CNM Update

C-48 referred to committee
Bill C-48, which would clarify the legal issues surrounding Internet retransmission, passed second reading in the House of Commons Feb. 22 and will move to debate by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Debate on the bill was limited, but MPs from across the government side of the House raised serious concerns about a dearth of regulations that would govern the right to retransmit online. Following a short nationalist speech by Canadian Heritage minister Sheila Copps in which she defended the bill as a necessary measure to protect the $4.4 billion Canadian film and television industry, MPs Chuck Cadman (CA), Christine Gagnon (BQ), Wendy Lill (NDP), and Grant McNally (PC) gave general support to C-48 while attacking the absence of details on how retransmission will be handled.
Said Chuck Cadman: "In order for the official opposition to vote in favour of Bill C-48 when it leaves committee, we will require one of two things: an amendment that adds to the specific definition of retransmitter, one that will act in a way to protect the property and the intellectual property rights of the creators and the broadcast industry, or at a minimum, the tabling of detailed regulatory information by the Heritage and Industry departments."
Regulations have been promised shortly by officials at Canadian Heritage, but industry observers note that the potential exists for long delays – even to the House rising for summer – as the responsible departments become ensnared in a feud over how strictly the government will treat companies such as iCraveTV. More details.

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RoW Special Edition Update

Stream Intelligent Networks files for receivership, sources tell Report on Wireless

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NL People

Janet Matulia has been named CEO of France Télécom Longue Distance Canada. The 25-year telecom veteran was VP billing at France Telecom subsidiary Equant. Joining her at FTLD’s Montreal headquarters is newly-installed president Diane Gauthier-Jetté. She has worked for Teleglobe and was president of France Telecom’s Canadian office.

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NL Short Takes

Call-Net negotiates recapitalization plan
Call-Net Enterprises Inc. has negotiated a new plan with its noteholders and shareholders that will see the CLEC’s debt reduced by over $2 billion. All of Call-Net’s $2.6 billion of senior notes will be exchanged for US$377 million of new 10.625% debt, US$81.9 million in cash and 80% equity in Call-Net. A day earlier, the telco released its FY2001 numbers. Revenue dropped to $928.4 million from $1.25 billion the previous year, primarily due to a decline in LD revenue.

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Call-Net accuses ILECs of mishandling loop service charges, asks for CRTC review

The major ILECs east of the Rockies deny accusations by a competitor that they are not applying a CRTC directive on unbundled loop-service in the proper manner. Call-Net Enterprises Inc. has asked the CRTC to clarify certain provisions of a November 2001 ruling giving interim approval for revised unbundled loop-service order charges – Decision 2001-694.

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Capital spending peaked in 2001, but likely to deflate this year: IDC report

The decline in the telecom world is starkly portrayed in a recently-released report on capital expenditures. While capex spending in 2001 was slightly higher than the year before, the two firms that sat atop the Canadian spending list in 2000 will be responsible for the greatest reductions in projected spending for 2002.

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