ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8678-C12-11/01 - Public Notice CRTC 2001-37- Price cap review and related issues - Requests for disclosure and forfurther responses to interrogatories
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LetterOur file: 8678-C12-11/01 and 8624-B20-01/00
Ottawa, 3 October 2001
To: Interested Parties
Re: Public Notice CRTC 2001-37 - Price cap review and related issues - Requests for disclosure and for further responses to interrogatories
This letter deals with requests for further responses to interrogatories and for disclosure of information filed under claim of confidence by a number of parties to the above-noted proceeding.
Requests for disclosure or for further responses to interrogatories were received from Aliant Telecom Inc., Bell Canada, MTS Communications Inc., and Saskatchewan Telecommunications (collectively the Companies) and TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS).
Responses to these requests were received from Action Réseau Consommateur and the National Anti-Poverty Organization (ARC et al), AT&T Canada Corp. and AT&T Canada Telecom Services Company (collectively, AT&T Canada), Call-Net Enterprises Inc. (Call-Net) and GT Group Telecom Services Corp. (Group Telecom).
Requests for public disclosure are addressed in Part I below and in Attachment 1 to this letter, while requests for further responses are addressed in Part II and Attachment 2.
Unless otherwise expressly indicated, relevant parties are to file with the Commission all information to be provided pursuant to this letter by Wednesday, 10 October 2001, serving copies on all interested parties by the same date. This material should be received, and not merely sent, by that date.
This letter reflects the Commission's objective of ensuring that all parties have the benefit of the maximum amount of information placed on the public record at the earliest appropriate stage, in order to facilitate a more efficient and effective proceeding.
Part I - Requests for Public Disclosure
Requests for disclosure of information for which confidentiality has been claimed are assessed in light of sections 38 and 39 of the Telecommunications Act and section 19 of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules). In the case of each request, the public interest in disclosure is weighed against the specific direct harm, if any, likely to result from disclosure. In doing so, a number of factors are taken into account, including the following.
The degree of competition that exists in a particular market is an important consideration in assessing requests for disclosure. All things being equal, the greater the degree of competition in a particular market, the greater the specific harm that could be expected to result from disclosure.
Another factor in assessing the extent of harm is the expected usefulness of the information at issue to parties in furthering their competitive position. In this regard, an important consideration is the degree to which the information at issue is disaggregated. Generally speaking, the more aggregated the information, the less the likelihood that harm will flow from its disclosure.
The expectation that specific direct harm might result from disclosure is not, by itself, sufficient to justify maintaining a claim of confidentiality. In certain circumstances, substantial harm from disclosure may still be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure.
Finally, the treatment of confidentiality requests should not be taken as an indication of the manner in which such matters would be dealt with in the future, in different circumstances.
Having regard to the considerations set out above, the information subject to a claim of confidence in the interrogatories listed in Attachment 1 is to be placed on the public record of this proceeding. In each case where full or partial disclosure is to occur, it is considered that the specific direct harm likely to be caused by disclosure would not outweigh the public interest in disclosure.
Accordingly, unless otherwise expressly indicated in Attachment 1, the party in question is to place on the public record all of the information listed in Attachment 1 that was subject to a claim of confidentiality.
Part II - Requests for Further Responses
With regard to requests for further responses, the requirements of subsection 18(2) of the Rules apply. The general principles enunciated by the Commission in past proceedings include the following considerations.
The major consideration is the relevance of the information requested to the matter at issue.
The availability of the information requested is also a factor, which is balanced against the relevance of the information. If the provision of the information sought would require an effort disproportionate to the probative value of the information itself, further responses will not be required.
Another factor considered is the extent to which an interrogatory answer is responsive to the interrogatory as it was originally asked. Generally, parties are not required to provide further responses to requests for further information from a party that did not ask the original interrogatory.
Having regard to all of the above considerations, the parties in question are to provide further responses to the extent set out in Attachment 2 to this letter. Unless otherwise indicated, these responses are to be provided on the public record.
c.c.: Valerie Plaskacz, CRTC, (819) 997-4589
DISCLOSURE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
FURTHER RESPONSES TO Interrogatories
AT&TC(The Companies)31Aug01-5 a) and b)
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