ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8654-T42-06/01 - Proposed revisions to the2000 Phase III/Split Rate Base (SRB) Manuals for TCBC and the former TCI

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Ottawa, 22 June 2001

File No.: 8661-C12-02/00


To: Interested Parties to PN 2000-27

Re: Telecom Decision CRTC 2001-238 - Residential
Primary Exchange Service (PES) Costs - Disclosure of Confidential Information

In separate letters dated 27 April 2001 and 30 April 2001, the ex-Stentor companies including SaskTel were provided, in confidence, estimates of the residential PES costs that it derived for each company, based on its determinations in Telecom Decision CRTC 2001-238, Restructured Bands, Revised Loop Rates, and Related Issues.The Commission derived these PES costs, for each band for each company, by making a number of adjustments to the costs filed by the companies. As stated in Decision 2001-238, the residential PES costs in high-cost bands are to be used to calculate the total subsidy requirement.

In those letters, it was noted that there is significant public interest in disclosure of the PES costs, especially in high-costs bands, in light of the new subsidy regime. Each company was requested to submit its comments as to why the residential PES costs should not be placed on the public record.

Submissions were received from SaskTel Telecommunications (SaskTel), TELUS Communications Inc. (Telus), and Bell Canada on behalf of itself, Island Telecom Inc., Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, MTS Communications Inc., NBTel Inc. and NewTel Communications Inc. (collectively, Bell et al).

The Commission received comments from GT Group Telecom Services Corp. on behalf of itself, AT&T Canada Corp., AT&T Canada Telecom Services Company, Call-Net Enterprises Inc., Primus Telecommunication Canada Inc., and Rogers Wireless Inc. ARC/CAC/NAPO and the OTA also provided their comments.

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.

This determination also reflects the objective of ensuring that all parties have the benefit of the maximum amount of information placed on the public record. In particular, it (a) provides an increased understanding of the subsidy requirement such that those paying the subsidy are better informed as to the basis upon which they are being charged, (b) recognizes that the residential PES costs that are the subject of disclosure requests represent Commission estimates and not the ILECs'

own cost estimates for the provision of residential PES service, and (c) informs parties as to which rate bands are not compensatory.

Having regard to the considerations set out above, the companies are to file with the Commission to be placed on the public record, serving copies on the parties to this proceeding, by 26 June 2001 the residential PES costs for each band, as provided in the letters noted above.

Yours sincerely,

Shirley Soehn
Executive Director, Telecommunications


c.c.: Dem Magmanlac CRTC (819) 953-6638
Yvan Davidson CRTC (819) 953-5414

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