The Supreme Court of Canada is expected to decide next month whether to review a BC Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized grey market satellite TV in British Columbia. Bell ExpressVu filed a leave to appeal the December 1999 decision in which Justice Donald Brenner struck down earlier court judgements outlawing the sale of unauthorized U.S. satellite services. The judge ruled that the Radiocommunications Act was never intended to tackle the grey market.
The CRTC should think twice about assigning N11 codes to charities
The fate of the few remaining N11 numbers is generating a lot of interest and controversy in Canada. The CRTC is in the midst of studying what it should do with its unassigned 211, 311, 811 and 511 codes. An application headed by the United Way wants 211 used as a referral service for various social and health questions. The Canadian National Institute for the Blind also wants its own three-digit code.
NL Short Takes
BCE names new division Bell Globemedia
BCE Inc has finally come up with a name for its media company. Bell Globemedia will house the CTV television network, the Globe and Mail, Internet content provider Globe Interactive and the Sympatico portal.
Telus appeals to federal court over changes to CRTC’s new contribution scheme
The Federal Court of Appeal is expected to rule by mid-March on an application by Telus Corp to change how contribution is collected in 2002. Telus has joined the list of people seeking modifications in the CRTC’s contribution ruling – Telecom Decision 2000-745 – which abandoned the old per-minute contribution assessment in favour of a levy on revenues (NL, Dec. 4/00). But the western telco’s VP of government and regulatory affairs still believes the basic ruling was correct.
Telecom carriers support United Way bid for 211 dialing, but not higher costs
Telecom carriers are throwing their support behind a United Way proposal to make 211 the national dialing code for social services, while giving the cold shoulder to a similar proposal by the Canadian Institute of the Blind (CNIB). The CRTC received some 20 letters by Jan. 5 in response Telecom PN 2000-151, seeking comments on applications by both groups to begin using N11 codes for their respective services (NL, Nov. 20/00). The commission is also seeking feedback on a new policy for assigning Canada’s remaining unused three-digit access codes – 211, 311, 811 and 511.
Tobin casts wide net in choosing members for new broadband task force
Industry minister Brian Tobin has agreed to extend the deadline of the newly appointed National Broadband Task Force until the end of May, but the unwieldy number of members on the new committee could make it difficult to reach consensus on all issues.
Manitoba Telecom’s move to restrict cash payments angers provincial government
Manitoba Telecom Services Inc concedes that it’s cutting back the number of outlets that accept cash payments for service, but denies it is phasing it out entirely. The provincial government isn’t so sure and wants the CRTC to monitor the situation.
Capital spending for telecoms looking better for Canada than U.S. — IDC report
Wall Street’s prediction of a slowdown in telecom spending south of the border may not have an immediate impact on Canadian companies, according to a new report released by IDC Canada. Making a similar forecast for the Canadian market is premature, says IDC analyst Lawrence Surtees, although he warns that raising new financing is proving difficult, particularly for newer companies.