Telecom Update #551, October 20, 2006

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

published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group

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551: October 20, 2006

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

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** B.C. Area Code Plan Proposed ** CRTC Okays Centrex Rate Hike ** SaskTel First to Launch IP High-Definition TV ** Canada Drops in OECD Broadband Rankings ** Cogeco Cable Phone Subscriptions Jump 64% ** Videotron Wireless Launches in Montreal ** Bell Offers Personal Online Storage ** Winnipeg Mayor Makes Wi-Fi Promise ** CRTC Revokes International LD Licences ** Price Cap Hearing Concluded ** Distributel Files CLEC Tariff ** FCC Delays AT&T-BellSouth Vote ** RIM to Miss Filing Deadline ** Telecom Hall of Fame Honours New Laureates ** Last Chance for "Enterprise Networks 2006"

B.C. AREA CODE PLAN PROPOSED: The NPA 250 Relief Planning Committee has agreed on a plan to solve the looming phone number shortage in B.C. (See Telecom Update #548) The proposal, one of 24 considered, would expand Area Code 778 (currently Lower Mainland only) to cover the entire province, and eliminate current restrictions on where new 604 numbers can be assigned in the Lower Mainland. This would delay the need for a new Area Code in British Columbia to 2017.

** The committee's proposal, which now goes to the CRTC for approval, envisions implementation by June 2007.

CRTC OKAYS CENTREX RATE HIKE: CRTC Decision 2006-281 gives final approval to a 10% increase in Bell and Bell-Aliant monthly rates for Centrex locals, EEWD locals, and related services, in Ontario and Quebec. The Commission rejected an argument, made by the Department of Justice, that it was unfair for Bell to increase rates shortly after it won a competitive RFP process to provide EEWD (Enhanced Exchange-Wide Dial) service to the federal government.

** Centrex and EEWD rates are uncapped; telcos do not have to provide cost justification for rate increases.

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SASKTEL FIRST TO LAUNCH IP HIGH-DEFINITION TV: SaskTel says it is the first provider in North America to offer High Definition TV over an Internet Protocol network. Max HD Ultimate, which includes 27 HD channels, is $59/month for the first four months. (See Telecom Update #514, 532)

CANADA DROPS IN OECD BROADBAND RANKINGS: The OECD's latest statistics on broadband penetration in member countries show that Canada is still first in the G7 in broadband penetration, but due to much faster gains by other countries Canada is now ninth in the OECD, down from second place in 2003.

** In the past six years, Canada has increased from 8.5 to 22.4 broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

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20,394 phone lines in the quarter ended August 31, to bring the total to 52,315. Service is now available to 66% of homes passed.

** Overall revenue of $174.9 million was 25% higher than the previous year, reflecting Cogeco's recent acquisition in Portugal. Profits tripled to $34.0 million. (See Telecom Update #532)

VIDEOTRON WIRELESS LAUNCHES IN MONTREAL: Videotron has launched cellular service in Greater Montreal, the fifth Quebec region to receive coverage.

BELL OFFERS PERSONAL ONLINE STORAGE: Bell Canada now offers Personal Vault, an online storage service designed for consumers' music or photo files. Price for three gigabytes of space: $6 per month.

WINNIPEG MAYOR MAKES WI-FI PROMISE: Winnipeg's incumbent Mayor, Sam Katz, says that if he is re-elected on October 25 he will initiate a project to deploy Wi-Fi Internet access throughout the city's downtown area.

CRTC REVOKES INTERNATIONAL LD LICENCES: The CRTC has revoked the licences of 21 international long distance carriers and resellers that have failed to submit required reports. Under the Telecom Act, anyone who provides international LD service without a licence faces summary conviction and penalties up to $100,000 for an individual or $1 million for a company.

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PRICE CAP HEARING CONCLUDED: The CRTC's hearing on Price Caps ended on Wednesday, October 18. Volume 6 of the hearing transcripts presents the parties' oral final arguments. Written arguments are due next week, reply comments on November 6.

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DISTRIBUTEL FILES CLEC TARIFF: Distributel Communications has notified the CRTC that it intends to become a competitive local exchange carrier. It has filed a proposed tariff for interconnecting to other local carriers.

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FCC DELAYS AT&T-BELLSOUTH VOTE: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has postponed its vote on AT&T's plan to acquire BellSouth for US$79 billion. The delay resulted from a request by two Democratic Party commissioners for more time to get public input on concessions offered by the two telcos. (See Telecom Update #550)

RIM TO MISS FILING DEADLINE: Research In Motion says its review of stock option practices has found additional errors beyond those outlined two weeks ago. As a result, RIM will miss the October 17 deadline for filing its quarterly report with regulatory authorities.

TELECOM HALL OF FAME HONOURS NEW LAUREATES: On October 16, 340 telecom industry leaders and supporters attended a Gala Dinner in Toronto. Ted Rogers, his father Edward S. Rogers Sr, Leila Wightman, Donald Hings, Ernie Saunders, and Francis Dagger were officially inducted into Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame. A Special Recognition Award went to Digital World, the 1970s digital switching initiative of Bell-Northern Research and Northern Telecom. (See Telecom Update #546)

** The next Telecom Laureate Awards gala will be held October 16, 2007, at Windsor Station in Montreal.

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LAST CHANCE FOR "ENTERPRISE NETWORKS 2006": The Enterprise Networks 2006 educational conference, organized by Angus Dortmans Associates, begins next week, on Tuesday October 24, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The meeting, co-located with Canada's top call centre conference, ICCM Canada, focuses on the practical issues that managers in end-user organizations must understand to survive and prosper at a time when rapid change is the only constant.

Confirmed speakers include:

** Henry Dortmans, President, Angus Dortmans Associates ** Mario Belanger, President, Avaya Canada ** Tom Moss, VP, Bell Security Solutions ** Tony Rybczynski, Director Enterprise, Nortel ** Mike Hall, Senior Director, Shaw Business Solutions ** John Riddell, Senior Consultant, Angus Dortmans Associates ** Stuart Curzon, Regional Vice-President, Verizon Business=20 ** Deepak Chopra and Greg MacDonald, Senior VPs, National Bank Financial ** Nitin Kawale, Senior VP, Cisco Systems Canada ** Stan Tyo, VP, Telus

For a full conference program, and to register, visit

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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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John Riddell
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