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Access to Regulated Facilities committee (ARF)


Work on issues concerning TFN's access, especially where government regulations apply, to existing public and private physical infrastructure, which TFN doesn't own but on which TFN currently depends or which TFN will need in the future.  Eg: last-mile telephone cabling, which is owned by Bell Canada and regulated by the CRTC.


This is a new standing committee.  It is soliciting initial members.  It is active but currently operates without formal meetings.


This committee was chartered in 2014 to take over work from TFN operations and to attract more people to this work.


The committee's actual task list is confidential.  Following is an introduction to the type of work we do.

TFN's Internet services don't exist in a vacuum.  Each TFN service is built from a combination of several other services and physical facilities, many of which must be obtained from external suppliers.

For example, in order for people to use TFN's dialup Internet service, they must first have a subscription to traditional telephone service.  The availability and retail cost of telephone service is affected by government regulation.  If people can't afford telephone service, the fact that our dialup is dirt cheap becomes irrelevant!

Similarly, our DSL Internet service depends on TFN having access to telephone cables that run along streets and terminate at people's homes.  Bell owns those cables.  If Bell won't let us rent them, no DSL!

One more example: in order for people to subscribe to our Ethernet offerings, we must have access to a building's interior, to install cables.  If a building's management is unwelcoming, we cannot deploy Ethernet service there.

Larger Internet providers own more facilities, so they spend less money on rent.  This results in lower costs and reduced risk, so it is TFN's goal to grow its footprint and to rent less.  However, no provider can own the world.  Even the biggest ones must obtain some services from others.  Also, as a provider grows, it tends to be subjected to more government regulation — to be required to rent out its facilities.  So, no matter how big TFN gets, the committee will continue to be needed, one way or another.

Many of the facilities mentioned above are regulated by a government body, the CRTC.  The CRTC has many powers and resposibilities.  One of them is the ability to force a large company to make its facilities available for rent to other companies.  This helps reduce the economic impact of large monopolies.  CRTC regulations evolve continuously.  Companies jockey for position and try to convince the CRTC to change its regulations, each pulling in its own direction.  Every week, something that affects TFN is happening at the CRTC.

This committee's work, for the most part, is to closely monitor all this activity, to keep TFN's president well informed, and to promote TFN's interests in the regulatory sphere.  These processes stretch over timespans that last many years, so this is patient work.

The infrastructure needed by TFN may be owned by municipal governments, by private corporations, or by individuals.

Further examples of relevant infrastructure and of its uses:

Our work is critical to TFN's operational needs, so our tasks and priorities come directly from TFN's president.  Our assigned work can include responsibilities such as:


This committee reports to and receives its assignments from TFN's president.  Meetings are held at the TFN office.  Members of this committee must be TFN members.  To join this committee, one applies to the committee's chair who, advised by TFN operations, selects candidates.

Meetings follow Robert's Rules of Order.  Quorum is 5 registered committee members.  Meeting notice is 11 days.  The committee may determine, from time to time, a fixed schedule for recurring meetings.  In that case, a single notice suffices for all subsequent meetings that follow it.  Membership in this committee is automatically forfeited at the adjournment of the fourth consecutive meeting from which the member has been absent without being excused by a motion of the committee.


Essential skills for participating in this committee:

Other relevant skills and experience:

Time commitment

Please plan to spend at least 12 hours per month, preferably in long stretches during which you can work uninterrupted.  More importantly, this is long term work.  If you join this committee, please plan to stay for many years.  Also, to become familiar with this committee's domain of knowledge, one must invest a lot of time (months, for most people).

Our member application process uses a trial task, same as TFN operations, so you can find out whether you would enjoy this committee's work before you commit to it.

Participants work from home, each on their portion.  We coordinate and share results mostly by email and telephone.  Some assignments require group decisionmaking at the TFN office, perhaps once or twice a month.


To join this committee, please contact the TFN office.  They will put you in touch with the committee's chairperson.

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