Telecom Commission Letter addressed to the Distribution List

Ottawa, 18 December 2019

Our references: 8663-J64-201806019, 8663-T66-201805722

## denotes Confidential information

BY EMAIL

Distribution List

RE: Iris Technologies Inc. and TELUS Communications Inc. – Applications for relief regarding the termination of traffic to certain 867 numbering plan area telephone numbers

Dear Sirs:

On 26 June 2019 and 17 July 2019 the Commission received from Iris Technologies Inc. (Iristel) responses to requests for information that had been submitted by Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (RCCI), TELUS Communications Inc. (TCI), and Commission staff, as part of the above proceedings. Iristel’s submission included responses to requests for information posed to five of its wholesale customers who have remained unnamed as part of this proceeding. All responses to the interrogatories were initially submitted in confidence by the wholesale customers in question who are sometimes referred to below in the abridged version of this letter through the use of numerical values.

By letter dated 26 July 2019, TCI requested that the Commission direct Iristel to disclose on the public record the responses to the requests for information by Commission staff and other parties, which were initially submitted to the Commission by Iristel on behalf of its wholesale customers.

On 1 August 2019, the Commission received a letter from Iristel, in which it submitted that the information that TCI is requesting Iristel to disclose does not belong to Iristel, but is instead the property of its wholesale customers. Iristel submitted that an order from the Commission directing Iristel to disclose confidential information of its customers that does not belong to Iristel would be both procedurally unfair to those parties and would cause irreparable harm to Iristel’s commercial relationships with its customers. Iristel requested that, in the event that the Commission decides that TCI’s request has any merit, the Commission cease using Iristel as a conduit to reach Iristel’s wholesale customers and instead send TCI’s procedural request to Iristel’s wholesale customers directly.

In letters dated 15 August 2019, Commission staff requested ## [Iristel Customer #1], ## [Iristel Customer #2], ## [Iristel Customer #3], and ## [Iristel Customer #5] to file a response to TCI’s disclosure request by no later than 26 August 2019. In these letters Commission staff reminded the wholesale customers that in order to ensure a fair and transparent process, only information that is truly confidential should be designated as such. Commission staff also informed the four wholesale customers that persons that wished to designate information contained in their submissions as confidential must do so in accordance with the Telecommunications Act and with the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure, and include an abridged version for the public record.

The Commission received responses from ## [Iristel Customer #2]; and ## [Iristel Customer #5]; no response was received from ## [Iristel Customer #1] and ## [Iristel Customer #3].

Commission staff has reviewed the responses submitted by ## [Iristel Customer #2] and considers that no additional information beyond what has already been disclosed on the public record by this customer should be disclosed.

Commission staff has also reviewed the responses provided by ## [Iristel Customer #5] and considers that, in addition to the information that this customer has already disclosed on the public record, certain information (detailed below) relating to ## [Iristel Customer #5’s] responses to the following interrogatories should also be disclosed:

## [Iristel Customer #1] and ## [Iristel Customer #3]
Commission staff has reviewed the responses to the interrogatories which were submitted in confidence by Iristel on behalf of these customers, and has concluded that all of the information contained in ##’s [Iristel Customer #1’s] and ##’s [Iristel Customer #3’s] responses to all of the interrogatories should be disclosed on the public record, with the exception of:

Commission staff considers that the information contained within the responses provided by these two customers to all interrogatories is of comparable commercial sensitivity to the information found within the content disclosed on the public record by ## [Iristel Customer #2] and ## [Iristel Customer #5]. Consequently any specific direct harm that could be incurred by these two customers as a result of disclosure of this information on the public record would not outweigh the benefit to the public interest. Specifically, staff considers that disclosure of this information on the public record would not: (i) result in material financial loss or gain to ## [Iristel Customer #1] or to ## [Iristel Customer #3]; and/or (ii) prejudice the competitive position of ## [Iristel Customer #1] or of ## [Iristel Customer #3].

