Decision CRTC 2001-611
Our Files: 4750-294(Legal)
Ottawa, 28 September 2001
To: Distribution List (attached)
Re: Monitoring the Canadian Telecommunications Industry: Confidentiality Ruling
In a letter of 13 September 2001, the telecommunications service providers identified in the attached distribution list and the Canadian Cable Television Association (CCTA) were given an opportunity to submit their views on the Commission making public some of the information provided by them to the National Broadband Task Force, and subsequently made available to the Commission with their approval. Specifically, views were sought on the Commission publishing provincial maps that would identify the service coverage of high-speed Internet access service, by certain major centres, broken down between digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable modem, as of 31 December 2000.
In letters dated 13 September 2001, TELUS Communications Inc. (TELUS) and the CCTA argued that the information should not be disclosed in the form proposed, submitting, among other things, that it is highly disaggregated and that its release would enable competitors to more effectively target their respective markets. TELUS and the CCTA also suggested they had originally understood that this information would not be disclosed.
In a letter dated 14 September 2001, Bell Canada (on behalf of itself, Aliant Telecom Inc., MTS Communications Inc., Northern Telephone Ltd., Northwestel Inc., Saskatchewan Telecommunications and Télébec ltée) stated that it did not object to the disclosure of the information in the form proposed.
The Commission notes that information for which confidentiality has been claimed is to be assessed in light of sections 38 and 39 of the Telecommunications Act and section 19 of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules). Specifically, the Commission is required to weigh the public interest in disclosure against the specific direct harm, if any, likely to result from disclosure.
The Commission notes that the information used to derive the maps in question is generally publicly available from service providers' websites. Accordingly, the Commission considers that public disclosure of this sort of information in the form of provincial maps would give rise to minimal specific direct harm, if any.
After carefully considering the various submissions received, the Commission considers that to the extent that disclosure of this sort of information may cause specific direct harm, such harm is outweighed by the public interest in disclosure. Accordingly, the Commission has determined, pursuant to s.39 of the Telecommunications Act and s.19 of the Rules, that this information should be disclosed in the form of provincial maps identifying service coverage by DSL and cable modem.
The Commission notes that these maps have been published in the Commission's Report to the Governor in Council on the Status of Competition in Canadian Telecommunications Markets and the Deployment/Accessibility of Advanced Telecommunications Infrastructure and Services, which was issued today.
c.c.: Industry Canada (Mr. Cimeron McDonald)
Alastair Stewart (819) 997-5294
John Macri (819) 997-4595
Distribution List (Commission's letter of 28 September 2001)
Mr. Robert Farmer,
Vice President, Regulatory Matters
105, rue Hôtel de Ville
Hull, QC J8X 4H7
Tel: (819) 773-5503
Fax: (819) 773-5629
(on behalf of Bell Canada, Télébec ltée, MTS Communications Inc.,
Northern Telephone Ltd., NorthwestTel Inc., Aliant Telecom Inc. and SaskTel)
Vice-President, Economic Research
Canadian Cable Television Association (CCTA)
Suite 1010, 360 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1R 7X7
Tel: (613) 232-2631
Fax: (613) 232-2137
Mr. Willie Grieve
Vice President Government & Regulatory Affairs
TELUS Communications Inc.
10020 - 100 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 0N5
Tel: (780) 493-6590
Fax: (780) 493-6519
(on behalf of TELUS Communications Inc. and TELUS Québec)
Date Modified: 2001-10-05