ARCHIVED - Letter
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Ottawa, 3 July 2014
File No.: 8620-C12-201401489
To: Distribution list
RE: Review of wholesale mobile wireless services, Telecom Notice of Consultation 2014-76  – Requests to maintain the confidential treatment of certain information
This letter addresses requests made by certain wireless carriers in the above-noted proceeding that the Commission maintain the confidential treatment of certain information for which disclosure was requested by Commission staff in a letter dated 22 May 2014.
On 27 May 2014, Quebecor Media Inc. on behalf of Vidéotron G.P., Bragg Communications Inc., carrying on business as Eastlink, and Globalive Wireless Management Corp., doing business as WIND Mobile (collectively, the New Entrants), requested that the Commission reconsider the Commission staff request to provide on the public record information related to tower and site sharing arrangements.
Specifically, the New Entrants requested that the Commission maintain confidential treatment of the following information:
- Rate-ranges in current tower and site sharing arrangements with Canadian wireless carriers, aggregated as a single range covering all carriers;
- Total wholesale wireless revenues and total wholesale wireless expenses related to tower and site sharing agreements with Canadian wireless carriers for each of the years 2009 to 2013; and
- Total wholesale wireless revenues and total wholesale wireless expenses aggregated for all wireless wholesale services for each of the years 2009 to 2013.
The New Entrants submitted that the public release of information related to rate-ranges for inter-carrier tower and site sharing services would adversely impact negotiations with non-carrier third parties.
On 27 May 2014, Bell Mobility inc., KMTS, NorthernTel, Limited Partnership, Télébec, Limited Partnership (collectively, Bell Mobility et al.) and Mornington Communications Co-operative Limited (Mornington) requested that the Commission maintain confidential treatment of certain information related to other wholesale wireless revenues and expenses in respect of which Commission staff had requested disclosure on the public record.
Specifically, Bell Mobility et al. requested to maintain confidential treatment of total wholesale wireless revenues and total wholesale wireless expenses related to roaming agreements with Canadian wireless carriers and other wholesale wireless services for each of the years 2009 to 2013. Bell Mobility et al. submitted that disclosure would permit industry stakeholders to determine details about specific commercial arrangements between carriers.
Mornington requested that the Commission maintain confidential treatment of its total wholesale wireless revenues for other wholesale wireless services for each of the years 2009 to 2013. Mornington submitted that this information was highly disaggregated since it involves only one contract.
Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Inc., operating as Mobilicity, TELUS Communications Company, and TBayTel supported the New Entrants’ and/or Bell Mobility et al.’s requests. These parties, as well as Saskatchewan Telecommunications, indicated that they would withhold disclosure of information until the Commission had ruled on the requests.
The following parties filed a response to the New Entrants’ and Bell Mobility et al.’s requests: the Consumers’ Association of Canada, the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of British Columbia, the National Pensioners and Senior Citizens Federation and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.
Requests for disclosure are addressed in light of sections 38 and 39 of the Telecommunications 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 as 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 disclosure of the information for the purpose of allowing meaningful participation in the proceeding and obtaining a fuller record.
With respect to Mornington’s request, the Commission notes that the company’s revenue information for other wholesale wireless services is not aggregated and refers to one contract related to a single site. The Commission considers that release of this information could affect Mornington’s future commercial negotiations with other parties by providing information about specific rates which these parties could use to their advantage during commercial negotiations, and that disclosure could result in specific, direct harm to the company.
The Commission considers that maintaining confidential treatment of information for this one contract would not impair the other parties’ ability to participate meaningfully in the proceeding. The Commission therefore considers that the specific direct harm likely to result from the disclosure for Mornington outweighs the public interest in disclosure of this information.
With respect to the other wireless carriers’ requests, the Commission notes that the information for which disclosure was requested is aggregated rather than company-specific and could not be used to determine the specific rates that a carrier pays for tower or site sharing, or roaming services to another party. Given that the rates are aggregated and that there are numerous factors (e.g. location, antenna type, etc.) which distinguish the rates that are charged in any particular case, the Commission considers that disclosure of this aggregated information would not likely have a material impact on commercial negotiations with third parties. The Commission is therefore not persuaded that disclosure of the requested information would likely result in significant specific direct harm to any party.
