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IN THIS ISSUE:** Bell Set to Announce IPTV ** CRTC Revokes 39 Telecom Licences ** Amtelecom Wins Bidding Contest ** Bell Nordiq, TBayTel to Pursue Alliance ** CRTC Confirms Quebec Fibre Decision ** Comment Sought on Northwestel Regulatory Regime ** Nortel Pulls Back from the Edge ** Yet Another GE Exec Joins Nortel ** Videotron Hikes Internet Speeds ** Backhoes Versus Telecom ** Text Messaging Hits New Peak ** Telesat Plans New Satellite ** Cogeco Phone Service Reaches Chatham ** Look Revenue Declines ** CWTA Holds Entertainment Seminar ** Call Centre Conference Asks for Proposals
BELL SET TO ANNOUNCE IPTV: Bell Canada, which has been testing Microsoft's Internet Protocol-based television technology since late2003, appears ready to unveil its plans for a limited rollout of IPTV service. An announcement by the end of January would allow the telco to demonstrate the product at its annual Business Review Conference for analysts on February 1.
CRTC REVOKES 39 TELECOM LICENCES: CRTC Telecom Public Notice 2006-2 revokes the basic international telecommunications licences of 39 service providers who, despite numerous reminders, failed to submit required annual reports to the Commission in 2005. It is not clear whether any of the companies are still in business.** The CRTC notes that providing international telecom services without a licence can result in fines of up to $100,000 for an individual or $1 million for a corporation.
BELL NORDIQ, TBAYTEL TO PURSUE ALLIANCE: After three months of discussions, Bell Nordiq and TBayTel (Thunder Bay's municipal telco) have "agreed to not proceed with an equity partnership." Instead, they plan to create a northwestern Ontario telecom hub. (See Telecom Update #503)
CRTC CONFIRMS QUEBEC FIBRE DECISION: Responding to a "review and vary" application by Telus, the CRTC has confirmed its Decision 2005-12 order that Telus must file tariffs for maintenance and engineering services provided to the Commission scolaire de la Cote-du-sud to support its private fibre network. However, terminal equipment tariffs are not required.
** The proceeding will include a public hearing to be held in Whitehorse, Yukon, in July 2006.
YET ANOTHER GE EXEC JOINS NORTEL: Mike Zafirovski, hired as CEO of Nortel Networks in October, is moving fast to put a team of former colleagues into the company's executive offices. Dennis Carey, like Zafirovski, spent many years at General Electric and Motorola: he is now EVP of Nortel's newly created corporate operations division. (See Telecom Update #512)
VIDEOTRON HIKES INTERNET SPEEDS: Videotron plans to increase the speeds of its Internet access services by March. "Extreme" service will now be 10 Gbps; basic service doubles to 600 Kbps.
BACKHOES VERSUS TELECOM: The backhoe is telecom's single biggest enemy. A new study from the Common Ground Alliance, a U.S. industry group, estimates that in 2004 there were over 675,000 cases of damage to various types of underground facilities: 35% involved backhoes, and27% affected telecom equipment.
** Another recent report, from the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, says that cable dig-ups caused 57% of U.S. network outages in the past 12 years. The number of outages has been declining, but the number of customers affected and the average length of service interruption have increased.
COGECO PHONE SERVICE REACHES CHATHAM: Cogeco Cable's Digital Phone service is now available to the majority of residents of Chatham, Ontario.
LOOK REVENUE DECLINES: Look Communications reports revenue of $8.4 million for the quarter ended November 30, 17% less than a year earlier. The net loss was reduced to $1.35 million from $3.0 million. The subscriber total fell 8% from the previous quarter. (See Telecom Update #506)
CWTA HOLDS ENTERTAINMENT SEMINAR: The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association is holding "All About ME," a day-long seminar on mobile entertainment in Toronto February 21.
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