Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Stan Thompson (Northwestel Inc.) and Daniel Sokolov
Ottawa, 22 December 2020
Our reference: 8740-N1-202006775
Mr. Stan Thompson
Chief Financial Officer & Vice-President
P.O. Box 2727
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 4Y4
Mr. Daniel Sokolov
5-484 Range Road
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 3A2
Re: Response to Request for Information regarding Northwestel’s Tariff Notice 1099 introduction of unlimited Terrestrial Internet packages –– Request for disclosure of information designated as confidential
This letter addresses requests for disclosure of information designated as confidential in the proceeding initiated by Northwestel Tariff Notice 1099 Footnote1 .
On 26 November 2020 and 30 November 2020, Mr. Daniel Sokolov filed submissions requesting disclosure of certain information for which confidentiality had been claimed in connection with Commission staff's requests for information to Northwestel, dated 4 November 2020. Footnote2 In general, Mr. Sokolov requested disclosure of the redacted information related to the following cost elements included in the cost study filed by the company: (i) Bad Debt; (ii) Cost of Debt and the after-tax weighted average cost of capital (AT-WACC); (iii) Cost of printing and mailing; (iv) Cost of Usage-based Billing; and (v) Advertisement and Promotion costs.
On 7 December 2020 Mr. Marc Nanni sent in an intervention in which he supported the request for disclosure submitted by Mr. Sokolov.
Northwestel filed a detailed response to the request for disclosure on 3 December 2020. While Northwestel provided some information with respect to these cost elements, the company submitted that it should not be required to provide the additional information sought by Mr. Sokolov or to disclose on the public record the confidential information he is seeking.
Assessment of the request
Commission staff notes that requests for disclosure of information designated as confidential are addressed in light of sections 38 and 39 of the Telecommunications Act (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 as confidential pursuant to section 39 of the Act. An assessment is then made as to whether disclosure would be in the public interest. The public interest assessment includes considering whether any specific direct harm would likely 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 obtaining a fuller record. The factors 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, Commission staff is of the view that the likelihood of specific and direct harm to the company and its customers outweighs the public interest in releasing this information As a result, no further disclosure of information is required by Northwestel.
Original signed by
Director, Dispute Resolution and Regulatory Implementation
c.c.: Marc Nanni, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Brock, CRTC, email@example.com
Wendy McClintock, CRTC, firstname.lastname@example.org
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