Telecom Decision CRTC 2016-269
Ottawa, 15 July 2016
File numbers: 8652-C136-201512525; Courcelles Tariff Notice 45, Lambton Tariff Notice 60, Milot Tariff Notices 80 and 80A, and Sogetel Tariff Notices 175 and 175A
Canadian Independent Telephone Company Joint Task Force –Request for removal of abridged documents from the public record filed in support of direct connect rates
The Commission determines that it is unnecessary to rule on the confidentiality of abridged cost study models, since removed from the Commission’s website, because they have been superseded by updated cost study models, and, hence, the matter is moot. It also determines that Bell Canada’s interventions in the associated proceedings will remain on the public record as submitted.
- On 22 June 2015, during the tariff proceedings to revise the direct connect (DC)Footnote 1 service rates for 22 small incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), La Cie de Téléphone de Courcelles Inc. (Courcelles), Téléphone de Lambton (Lambton), Téléphone Milot inc. (Milot), and Sogetel inc. (Sogetel) [collectively, the four small ILECs] each filed cost studies in support of their proposed new rates for that service. Further, each of these companies filed an abridged cost study model for the public record which disclosed, among other things, the methodologies employed to derive the estimated costs associated with DC service.
- On 21 September 2015, interventions were received as part of these tariff proceedings from Allstream Inc. (Allstream) and Bell Canada, including comments on the DC service rate proposals submitted by the four small ILECs referenced above.
- On 30 September 2015, the Commission received a letter from the four small ILECs requesting that the Commission remove their abridged versions of the DC cost study models from the public record. These companies submitted that, due to an error, the abridged versions contained formulas that they considered confidential. Further, they requested that interveners abstain from using any of the information contained in the abridged documents.
- On 6 October 2015, Bell Canada indicated that it had no objection to complying with the companies’ request to destroy the abridged documents in question and confirmed that the relevant files had been destroyed. Bell Canada, nonetheless, contested the confidential nature of the information in question.Footnote 2
- By letter dated 21 October 2015, Commission staff informed the four small ILECs that insufficient information had been submitted to establish the confidentiality of the information in question. Commission staff further considered that the public record had been enhanced through the comments received in relation to the information these companies were now seeking to redact. Accordingly, the abridged cost study models were to remain on the public record as submitted.
- The Commission received an application from the Canadian Independent Telephone Company Joint Task Force (JTF), dated 29 October 2015, on behalf of 23 small ILECs,Footnote 3 including the four small ILECs referenced above. Specifically, the JTF requested that the Commission
- on an interim basis, immediately remove from the Commission’s public record the abridged cost study models filed by the four small ILECs, pending the Commission’s final decision on this application;
- on a final basis, rescind Commission staff’s 21 October 2015 letter, declare the formulas and relationships within the DC service cost study models to be confidential information within the meaning of subsection 39(1) of the Telecommunications Act, and remove the abridged cost study models filed by the four small ILECs from the public record on a permanent basis; and
- strike from the public record of the DC service tariff proceedings paragraphs 6 to 34 of Bell Canada’s intervention that refer to, use, and/or incorporate or rely upon any of the confidential DC service cost study model formulas and relationships.
- The Commission received an intervention from Bell Canada regarding the JTF’s application. The public record of this proceeding, which closed on 14 December 2015, is available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca or by using the file numbers provided above.
Commission’s analysis and determinations
- The abridged cost study models were removed from the Commission’s website upon receipt of the JTF’s 29 October 2015 application. Further, the DC rate proposals submitted by the four small ILECs on 22 June 2015 have since been superseded by revised submissions accompanied by updated cost study models.Footnote 4 Given this, because the matter is moot, the Commission considers it unnecessary to rule on the confidentiality of the information in question or the appropriateness of its inclusion on the public record.
- With respect to the JTF’s request regarding paragraphs 6 to 34 of Bell Canada’s intervention in the DC service tariff proceedings, the Commission considers that Bell Canada’s submission enhanced the public record with information that did not disclose company-specific data of the four small ILECs in question. As such, Bell Canada’s intervention in those proceedings will remain on the public record as submitted.
- Footnote 1
DC service allows long distance providers to connect to the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) and the end-customer. DC rates recover the cost of switching and aggregating long distance traffic at the local switch, which is the point where long distance calls are handed off to the ILEC.
- Footnote 2
On 7 December 2015, Allstream indicated that it had no record of having received the information in question but that any such information would be destroyed upon discovery.
- Footnote 3
The JTF filed this application on behalf of the 22 small ILECs referenced in paragraph 1 of this decision and Execulink Telecom Inc.
- Footnote 4
Milot and Sogetel filed updated cost studies on 1 October 2015. Courcelles and Lambton filed updated cost studies on 8 December 2015
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