ARCHIVED -  Telecom Order CRTC 99-100

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Telecom Order CRTC 99-100


Ottawa, 3 February 1999


On 27 October 1998, Stentor Resource Centre Inc. (Stentor) filed an application for approval of an International Telecommunications Services Agreement (the Agreement) between Stentor Canadian Network Management, as agent for each of BC TEL, Bell Canada, Island Telecom Inc., Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, MTS Communications Inc., NBTel Inc., NewTel Communications Inc., Saskatchewan Telecommunications and TELUS Communications Inc. (the companies), and France Telecom.


File No.: 8340-S1-0029/00


1.Stentor filed portions of the above-noted Agreement in confidence, providing an abridged version for the public record. Stentor submitted, among other things, that the Agreement was the product of extensive negotiations and that it contained certain information which, if released, would cause direct commercial harm to the companies, to France Telecom, or to both.


2.In Telecom Order CRTC 98-1225, 4 December 1998, the Commission granted interim approval to the Agreement.


3.On 27 November 1998, Westel Telecommunications Ltd. (Westel) wrote to the Commission expressing concern that portions of the Agreement crucial to an understanding of its contents had been filed in confidence.


4.In its letter of 27 November 1998, Westel submitted, among other things, that Stentor had not attempted to describe the nature of the items for which confidentiality had been claimed or to provide reasons for claims of confidentiality specific to each such item.


5.Westel requested that the Commission require Stentor to provide more detailed descriptions of the subject matter of each item for which confidentiality had been claimed, along with a claim specific to each such item.


6.Westel stated that, once this information was provided, Westel and other potential interveners would be in a position to assess whether or not Stentor's claims of confidentiality should be challenged, and/or additional interventions should be filed.


7.Stentor filed a reply on 7 December 1998. Stentor stated that, in most instances, the headings or titles of the sections remained in the abridged version, and that it was easily deduced from the abridged copy that those elements for which it had claimed confidentiality were either financial in nature, negotiated terms and conditions, or basic contact and banking information.


8.Stentor submitted, among other things, that the reasons it initially gave for claiming confidentiality apply to each of the items in question. Stentor reiterated that all of the items for which it had claimed confidentiality contain financial or other commercially sensitive information that is confidential and that has consistently been treated as so by the companies.


9.The Commission agrees with Stentor that the information for which Stentor has claimed confidentiality is commercially sensitive information, release of which could result in specific direct harm to the companies that would outweigh the public interest in disclosure.


10.The Commission notes that, in most instances, headings left in the abridged version or the general context indicate the nature of the information for which Stentor has claimed confidentiality. The Commission considers that there is little additional detail that Stentor could provide, short of actual disclosure, that would be of material assistance to interveners.


11.In light of the above, Westel's request is denied and the Agreement is granted final approval.


Secretary General


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