Iristel

In its above-referenced letter dated 1 August 2019, Iristel also replied to TCI’s request that Iristel disclose on the public record its confidential response to INTERROGATORY IRISTEL(CRTC)JUNE19-9 a). Specifically, Iristel replied that whether or not it has a commercial relationship with a third party is strictly confidential information that it would never voluntarily disclose. Iristel submitted that commercial relationships change over time and just because Iristel had a commercial relationship with Free Conference Call Global (FCCG) in 2018 has no bearing on the nature of its relationship with FCCG in 2019. Iristel submitted that the disclosure of the existence of any commercial relationship between itself and FCCG would not assist TCI in reviving its allegations against Iristel of traffic stimulation.
Commission staff considers that Iristel’s response to INTERROGATORY IRISTEL(CRTC)JUNE19-9 a) should be disclosed on the public record, as staff is of the view that the specific direct harm that could be incurred by either Iristel or FCCG through disclosure would not outweigh the benefit to the public interest. Specifically, staff considers that disclosure of this information on the public record would not: (i) result in material financial loss or gain to Iristel or to FCCG; and/or (ii) prejudice the competitive position of Iristel or of FCCG. As well, staff is of the view that Iristel’s response speaks directly to the question of whether a revenue-sharing agreement exists between Iristel and FCCG.

In light of all the above, staff requests that Iristel, ## [Iristel Customer #1], ## [Iristel Customer #3], and ## [Iristel Customer #5], by no later than 30 December 2019, either:

Consistent with section 39(4) of the Act, the Commission may disclose or require the disclosure of designated information submitted in the course of a proceeding before it if it determines that disclosure is in the public interest.
Where Iristel, ## [Iristel Customer #1], ## [Iristel Customer #3], and ## [Iristel Customer #5] file newly abridged versions of their submissions with the Commission by 30 December 2019, parties may file additional comments, strictly limited to a response to the newly disclosed information, by no later than 8 January 2020. Should any of the parties choose not to file new abridged versions, further process will be determined at a later date.

Staff reminds the parties that documents filed with the CRTC must be submitted electronically via My CRTC Account. To obtain a My CRTC Account, call 1-866-893-0932 between the hours of 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM Eastern Time to obtain an activation code and a GC Key; this is also the telephone number to call to obtain any required support when filing documents with the CRTC. Additional information regarding submitting documents to the CRTC can be found at Submitting applications and other documents to the CRTC using My CRTC Account | CRTC.

Additionally, confidential versions of this Commission staff letter will be sent to ## [Iristel Customer #1], ## [Iristel Customer #2], ## [Iristel Customer #3], and ## [Iristel Customer #5]. Accompanying the letters sent to ## [Iristel Customer #1], ## [Iristel Customer #3], and ## [Iristel Customer #5] will be a copy of the response initially submitted by Iristel on the respective customer’s behalf, modified by Commission staff (via redaction) to reflect the determinations set out in this letter. The redacted copy of Iristel’s response is being included for the customer’s reference, to help them prepare the abridged version of their response, to be filed with the Commission.

A copy of this letter, as well as abridged versions of all related correspondence, will be publicly accessible through the Commission’s website.
Questions regarding any information contained in this letter may be directed to Rudy Rab, Senior Analyst, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation, at rudy.rab@crtc.gc.ca (819-994-3416).

Sincerely,

Original signed by Valerie Plaskacz for

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution and Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector

 

c.c.: Jill Schatz, Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc., regulatory@cnoc.ca
John Lawford, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, jlawford@piac.ca
Marc Lange, marc8lange@gmail.com
Rudy Rab, CRTC, rudy.rab@crtc.gc.ca

Distribution List

Free Conference Call Global, ##
Iris Technologies Inc., Jean-Francois Dumoulin, regulatory@iristel.com
Rogers Communications Canada Inc., Howard Slawner, rwi_gr@rci.rogers.com
TELUS Communications Inc., Stephen Schmidt, regulatory.affairs@telus.com
ZenoRadio, Baruch Herzfeld, bh@zenoradio.com
Iristel Customer #1, ##
Iristel Customer #2, ##
Iristel Customer #3, ##
Iristel Customer #5, ##
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