For immediate release
City of Hamilton's Municipal Access Agreement (MAA) with Bell Canada approved by CRTC
[Hamilton, ON – February 12, 2016 – The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved with changes the rates, terms, and conditions of a Municipal Access Agreement (MAA) between the City of Hamilton and Bell Canada.
In January 2015, the City made an application to the CRTC seeking to compel Bell Canada to enter into a new and improved Municipal Access Agreement (MAA) to better reflect the City’s expectations relative to performance and compliance with City protocols and procedures. Key highlights of the new agreement include Bell Canada being responsible to support, protect and maintain its equipment to the satisfaction of the City to ensure road safety and during municipal construction projects or operating activities, and that any costs above normal City costs for additional work on projects as a result of Bell Canada’s telecommunications equipment can be recovered by the City including staff costs, additional material costs or any additional City contractor costs attributable to the telecommunications equipment.
The CRTC’s decision will help the City realize cost savings and ensure that costs directly related to a carrier’s infrastructure are paid by the carrier rather than by municipal taxpayers. The City estimates the impact of direct costs due to Bell equipment are approximately $450,000 per year. When work-around charges are considered, that annual figure would be in excess of $1M.
The MAA also governs Bell Canada's access to highways and other public places in Hamilton, allowing Bell Canada to provide its services throughout the municipality, maximizing the choice of telecommunications service providers for local residents and businesses.