ARCHIVED -  Letter

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Ottawa, 28 November 2012

Our reference: 8661-P11-201214098


To: Distribution List

RE: Part 1 Application seeking relief related to the impending forbearance of wholesale services classified as non-essential subject to phase-out

Dear Sirs and Madam:

This letter addresses: (1) the request by Primus Telecommunications Canada Inc. (Primus) for disclosure of information designated as confidential dated 22 November 2012; (2) the request by MTS Inc, and Allstream Inc. (collectively, MTS Allstream) for alternative relief in the above-noted proceeding, (3) the request by Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership (Bell Aliant) and Bell Canada (collectively, the Bell companies) to file reply comments, and (4) the process for the above-noted proceeding which was suspended by letter dated 23 November 2012.

Disclosure request

By letter dated 22 November 2012, Primus requested that the Commission direct MTS Allstream and Rogers Communications Partnership (Rogers) to disclose the information designated as confidential in their revised interventions filed on 20, 21, and
22 November, 2012.

On 23 November 2012 and 26 November 2012, Rogers and MTS Allstream, respectively filed a reply to the request for disclosure by Primus.

Requests for disclosure of information for which confidentiality has been claimed are addressed in light of sections 38 and 39 of the Telecommunications Act (the Act) and sections 30 and following of the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure. In evaluating a request, an assessment is made as to whether the information falls into a category of information that can be designated confidential pursuant to section 39 of the Act. An assessment is then made as to whether there is any specific direct harm likely to result from the disclosure of the information in question and whether any such harm outweighs the public interest in disclosure. In making this evaluation, a number of factors are taken into consideration, including the degree of competition and the importance of the information for the purpose of obtaining a fuller record. The factors considered are discussed in more detail in Procedures for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure in Commission proceedings, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-961, 23 December 2010 as amended by Confidentiality of information used to establish wholesale service rates, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2012-592, 26 October 2012.

With respect to Primus’ request regarding certain information relating to the experiences of MTS Allstream and Rogers in their negotiations with third parties, Commission staff considers that the information designated as confidential properly falls within subsection 39(1)(c)(iii) of Act, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to affect contractual or other negotiations of those interveners. Further, Commission staff considers that specific direct harm would likely result from the disclosure of this information, and that such harm is not outweighed by the public interest in disclosure. Accordingly, Primus’ request is denied.

Request for alternative relief

In its intervention on the above-noted application MTS Allstream proposed, as alternative relief, that the wholesale services scheduled for forbearance as of 3 March 2013 be grandfathered as of that date.

By letter dated 27 November 2013, the Bell companies submitted that such relief is outside of the scope of Primus' application, and therefore is outside the scope of this proceeding. The Bell companies noted that Primus specifically noted in its application that its proposed final relief would "maintain the minimum amount of time provided for negotiation or migration to competitive supply in Decision 2008-17”.

Commission staff notes that in its application Primus requested an extension to the date of forbearance whereas MTS Allstream’s alternative relief would suspend forbearance indefinitely for certain services. Commission staff agrees with the Bell companies that MTS Allstream’s request is outside the scope of this proceeding.

Bell companies’ request to file reply comments

In their letter of 27 November 2012, the Bell companies sought the right to file reply comments to address comments raised by certain interveners and, by separate letter also dated 27 November 2012, filed reply comments to avoid further delay in the proceeding.

Commission staff considers it is appropriate that the Bell companies have a right of reply. Accordingly, the Bell companies’ reply comments dated 27 November 2012 will form part of the record of the above-noted proceeding.

By letter dated 26 November 2012, Commission staff suspended the above-noted proceeding while it considered the request for disclosure of confidential information. Given that the request for disclosure has now been disposed of, Primus may file reply comments with the Commission by 30 November 2012, serving copies on all parties.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Mario Bertrand
Director, Dispute Resolution & Decisions

Distribution List

Bell Aliant :
Bell Canada :
Primus :
MTS Allstream :
Rogers :

C.c.: CRTC

Parties to Telecom Decision 2008-17; ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; ;;;;;; ;;;;; ;;;;;;;;;; ;; ; ; ;;;;;

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