ARCHIVED - Telecom - Commission Letter - 8661-C12-02/00- Telecom Decision CRTC2001-238 - Restructured bands, revised local loop rates and related issues:Mark-up Issues - Disclosure of Confidential Information
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Ottawa, 19 December 2001
File No: 8661-C12-02/00
To: Interested Parties to PN 2000-27
Re: Telecom Decision CRTC 2001-238 - Restructured bands, revised local loop rates and related issues: Mark-up Issues - Disclosure of Confidential Information
This letter deals with requests for the disclosure of information that was filed under claim of confidence by Aliant Telecom Inc., Bell Canada, and MTS Communications Inc. (collectively, the Companies), and Telus Communications Inc. (Telus) in each of their letters dated 15 November 2001.
The requests for disclosure were filed by Call-Net Enterprises Inc., AT&T Canada Telecom Services Company, and AT&T Canada Corp. and (collectively, Call-Net/AT&T Canada), and GT Group Telecom Services Corporation (Group Telecom), in their respective letters dated 26 November 2001.
The Companies and Telus provided their replies in letters dated 3 December 2001.
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.
Further, 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.
The determinations herein also reflect the objective of ensuring that all parties have the benefit of the maximum amount of information placed on the public record. The information sought pursuant to the requests for disclosure by the Competitors is relevant to the issue of the appropriate level of mark-up to be used in setting loop prices, the key issue being examined in this process. As noted by Call-Net/AT&T Canada and Group Telecom, the cost information filed in this proceeding as justification for the level of mark-up proposed have never previously been filed by the ILECs. The disclosure of the information subject to the requests will provide parties a greater opportunity to meaningfully participate in this proceeding. Finally, it is noted that much of the information in respect of which disclosure is sought is comparable to cost information already filed on the public record. In light of the above, and given the degree of aggregation in the data and the level of competition for loops, it is considered that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the specific direct harm that the ILECs in question may incur.
Having regard to the considerations set out above, the Companies and TELUS are to place on the public record, the following information, as applicable:
c.c.: Yvan Davidson CRTC (819) 953-5414
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