Telecom Update #493, August 19, 2005

************************************************************ TELECOM UPDATE ************************************************************

published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group

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Number 493: August 19, 2005

Publication of Telecom Update is made possible by generous financial support from:

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** Policy Panel Gets 97 Submissions ** Bell to Trial Next-Gen Wireless 9-1-1 ** Telus Scores Big Win Over Bell ** Videotron Expands Cable Phone Service ** Shaw Says MTS Stalling on Porting Numbers ** Rogers, Bell Launch Cellphone TV ** Bell Boosts DSL Speeds ** Vancouver Exhibition Bars Telus ** Loblaws Offers Private-Label Cellphones ** Avaya Ships Seven Million IP Phones ** One Million in UK Block Telemarketers ** BCI Class Action Suits End ** Survey Shows Rural/Urban Broadband Gap ** Telecom, IT Profits Rise ** Microsoft Releases Anti-Zotob Tool ** Correction


POLICY PANEL GETS 97 SUBMISSIONS: This week the Telecom Policy Review Panel received submissions from incumbent telcos, cablecos, other competitors, consumer and business groups, industry associations, and telecom manufacturers, as well as the governments of seven provinces and the Northwest Territories.

** Bell Canada's 1,000-page submission argues that most economic regulation of incumbent telcos is no longer necessary. It says the regulator should have to justify any use of regulation, rather than reliance on market forces, and wants many CRTC activities to be handled instead by competition authorities. It wants the Telecom Act rewritten; in the meantime Cabinet should instruct the CRTC to adhere to seven guidelines outlined by Bell.

** Telus wants regulations relaxed so that incumbents can respond more quickly to market conditions and are not subject to different rules than their competitors.

** Many submissions stress the need to "finish the job" of extending broadband service to all rural communities.

** The range of topics and opinions is much too broad to summarize here: to view all the submissions, go to the Panel's website.

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BELL TO TRIAL NEXT-GEN WIRELESS 9-1-1: Next month Bell Mobility will begin a six-month trial of new GPS-based wireless 9-1-1 technology that can determine a caller's position within 150 meters, for 95% of calls. Bell says about half of its customers' phones, and almost all new mobile phones, have Global Positioning System capability.

TELUS SCORES BIG WIN OVER BELL: General Motors of Canada, based in Oshawa, Ontario, has awarded Telus Business Solutions a five-year $11-million contract to provide its IP One hosted IP-based phone service to 5,000 employees, using Nortel's MCS 5200 multimedia platform.

VIDEOTRON EXPANDS CABLE PHONE SERVICE: Videotron's VoIP phone service is now available to 825,000 households in Montreal. The Videotron service, priced at $21.95/month, or $15.95 for customers of two other services, already has 62,500 customers in Quebec. (See Telecom Update #466)

SHAW SAYS MTS STALLING ON PORTING NUMBERS: Shaw Telecom says Manitoba Tel is rejecting many requests to transfer Winnipeg phone numbers to Shaw, and is telling customers that they cannot move to Shaw's Digital Phone service if they have MTS Internet or TV service. Shaw has asked the CRTC to expedite handling of this issue.

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ROGERS, BELL LAUNCH CELLPHONE TV: Rogers Wireless and Bell Mobility introduced television service over their cellular networks last week, offering sports and news programs. Charge: $25/month (Rogers); $10/month plus usage (Bell).

** In Broadcasting Public Notice 2005-82, the CRTC seeks comment on a regulatory framework to govern such services. Bell, Rogers, and Telus have all argued that their proposed services should be exempt from regulation. Submissions are due September 12.

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BELL BOOSTS DSL SPEEDS: Bell Canada is increasing the speed of its High-Speed Ultra DSL service in Ontario and Quebec to 5 Mbps for consumer customers and 6 Mbps for small and medium business customers.

VANCOUVER EXHIBITION BARS TELUS: The Pacific National Exhibition, owned by the City of Vancouver, says it will not allow Telus to install, change, or repair equipment on the fair's site during the current strike.

LOBLAWS OFFERS PRIVATE-LABEL CELLPHONES: Loblaws stores in Alberta and B.C. now offer a prepaid cellular service under the name President's Choice Mobile. The underlying carrier is Bell Mobility.

AVAYA SHIPS SEVEN MILLION IP PHONES: Avaya says it has now shipped more than seven million IP-based telephone lines for business customers worldwide. Synergy Research Group says Avaya has 21% of the global IP telephony market.

ONE MILLION IN UK BLOCK TELEMARKETERS: In mid-July the UK phone company BT introduced Telephone Preference Service, similar to the U.S. Do-Not-Call list. Companies are legally prohibited from making unsolicited sales and marketing calls to numbers on the list. In the first four weeks more than one million households signed up -- that's

30,000 a day, one every three seconds.

** Bill C-37, allowing the CRTC to create a Canadian Do Not Call list, was introduced in Parliament last December but has not yet received Second Reading. (See Telecom Update #462)

BCI CLASS ACTION SUITS END: Two class action suits against Bell Canada International, BCE, and some BCI directors have been dismissed without payment of damages. As part of the settlement agreement, BCI will pay $3 million towards the plaintiffs' legal costs.

SURVEY SHOWS RURAL/URBAN BROADBAND GAP: A survey by TNS Canadian Facts reports two-thirds of Canadian Internet users have high-speed access, but the proportion drops to 22% in communities with less than 10,000 population. The TNS telephone survey concludes that 73% of households now have Internet access.

TELECOM, IT PROFITS RISE: A Financial Post DataGroup survey of 50 Canadian telecom service providers shows second quarter profits of $932 million, 22% more than the same period last year. Profits of 45 surveyed IT companies more than quadrupled, to $564 million. (See Telecom Update #482)

MICROSOFT RELEASES ANTI-ZOTOB TOOL: The war between security experts and virus writers is escalating fast. On Tuesday August 9, Microsoft released a security patch for Windows 95, 98, ME, NE, 2000 and XP. By Sunday, hackers had reverse-engineered the patch and released a worm, dubbed "Zotob," that attacked customers who hadn't yet installed the patch. And on Tuesday August 17, Microsoft released a Zotob-removal tool.

CORRECTION: Contrary to what we reported in Telecom Update #492, Bell's Business IP Voice service provides only single-line phone service, so extension-to-extension calling isn't possible.



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The information and data included has been obtained from sources which we believe to be reliable, but Angus TeleManagement makes no warranties or representations whatsoever regarding accuracy, completeness, or adequacy. Opinions expressed are based on interpretation of available information, and are subject to change. If expert advice on the subject matter is required, the services of a competent professional should be obtained.


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