submarine cable licences. The International Submarine Cable Licences Regulations modernize the legal framework for the licensing of international submarine cables.

The draft regulations include the following policy changes affecting the issuance of a licence for international submarine cables:

  1. The regulations create two new classes of licence, a terminating cable licence and a through cable licence, based on whether or not the cable is connected to telecommunications facilities in Canada. Licences will no longer be issued according to the type of telecommunications services provided.
  2. To obtain an International Submarine Cable Licence, the applicant will be required to control the international submarine cable and its associated works and facilities. The Department will no longer impose on the applicant the requirement to meet Canadian ownership and control requirements as previously set out in the External Submarine Cable Regulations. The Telecommunications Act has been amended to exempt international submarine cables from the Canadian ownership and control requirements found at section 16. Under the International Submarine Cable Licences Regulations, terminating and through cable licences will be available to Canadian or foreign entities.
  3. The requirements for completing an application will change. In addition to the information that is being requested under the current Regulations, the new regulations will require that the following information be submitted:
    1. documentation indicating compliance with the requirements set out in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act;
    2. information on the capital costs and technical capabilities of the cable and its associated works or facilities; and
    3. information on the landing points and routing of the cable in Canada and outside Canada, where the cable will connect with telecommunications networks in Canada.
  4. Paragraph 22(2) of the Telecommunications Act has been amended to provide for the issuance of a submarine cable licence to corporations and persons other than corporations. The International Submarine Cable Licences Regulations have been drafted to reflect this amendment to the Act.

The substance of the provisions that set out the conditions of a licence, and that are being removed from the regulations will not change. These conditions will continue to apply and will be incorporated into a licence pursuant to the Minister's authority under section 19(2) of the Act. The Department is regulating when necessary and making use of alternatives to regulations whenever possible. In doing so, the process becomes more transparent and less onerous for industry.

Benefits and Costs

There are no fee changes proposed for international submarine cable licences in this regulatory package. These regulations will reduce the amount of information to be provided by applicants requesting a submarine cable licence.

The outcome of these changes is a concise set of regulations written in plain language that are user friendly, accessible, transparent and understandable. The Department will be regulating where necessary and removing those provisions that can be effectively implemented by other means. The Department is making use of alternatives to regulations whenever possible.

In modernizing these regulations, the Department is providing for the fair, efficient and effective licensing of international submarine cables and will support the orderly development of Canada's telecommunications system. By supporting the development of Canada's telecommunications industry, the Department is creating an economic environment that is based on competition and that promotes the growth of the telecommunications industry and the creation of jobs for Canadians.

Consultation

This regulatory initiative is of particular interest to Teleglobe Canada, the sole holder of five international submarine cable licences issued by the Minister, and to those few corporations who could potentially apply for a licence in the future.

Consultation with the environmental and local communities will take place, on a licence by licence basis, when an applicant conducts an environmental impact assessment test. The environmental community will be consulted by each applicant for an international submarine cable licence. There is no environmental impact as a result of these regulations. Any impact on the environment would be the result of specific work undertaken by the licensee. Consultation with the environmental and local communities is therefore not required for the development of these regulations.

The consultation period for this initiative was 60 days as required by subsection 22(4) of the Telecommunications Act. During this period, submissions were received from a number of interested parties. As a result of these comments the regulations were clarified and the information requirements reduced.

This initiative has been identified in the Federal Regulatory Plan for 1996 (item IC/96-8-I) and 1997. It was also identified in Industry Canada's Departmental Report on Plans and Priorities for 1998.

Compliance and Enforcement

Officers responsible for reviewing applications for international submarine cable licences will be responsible for the compliance and enforcement of these regulations with respect to the completion of an application. Compliance with the conditions of licence and other applicable provisions of the Telecommunications Act will be conducted through investigation and enforcement in accordance with Part V of that Act.

Contacts

Allan MacGillivray
Director
Industry Framework
Telecommunications Policy Branch
Industry Canada
300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8
telephone 613-998-4298
Fax 613-952-0567
Internet: macgillivray.allan@ic.gc.ca

or

Douglas MacEwen
Manager
Industry Structure
Telecommunications Policy Branch
Industry Canada
300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8
telephone 613-998-4420
Fax 613-952-0567
Internet: macewen.doug@ic.gc.ca

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