ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter - 8660 C12-200606494
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Ottawa, 12 July 2006
File Number: 8660 C12-200606494
To: Companies on the attached e-mail distribution list
Re: Proposed publication of certain competitor quality of service information: Commission staff determination
This letter sets out Commission staff's determination with respect to the publication of certain Quality of Service (Competitor Q of S) information.
In a letter dated 29 May 2006, the companies that are required to file with the Commission Competitor Q of S data pursuant to Finalization of quality of service rate rebate plan for competitors , Telecom Decision CRTC 2005-20, 31 March 2005 were requested to show cause why the Commission should not publish, both for the past and on an on-going basis, a quarterly, aggregated summary of the following filed Competitor Q of S information.
Position of parties
Aliant Telecom Inc. (Aliant) stated that it already filed on the public record, aggregated Competitor Q of S reports in addition to competitor-specific confidential, and for the public record abridged versions of the Competitor Q of S reports.
Aliant submitted, among other things, that the proposed disclosure would not be harmful to the company's interests but may be harmful to competitors, particularly in areas where a single or small number of competitors operate. Aliant further submitted that if the Commission considers that publication of the summary reports is appropriate, the company should no longer be required to file confidential and abridged versions of competitor-specific Competitor Q of S reports related to volumes of occurrences.
Bell Canada submitted, among other things, that only data associated with the 14 indicators in the Competitor Q of S rate rebate plan (RRP) should be disclosed and that the data in respect of the missed opportunities for indicators 1.10A, 1.11A, 1.13, 1.19A and 2.7A which is the subject of a Part VII review and vary application filed by the company, should be identified.
In addition, Bell Canada submitted that because the company's Competitor Q of S results were negatively impacted by the strike in 2005 against Entourage Technology Solutions Inc. in Ontario, consistent with Bell Canada's exclusion application of 5 December 2005, the data in respect of the missed opportunities for 12 of the 14 indicators for the period of 1 April to 31 October 2005 should also be identified.
MTS Allstream Inc. (MTS Allstream) stated that it had no objections to the publication of the proposed information.
Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel) submitted that because of the low volume of activity in its competitive local exchange market, the publication of the aggregated reports could be detrimental to the competitors as it would allow an educated guess as to the level of competitive activity in the region. SaskTel also submitted that there was no identifiable purpose for the further publication of this information since the Commission and competitors are already in possession of the information.
TELUS Communications Company (TCC) submitted that the purpose of the proposed publication of the data was not defined and appeared to be at odds with the Telecommunications Policy Review Panel Report's recommendations that regulation be light-handed, flexible and supported by sound justification.
TCC added that where Competitor Q of S results may be subject to adjustment as a result of a force majeure application, no report should be published until the expiry of a 30 day period following the Commission's decision on the application, to allow for a restatement of the information to be published in light of the Commission's disposition of the application.
Télébec, société en commandite (Télébec) submitted that due to the low volume of competitor activity in its territory, a slight failure to meet the Competitor Q of S standards could, in percentage terms, translate into a significant variation from the standards, which could lead to the company's reputation being unfairly tarnished. In addition, Télébec submitted that publication of the information in question could provide competitors with valuable insight into the market, to Télébec's detriment.
Commission staff has carefully considered the submissions made and has come to the following conclusions.
Commission staff considers that the publication of the summary reports as proposed will provide timely information on the public record and, hence, more transparency with respect to an important component of the competitive telecommunications framework in Canada . In Commission staff's view, the proposed reports constitute useful information by which all stakeholders will be better positioned to monitor developments with respect to Competitor Q of S and the operation of the RRP for competitors.
With respect to the impact on competitors, Commission staff notes that MTS Allstream, which has a significant competitive local exchange carrier business, did not object to the publication of the reports. Given that the information proposed to be published is aggregated information only, Commission staff considers that, to the extent it is present, the specific direct harm in disclosing this information is likely to be small.
Commission staff agrees with Bell Canada 's submission that if Competitor Q of S information is to be disclosed, it should consist of only the 14 Q of S indicators included in the RRP.
Having carefully considered parties' submissions, Commission staff considers that publication of the proposed information is in the public interest. To the extent that specific direct harm may result from such disclosure, Commission staff considers that such harm is outweighed by the public interest in disclosing the proposed information. Accordingly, the information will be published in the manner proposed in our letter dated 29 May 2006 , with the modifications described in this letter.
Commission staff is not persuaded that the publication of the information should be delayed in the event of the results being subject to applications which could eventually cause the results to be modified. In Commission staff's view, it is important that the information be made available on a timely basis. In the event that the published information or to be published is or becomes subject to an application or applications, the summary will identify that fact. If the disposition of an application results in a modification to the published information, the summary will be republished to reflect the modified information.
c.c.: Mike Cawood, CRTC, (819) 997 3485
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