Telecom Update (Canada) #486, June 17, 2005

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

published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group

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Number 486: June 17, 2005

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** CRTC Okays Bell VoIP Tariff ** Telcos Apply to Appeal VoIP Winback Rules ** Feds Issue RFI for Dark Fibre ** BT Offers Fusion Phone ** Avaya, Nokia Trial Dual-Mode Handsets ** RIM Faces New Suit ** National Supercomputing Net Launched ** Consumer Guide to Local Phone Competition Posted ** Navigata Names New CEO ** Ericsson, Napster Plan Wireless Music Service ** CRTC Sets Scope of Local Forbearance Proceeding ** Allstream Wins Ruling on Edmonton LRT Lands ** CATA Forms Committee for Telecom Policy Submission ** Broadcasters Challenge Mobile TV Plans ** Research Centre Opened in Saint John ** Videotron, Unions Extend Contracts ** Telus Union Bans Overtime ** Nortel Intros Mobile Security ** Skype Offers Voicemail ** ORION Award Winners Named

CRTC OKAYS BELL VoIP TARIFF: The CRTC has given interim approval to Bell Canada's proposed tariffs for its IP-based Digital Voice service, effective June 14. The Commission says it will issue a Public Notice in the near future to give parties an opportunity to comment on the tariff (TN 6874).

** Unlimited calling within a province is $35/month; unlimited calling to Canada and the U.S. is $44/month. The previously announced Unlimited Canada plan is no longer available for new installations.

** The tariffs also include columns for "Minimum Rate" and "Maximum Rate," but the CRTC has allowed those rates to remain confidential.

** Equal access to competitors' long distance services, required by CRTC Telecom Decision 2005-28, is not included. (See Telecom Update #481)

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TELCOS APPLY TO APPEAL VoIP WINBACK RULES: On June 13, Bell Canada, SaskTel, and Telus jointly asked the Federal Court for leave to appeal the "winback rules" component of the CRTC's recent VoIP decision (see Telecom Update #481). The telcos say the ban on calls to customers who switch to other carriers violates their right to freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

** Rogers, Shaw, Cogeco, EastLink, and the Canadian Cable Television Association have asked to be added to the application as respondents, so that they can file opposing arguments.

** Bell Canada says it plans to appeal the whole decision to Cabinet but has not announced timing.

FEDS ISSUE RFI FOR DARK FIBRE: The Department of Public Works has issued a Request for Information "to inform Industry of its intention to develop Shared Fibre Infrastructure" linking government facilities in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, and requesting feedback on architecture, technology, operation, and budgetary costs. The deadline for responses is July 25. See Solicitation EN716-050001/A at

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BT OFFERS FUSION PHONE: The UK's BT Group has launched BT Fusion, a wireless phone that automatically switches between the public cellphone network and a home wireless hub that transmits calls over a BT broadband (DSL) connection. The Motorola-built phone uses Bluetooth technology to detect and transmit to the home network hub.

** In a recent interview with Business Communications Review, the CEO of BT Wholesale, Paul Reynolds, said that BT plans to be "the first telco to switch off the PSTN," replacing it with an IP-MPLS backbone connected to all end locations by DSL.

AVAYA, NOKIA TRIAL DUAL-MODE HANDSETS: Customer trials are under way for Nokia cellular phones equipped with Avaya software that enables them to access corporate WLANs and utilize corporate PBX features.

RIM FACES NEW SUIT: A British court has allowed Research In Motion to fast-track its legal challenge against a patent held by Luxembourg-based Inpro Licensing Sarl. In December, Inpro filed suit to halt BlackBerry sales by RIM's major German distributor, claiming that BlackBerry infringes on Inpro's British patent.

NATIONAL SUPERCOMPUTING NET LAUNCHED: Two of Canada's most powerful research computing nets are now connected by a dedicated lightpath, the first step in creating a pan- Canadian High-Performance Computing facility. The link, operated by CANARIE, connects SHARCNET in Southern Ontario to WestGrid in B.C. and Alberta.

** Future plans call for optical connections to academic networks in Eastern Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.

CONSUMER GUIDE TO LOCAL PHONE COMPETITION POSTED: The CRTC website now provides a consumer guide to competition in the residential telephone market. The guide does not deal with VoIP or with business phone service.

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NAVIGATA NAMES NEW CEO: James Pitt, formerly a VP for Group Telecom and Shaw, has been named CEO of Navigata, a SaskTel subsidiary that provides business telecom services in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.

ERICSSON, NAPSTER PLAN WIRELESS MUSIC SERVICE: Ericsson and Napster have formed a global alliance to offer "the first complete, fully integrated digital music service" for cellular carriers. The service, compatible with current handset models, is to be launched in Europe by mid-2006.


2005-35, the CRTC announces which services offered by the incumbent telcos will be included in the proceeding on local phone service forbearance (see Telecom Update #479).

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ALLSTREAM WINS RULING ON EDMONTON LRT LANDS: Resolving a 2003 dispute, CRTC Telecom Decision 2005-36 rules that Edmonton's light rail transit lands are an "other public place" under the Telecom Act, and directs the City and Allstream to negotiate a cost-based fee for Allstream's continued use of conduit in LRT tunnels.(see Telecom Update #393)

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CATA FORMS COMMITTEE FOR TELECOM POLICY SUBMISSION: The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance has formed a TelecomACT Working Group to develop a telecom industry submission to the Telecom Policy Review (see Telecom Update #485).

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BROADCASTERS CHALLENGE MOBILE TV PLANS: The Canadian Association of Broadcasters has asked the CRTC to regulate mobile TV offerings by Rogers, Bell, and Look under the Broadcasting Act. Rogers, which plans to launch mobile TV within weeks, claims the service is exempt from regulation under the New Media Exemption Act, adopted in 1999.

RESEARCH CENTRE OPENED IN SAINT JOHN: The Bell-Aliant SMB Innovation Centre in Saint John, N.B., was launched June 13. The centre will develop IP-based applications for small and medium businesses.

VIDEOTRON, UNIONS EXTEND CONTRACTS: Videotron's unionized employees have accepted an agreement to extend existing contracts to 2009, 2010, and 2011, with 2.5%/year salary increases in the last three years.

TELUS UNION BANS OVERTIME: On June 16, the Telecommunications Workers Union banned overtime by its members at Telus as a protest against the telco's failure to engage in "real bargaining." (See Telecom Update #480)

** The following day, Telus made several improvements to its offer of settlement, including increased pension plan and wage payments, creation of a Common Interest Forum for dialogue with union leaders, and a promise to reinvest savings from outsourcing.

NORTEL INTROS MOBILE SECURITY: Nortel Networks says its new Secure Information Access and Secure Multimedia enables enterprises to protect information and communications regardless of whether users are outside or inside their offices.

SKYPE OFFERS VOICEMAIL: Skype, which provides free worldwide Internet telephony, now offers a voicemail service for $23/year. The service can also send voice messages to any Skype user.

ORION AWARD WINNERS NAMED: The Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network announced its first awards honouring research and education network pioneers. The ORION

Award recipients were:

** Dr. Ross H. Paul, President of the University of Windsor and founding Chair of ORION. ** Andy Bjerring, President CANARIE. ** Robert Chambers and Eugene Siciunas of the University of Toronto, John Drake of McMaster University, and Roger Watt of the University of Waterloo. ** Joan McCalla, the Government of Ontario's Corporate Chief Strategist. ** Warren C. Jackson, retired advanced networking leader. ** Roger Taylor former executive director of ORION's predecessor, ONet Networking.


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