ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Paul Cowling (Shaw Cablesystems G.P.) and Stephen Schmidt (TELUS Communications Company)
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Ottawa, 22 April 2015
Our reference: 8690-S9-201411967
Mr. Paul Cowling
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Shaw Cablesystems G.P.
40 Elgin Street, Suite 1400
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5K6
Mr. Stephen Schmidt
Vice-President - Telecom Policy & Chief Regulatory Legal Counsel
Telecom Policy and Regulatory Affairs
TELUS Communications Company
215 Slater Street, 8th floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 0A6
RE: Shaw Cablesystems G.P. - Application regarding alleged overbilled charges by TELUS Communications Company for service poles in British Columbia
On 19 November 2014, Shaw Cablesystems G.P. (Shaw) filed the above referenced application. In it, Shaw alleged that TELUS Communications Company (TCC) was overbilling it for service poles in British Columbia, in particular due to service poles located on private property. On 23 February 2015, Shaw filed its final reply related to its application.
On 13 March 2015, TCC filed a letter with the Commission objecting to some of the information provided by Shaw in its final reply. TCC requested that the Commission, among other things:
- expunge Appendix A of Shaw’s final reply from the record of the proceeding; and
- remove Shaw’s abridged final reply from the public record until Shaw files a revised abridged final reply with the Commission that removes certain information that TCC considered to be confidential.
On 16 March 2015, Shaw filed a letter with the Commission requesting that the Commission deny TCC’s aforementioned requests.
On 26 March 2015, Commission staff removed Shaw’s abridged final reply and 16 March 2015 letter from the Commission’s website. Commission staff also sent a letter that, among other things, initiated a process to consider the alleged disclosure of new information, namely Appendix A in Shaw’s final reply (the Statement of Work), and Shaw’s request for disclosure of the number of service poles with no Shaw attachment and the number of service poles that were counted twice (duplicate service poles), which TCC had previously designated to be confidential.
In accordance with that letter, Commission staff treated Shaw’s 16 March 2015 letter as a request for disclosure of confidential information under the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of Procedure). Pursuant to the process established in that letter, TCC filed its reply on 6 April 2015.
The Statement of Work
TCC stated that the Statement of Work was not filed on the record in Shaw’s original application and, as such, Shaw should not have included it in its final reply. TCC requested that the Statement of Work be struck from the record.
Shaw argued that the Statement of Work was not new to either the Commission or TCC. Shaw noted that the Statement of Work was ordered to be filed by the Commission in the proceeding leading to Raftview Communications Ltd. - Request for relief from alleged inappropriate charged by TELUS Communications Company for privately owned service poles, Telecom Decision CRTC 2014-645, 12 December 2014 (Telecom Decision 2014-645), and that the most salient parts of the Statement of Work had been discussed by TCC in the present proceeding.
Staff notes that section 27(2) of the Rules of Procedure state that the reply must be restricted to the points raised in the answer or the document. In this regard, staff considers that the Statement of Work filed by Shaw in its final reply represents new information filed on the record of this proceeding. Accordingly, staff considers that Shaw inappropriately filed the Statement of Work in its reply.
TCC considered that Shaw disclosed informationFootnote 1 that TCC had previously marked as being confidential. TCC argued that the disclosure of that information could potentially harm TCC’s negotiating position with licensees.
Shaw argued that the confidential information as alleged by TCC did not fall into a category of information that can be designated as confidential under the Telecommunications Act (the Act).
Commission staff notes that section 39(1) of the Act states that a person may designate information as confidential if, amongst other grounds, the disclosure of that information could reasonably be expected to result in material financial loss or gain to any person, prejudice the competitive person of any person, or affect contractual or other negotiations of any person.
Staff considers that TCC has not provided a sufficiently convincing argument that disclosure of the information in question could potentially harm TCC’s negotiation position with licensees. Staff considers that the information under dispute specifically relates to interactions between Shaw and TCC, namely the number of TCC-owned service poles with no Shaw attachments and the number of duplicate service poles counted in TCC’s service pole census. While staff notes that Shaw did not follow the proper process to request disclosure of confidential information, staff considers that the information in question was inappropriately designated as confidential by TCC.
Accordingly, Shaw is required to file a revised copy of its 23 February 2015 final reply with the Commission as soon as possible, with the Statement of Work struck from that final reply. Once the Commission receives the revised final reply, the Commission will post that document and Shaw’s 16 March 2015 letter to the Commission’s website.
Original signed by
Director, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation
c.c.: Kevin Pickell, CRTC, 819-997-4580, email@example.com
- Footnote 1
TCC argued that Shaw should not have disclosed the number of (1) poles that Shaw did not have any attachments on and, (2) duplicate service poles
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