ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8644-C12-03/00

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Ottawa, 22 January 2001

File No. 8644-C12-03/00


To: Interested Parties CRTC PN 2000-124

Re: Public Notice CRTC 2000-124 (PN 2000-124) - Seeking Public Input on Access to Multi-Dwelling Units, In-Building Wiring and Riser Space

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 were filed by Canadian Institute of Public and Private Real Estate Companies (CIPPREC) and the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA); Futureway Communications Inc.; GT Group Telecom Services Corp and MaxLink Communications Inc. on behalf of itself , AT&T Canada Telecom Services Company, AXXENT Corp., Inc., Call-Net Enterprises Inc., Combined Telecom Inc. and Wispra Networks Inc. (collectively the Competitors).

Responses to requests were received from Bell Canada, Island Tel Inc., Maritime Tel & Tel Limited, MTS Communications Inc., NBTel Inc., NewTel Communications Inc., and Saskatchewan Telecommunications Inc. (collectively the Companies); the Competitors; GT Group Telecom Services Corp.; Novus Telecom Group Inc. and TELUS Communications Inc. TELUS Communications (B.C.) Inc. and Québec-Téléphone (collectively TELUS).

The Companies are to file with the Commission all information to be provided pursuant to this letter by 29 January 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.

Further Responses

With regards to requests for further responses, the requirements of subsections 18(2) of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules) apply. The general principles enunciated by the Commission in past proceedings include the following.

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 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.

In addition, in this proceeding, requests for further responses were addressed requesting that parties provide legal argument or comment on certain issues. In general, it is more appropriate that argument and comment be provided in the comment and reply stages of the proceeding.

Accordingly, the Companies are to file additional responses to the following interrogatory:


In reply to requests for further responses to interrogatories and for disclosure of information filed under claim of confidence, the Companies and TELUS voluntarily provided modifications to their responses to interrogatories by way of additional comments, clarification, additional references, corrections and explanations to the following:

Companies(GT)14Nov00-13B and C

No further response is required to the above interrogatories.

In the reply to requests for further responses dated 8 January 2001, the Companies clarified and stated in Companies(CIPPREC)14Nov00-11 that:

"With respect to item g), the reference to The Companies(CRTC)14Nov00-12 MDU, which also contains a reference to The Companies(CRTC)14Nov00-15".

The Companies are to review and indicate whether the reference to The Companies(CRTC)14Nov00-15 is correct, and, if necessary, to refile a revised response to The Companies(CRTC)14Nov00-12 and The Companies(CIPPREC)14Nov00-11.

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 Rules. In the case of each request, the public interest 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 out weighted 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 for which parties sought disclosure will not be required to be placed on the public record of this proceeding.

Yours sincerely,

Shirley Soehn
Executive Director,

cc: Mike Walker CRTC (819) 994- 4716

Date Modified: 2001-01-22

Date modified: