ARCHIVED - Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Richard Biron (Sogetel Inc., Téléphone Milot Inc., Téléphone de Lambton and Téléphone de Courcelles)

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Ottawa, 21 October 2015

Our references:   


Mr. Richard Biron
Sogetel Inc.
Téléphone Milot Inc.
Téléphone de Lambton
Téléphone de Courcelles

RE: Request to remove abridged documents filed in support of direct connect (DC) rates from the public record

Dear Mr. Biron:

On 22 June 2015, Sogetel Inc., Téléphone Milot Inc., Téléphone de Lambton, and Téléphone de Courcelles (collectively, the Companies) filed for Commission approval tariff notice applications for direct connect (DC) service in which the proposed rates were supported by cost studies. Consistent with Section 32 of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of Procedure), the Companies provided abridged versions to be made available on the public record of their confidential DC cost study models.

On 30 September 2015, the Companies requested that the Commission remove the abridged versions of the DC cost study models from the public record. The Companies submitted that, due to an error, the abridged versions contained formulas they consider confidential. Further, the Companies requested that interveners abstain from using any of the information contained in the abridged documents.

Allstream Inc. (Allstream) and Bell Canada (Bell) submitted responses to the Companies’ request to remove the abridged documents from the public record. Both Allstream and Bell submitted that they will destroy any copies of the abridged documents in their possession, although Bell disagreed that the formulas are confidential and indicated that their disclosure has been in the public interest.

Section 39(1) of the Telecommunications Act (the Act) sets out the types of information that may be designated as confidential:

  1. information that is a trade secret;
  2. financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that is confidential and that is treated consistently in a confidential manner by the person who submitted it; or
  3. information the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected
    1. to result in material financial loss or gain to any person,
    2. to prejudice the competitive position of any person, or
    3. to affect contractual or other negotiations of any person.

Section 32 of the Rules of Procedure sets out additional requirements for filing confidential information:

  1. The party that designates information as confidential must provide reasons, as well as any supporting documents, why the disclosure of the information would not be in the public interest, including why the specific direct harm that would be likely to result from the disclosure would outweigh the public interest; and
  2.   The party must either file with the Commission an abridged version, intended to be made available to the public, of the document that contains the information or provide reasons, as well as any supporting documents, why an abridged version cannot be filed.

Commission staff notes that the formulae in question were filed within the abridged versions of documents otherwise submitted in confidence for Commission review. The Companies requested that interveners abstain from using any of the information contained in the abridged documents only after Bell submitted an intervention related to the formulas in question. By this time, the information in question had already been publicly disclosed for a period of 90 days. 

Commission staff considers that the Companies have not demonstrated that the formulas included in the abridged DC cost study model represent the types of information outlined in Section 39(1) of the Act. Commission staff further notes that the Companies have neither identified the specific direct harm likely to result from disclosure of the formulae in question, nor have they established why disclosure would not be in the public interest.

Commission staff considers that Bell’s related comments are relevant to the determination of just and reasonable rates and have enhanced the public record with respect to DC cost study models. Commission staff notes that Sogetel Inc. and Téléphone Milot Inc. filed revised DC rates after correcting a related error identified by Bell. In addition, the Reply Comments filed jointly by all SILECs on the public record engage in further discussions concerning the information previously sought to be redacted.

Under these specific circumstances, Commission staff considers the abridged versions of the DC cost study models, including the formulas sought to be redacted, are to remain on the public record. Accordingly, the intervener comments that address the formulas in question will continue to form part of the record of this proceeding.

Accordingly, Commission staff denies the Companies’ request to remove the abridged versions of their DC cost study models from the public record.


Original signed by

Lyne Renaud
Director, Competitor Services and Costing Implementation
Telecommunications sector

c.c.:  Greg Milosek, CRTC, 819-953-4720,
Matthew Alexander, CRTC, 819-934-1511,
Martin Brazeau, CRTC, 819-997-1028,
Angela Lawrence,
Dave Smith,
Glenn Grubb,
Jean Bélanger,
Jean-Francois Mathieu,
Jim Janssens,
John DeHeer,
John E. Downs,
Lyne Rodrigue,
Pauline Jessome,
Philippe Gauvin,
R. Paul Downs,
Richard Banks,
Rob Van Aaken,
Robert Petruk,
Scott Mitchell,
Steve Lynn,
Sylvie Neault,
Tim J W Beach,
William Grier,

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