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************************************************************ IN THIS ISSUE:** VoIP Providers Given 90 Days to Implement 9-1-1 ** CRTC Promises VoIP Decision by May 12 ** Ottawa Sees No Need to Rewrite Telecom Act ** Union to Vote on Entourage Offer ** Resellers Can Now Use Bell Third-Party VoIP ** Bell Forms Small-Business IT Services Division ** Shaw to Increase Internet Access Speeds ** Telus to Extend High-Speed Access in Rural B.C. ** MCI Rejects Qwest Bid But Talks Continue ** RIM Adds 470,000 Subscribers ** Telecom Conference Calls for Papers
VoIP PROVIDERS GIVEN 90 DAYS TO IMPLEMENT 9-1-1: The CRTC says that9-1-1 service is not optional in Canada. Telecom Decision 2005-21 orders all providers of IP-based local telephone service to implement at least Basic 9-1-1 service by July 3.
** Basic 9-1-1 routes emergency calls to the correct Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Enhanced 9-1-1 (E911) also delivers the caller's location, and gives the PSAP control of the call.** Providers of fixed (non-nomadic) IP-based phone services, with a local number within the caller's PSAP serving area, must implement full 9-1-1/E911 service where it is available from the incumbent phone company.
** If the IP service uses "non-native" phone numbers, or is used nomadically, providers must implement an interim solution. The CRTC expresses a preference for solutions that route 9-1-1 calls to an intermediate call centre for screening and routing to the correct PSAP.** IP telephony providers must obtain customers' express consent to 9-1-1 limitations, and must provide ongoing notification including warning stickers for customer phone sets.
** The CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC) has been given deadlines for recommending permanent solutions.
CRTC PROMISES VoIP DECISION BY MAY 12: This week the Canadian Cable Television Association, Quebecor, and Cogeco all wrote to the CRTC challenging Bell Canada's new "Digital Voice" IP telephony service, describing it as in violation of the Commission's rules and the Telecom Act. In response, the Commission says it will issue its final VoIP decision by May12 and will rule on these three applications after that. (See Telecom Update #475)
OTTAWA SEES NO NEED TO REWRITE TELECOM ACT: Responding to recommendations made last year by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, the federal Cabinet says it doesn't believe it is necessary to rewrite or combine the Telecommunications, Broadcasting, or CRTC Acts. The government also rejects the Committee's recommendation to create a unified Department of Communications responsible for telecom, broadcasting, and cultural industries.** The Cabinet response also says it "is not prepared to modify foreign ownership limits on broadcasting or content," but that it expects that the pending telecom review "may be helpful in shedding new light on this important issue."
UNION TO VOTE ON ENTOURAGE OFFER: Bell Canada and Entourage Technology Solutions have given their striking employees what they say is a "final offer" to settle the contract dispute. The Communication, Energy, and Paperworkers Union has recommended rejection of the proposal in Ontario and acceptance in Quebec.
RESELLERS CAN NOW USE BELL THIRD-PARTY VoIP: CRTC Telecom Order 2005-123 allows any registered service provider (not just carriers) to use Bell Canada's Internet Voice Access Service to connect a retail VoIP offering to the public switched telephone network. Providers must comply with the Commission's customer privacy rules. (see Telecom Update #455)
BELL FORMS SMALL-BUSINESS IT SERVICES DIVISION: Bell Canada has completed its purchase of Nexxlink Technologies. (See Telecom Update #466) It plans to merge Nexxlink and Charon Systems, another recently acquired IT company, in a new division, Bell Business Solutions, which will provide IT services to small and medium-sized businesses across Canada.
SHAW TO INCREASE INTERNET ACCESS SPEEDS: Shaw Communications plans to increase download speed of its High-Speed Internet service to 5 Mbps from 3 Mbps in seven cities of western Canada. High-Speed Xtreme download speed will be increased to 7 Mbps.
TELUS TO EXTEND HIGH-SPEED ACCESS IN RURAL B.C.: Telus has promised the B.C. government to spend $110 million by the end of 2006 to extend high-speed Internet access to 119 rural communities in the province. That will leave 32 communities unserved by high-speed access, which the government proposes to provide through a separate satellite initiative.** The B.C. government also agreed to buy $245 million worth of telecom services from Telus over four years.
MCI REJECTS QWEST BID BUT TALKS CONTINUE: MCI has rejected Qwest's acquisition bid of $27.50 a share, terming it "not superior" to Verizon's rival bid of $23.10. MCI/Qwest talks are continuing today. (See Telecom Update #475)
RIM ADDS 470,000 SUBSCRIBERS: Research In Motion added 470,000 BlackBerry subscribers in the last three months of 2004, bringing its total to 2.5 million. Revenue of US$405 million was up 11% on the quarter and 92% on the year. RIM took a $294-million fourth-quarter charge to resolve its patent dispute with NTP; RIM's net loss was $2.6 million.
TELECOM CONFERENCE CALLS FOR PAPERS: Telemanagement Live, Canada's premier business telecom and networking event, is asking for proposals for workshops and tutorials during its October 17-19 conference in Toronto. Submissions are due by May 6; go to
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