Telecom Commission Letter addressed to Distribution list
Ottawa, 29 May 2020
Our reference: 1011-NOC2019-0057
RE: Review of mobile wireless services, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-57 – Disclosure of information designated as confidential
Dear Madams, Sirs:
This letter addresses requests for disclosure of certain information designated as confidential in responses to undertakings that parties made at the public hearing in the proceeding initiated by Telecom Notice of Consultation 2019-57. Specifically, this letter addresses disclosure requests made by Cogeco Communications Inc. (Cogeco) and TELUS Communications Company (TELUS) in letters dated 30 April 2020.Footnote1
The following parties responded to the requests for disclosure: Bell Mobility Inc. (Bell Mobility), the Commissioner of Competition (the Commissioner), Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (Rogers), and TELUS.
Upon review of Cogeco’s disclosure requests, staff is of the view that certain additional information should be publicly disclosed by Bell Mobility related to the implementation of seamless roaming (see Attachment 1). In staff’s view, the risk of harm to Bell Mobility in disclosing high level cost estimates in this case is outweighed by the public interest in such disclosure, as this information would enable parties to evaluate and compare the implementation costs for seamless roaming across the three national wireless carriers.Footnote2
With respect to Cogeco’s other disclosure requests, staff is of the view that the public interest in disclosure would be outweighed by the risk of harm to parties. As such, no further disclosure is required by parties in response to these requests.
Regarding TELUS’ request concerning information marked as confidential by the Commissioner in his undertaking responses, which request cited the fact that the Commissioner did not provide any explanation as to why some information was designated as confidential, staff notes that the information in question was not designated as confidential by the Commissioner himself. Rather, the Commissioner indicated that he was obligated to maintain the confidentiality of any information designated as confidential by a third party. In this regard, staff notes that subsection 39(2) and paragraph 39(3)(b) of the Telecommunications Act (Act) impose an obligation on the Commissioner to not disclose any confidential information that was provided to him pursuant to either paragraph 39(4)(b) or 39(5)(b) of that Act. Staff has reviewed the redacted information in Appendices B and C of the Commissioner’s undertaking response and is of the view that this information was appropriately marked as confidential as it concerns highly disaggregated market share and business plan information of regional competitors in specific locations, which information was designated as confidential by those parties upon filing with the Commission, and disclosed to the Commissioner pursuant to s. 39(4)(b) of the Act. Staff notes that the Commission did not previously require the Commissioner to disclose this type of highly disaggregated information pursuant to its determinations in Telecom Decision 2020-104. As such, staff considers that no further disclosure is required by the Commissioner.
Requests for disclosure of information designated as confidential
Requests for disclosure of information designated as confidential are addressed in light of sections 38 and 39 of the Act and sections 30 and following of the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of 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. Harm may be more likely to outweigh the public interest where the information is more disaggregated or where the degree of competition is greater. Conversely, the public interest may be more likely to outweigh any harm where disclosure of the information is more important to the ability of the Commission to obtain a full and complete record on which to make its decision. The general procedures and the factors generally 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 Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-961-1, 26 October 2012.
Having regard to the considerations set out above, relevant parties are to file with the Commission all information as set out in Attachment 1 by June 5 2020.
Original signed by
Distribution list: parties to Telecom proceeding 2019-57
DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION DESIGNATED AS CONFIDENTIAL
Parties below are to provide on the public record the requested information by June 5 2020.
Bell Mobility is to disclose its estimate of the per-border initial setup and ongoing maintenance costs associated with seamless roaming.
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