The Commission also considers that there is a strong public interest in disclosure of this information. The question of the appropriateness of greater regulatory oversight for these wholesale wireless services, which could include the regulation of rates, is a key issue in this proceeding. Maintaining confidential treatment of this information would result in very limited information on the public record of this proceeding related to tower and site sharing rates as well as wholesale wireless service expenses and revenues. The Commission considers that maintaining confidential treatment of this information would limit the ability of parties to effectively participate and provide meaningful comments on the state of the relevant markets. The Commission therefore considers that the public interest outweighs any potential harm that may result from the disclosure.
In light of the above, the Commission
- approves the request by Mornington to maintain the confidential treatment of revenue information related to its other wholesale wireless services; and
- denies the requests by the other wireless carriers to maintain confidential treatment of information related to roaming, tower and site sharing and other wholesale wireless services.
Accordingly, the Commission directs, unless otherwise expressly indicated, the Canadian wireless carriers identified in the distribution list to file with the Commission, if applicable and if not already done so, all information to be provided pursuant to this letter as set out in Attachment 1. This information is to be filed by 7 July 2014 as set out in the Commission staff letter dated today.
Parties are reminded that, if a document is to be filed or served by a specific date, the document must be actually received, not merely sent, by that date.
Original signed by
cc: John Macri, CRTC, (819) 997-4595, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Wardle, CRTC, (819) 997-4945, email@example.com
Jean-François Léger, PIAC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophy Lambert-Racine, UC, email@example.com
Bell Mobility Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
Bell Aliant Regional Communications, Limited Partnership, email@example.com
Huron Telecommunications Co-operative Limited, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hay Communications Co-operative Limited, email@example.com
Rogers Communications Partnership, firstname.lastname@example.org
TELUS Communications Company, email@example.com
MTS Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynx Mobility Inc., email@example.com
Execulink Telecom Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
Videotron G.P., email@example.com
Wightman Telecom Ltd., firstname.lastname@example.org
Quadro Communications Co-operative Inc., email@example.com
Bragg Communications Incorporated (EastLink), firstname.lastname@example.org
Sogetel Mobilité inc., email@example.com
Northwestel Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
SSI Micro Ltd., email@example.com
Brooke Telecom Co-operative Ltd., firstname.lastname@example.org
Ice Wireless Inc., email@example.com
Dryden Mobility, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fido Solutions Inc., email@example.com
Saskatchewan Telecommunications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Télébec, Limited Partnership, email@example.com
Mornington Communications Co-operative Limited, firstname.lastname@example.org
NorthernTel, Limited Partnership, email@example.com
Globalive Wireless Management Corp. (WIND), firstname.lastname@example.org
Data & Audio Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc. (MOBILICITY), email@example.com
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION DESIGNATED AS CONFIDENTIAL
Canadian wireless carriers are to provide on the public record the rate-ranges in their current tower and site sharing arrangements, as a single range covering all carriers, and a description of the factors or circumstances that would explain the variations in rates for such arrangements.
Canadian wireless carriers, with the exception of Mornington, are to provide on the public record for each of the years 2009 to 2013 their total wholesale wireless revenues, broken down into four categories as follows:
- roaming service provided to Canadian wireless carriers;
- tower and site sharing agreements with Canadian wireless carriers;
- arrangements to provide service to Canadian MVNOs and/or MVNEs; and
- any other wholesale service(s) provided to other Canadian wireless carriers. Indicate the service(s) provided.
Canadian wireless carriers are to provide on the public record for each of the years 2009 to 2013 their total wholesale wireless expenses, broken down into three categories as follows:
- roaming service for their customers using other Canadian carriers’ networks;
- tower and site sharing agreements with Canadian wireless carriers; and
- any other wholesale service(s) provided by Canadian wireless carriers. Indicate the service(s) provided.
 Review of wholesale mobile wireless services, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-76, 20 February 2014, as amended by Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-76-1, 25 April 2014.
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