Decima Reader Survey, January-February 2002 A recent online poll of subscribers to Decima Publishing newsletters asked if newly-appointed CRTC chair Charles Dalfen is the right person for the job in the current environment. The results are mixed, with nearly as many unsure as those who endorse the appointment. AT&T committed to Canada, not sure about rest of worldAT&T Corp. CEO Michael Armstrong told analysts recently the company is standing by its commitment to buy AT&T Canada Corp., assuming foreign ownership limits are lifted, or sell the telco. He was less certain about the rest of the world. The American firm is winding up its Concert joint venture with the BT Group and Armstrong would not speculate if the company would enter into other global undertakings. Bell to create Canadian telecom income fundBell Canada has issued a preliminary prospectus for a new income fund, the Bell Nordiq Income Fund. The fund, the first of its kind in Canada, will take a 40% ownership stake in Bell properties Télébec Limited Partnership and Northern Telephone Limited Partnership, while Bell will continue to hold the remainder. Telco-broadcast union calls for abolition of CRTCThe Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union suggests the CRTC should be replaced by a body that would represent consumers. The CEP, which represents both telecom and broadcast employees, told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage the new board should be structured like public utility commissions. Nortel neighbours want chemical analysis of soilResidents of a Belleville ON neighbourhood where Nortel Networks Corp. used to have a plant are asking local and provincial authorities to check the safety of the area. They report gassy smells from basements, lawns being destroyed and the death of family pets. The company had previously admitted spilling trichlorethylene at the plant (NL, Mar. 26/01). Call-Net decision appealed to higher court by trust companyA decision by the Ontario Superior Court involving Call-Net Enterprises Inc. is being appealed. The court had earlier dismissed a claim by Montreal Trust Company that alleged a change of control of the telco had occurred in 1999 when changes were made in senior management. Winnipeg weighs fines for misuse of 911 serviceThe City of Winnipeg is debating imposing fines on people who use the 911 emergency line for non-essential calls. The city, which is considering the adoption of a separate non-emergency system, estimates that 25 to 30% of 911 calls do not involve serious situations. SaskTel invests $3.3 million in TRLabs as governments helpProvincial ILEC SaskTel has signed a new five-year, $3.3-million agreement with TRLabs, a non-profit information and communications technology research consortium. The provincial government is investing $2.4 million, while the federal government is handing over $10 million. Northwestel introduces new services in Arctic communitiesNorthern ILEC Northwestel has unveiled two new services in its serving area. Business customers in Yellowknife now have access to a Centrex system, while all subscribers in Inuvik will be able to use voice mail. CRTC sets rules for CLEC access to ILEC loopsIn Telecom Decision 2002-14, the CRTC has ordered ILECs to provide CLECs with rapid access to unbundled local loops. The commission also extended the availability of alternative formats for blind consumers in Telecom Decision 2002-13 and granted Telus modifications to its 911 service in Telecom Order 2002-116. Winnipeg city council votes to sell Hydro to provinceThe City of Winnipeg has agreed to sell Winnipeg Hydro to provincially-run Manitoba Hydro for $25 million, with residual payments following. The deal, which was approved by city council with only one dissenting vote, is expected to close in June. Teleglobe provides Internet from Vietnam to North AmericaBCE Inc. subsidiary Teleglobe has signed a deal with Vietnam Datacommunications Co. to provide Internet connectivity between the Asian nation and North America. Teleglobe will use a satellite connection to link the state-owned ISP with this continent. Government awards xwave contract for online servicesAliant subsidiary xwave Solutions Inc. has won a $32-million contract from the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. The three-year deal will see the firm design, develop and implement hardware and software for the federal department. Mediatrix IP products now compatible with MicrosoftMontreal’s Mediatrix Telecom Inc. announced its entire line of IP telephony products have been certified as compatible with Microsoft’s Window XP operating system. It has also introduced a new product for home and SOHO customers, the Mediatrix 1102. Ottawa optical networker Optenia shuts operationsOttawa startup Optenia shut down after a mere 13 months in operation. The optical communications firm, which was founded by Mitel Corp. and the National Research Council, had been unable to find new investors. Advantage Link sells founder’s common shares to cover debtAdvantage Link Inc. is selling over 10 million common shares held by founder and former CEO Benoît Laliberté. The money will be used to settle outstanding debts he has with the company, previously known as Jitec. Several bidders seek Global Crossing assetsBankrupt American fibre company Global Crossing has several suitors as it seeks to sell its business. So far, Gores Technology Group of Los Angeles and a joint bid from Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong and Singapore Technologies Telemedia have been received by the creditors group administering the sale. CLECs make up 9% of U.S. market, FCC report findsThe Federal Communications Commission has released statistics on local telephony competition in the United States. It reports that CLECs hold 17.3 million lines, representing 9% of the market, with most of that in the medium and large business sector. European wireline market expected to fall over five yearsResearch from IDC predicts revenues from fixed wireline service will decline in Europe. The company expects that tariffs will fall faster than traffic increases in the next five years, resulting in negative growth. Belgian telco eyes move to cable broadband marketBelgacom is considering buying a cable network operator in order to expand into the broadband market. The telco, whose traditional service is stagnating, expects it will one day be part of a larger European telecom conglomerate. Iceland Telecom cancels talks with Danish firmIceland Telecom has halted discussions with Danish telecommunications company TDC that would have seen TDC assume a 25% stake in the telco, with a further 10% share available. Talks broke down over the price, but Iceland Telecom maintains it is still interested in a minority partner. European telco suffers prepaid card fraudEuropean telco KPN admits criminals have been upgrading call credits on its prepaid cards by using stolen credit cards. KPN offers telephony services in Germany and the Benelux nations. Broadband deployment moves past dial-up serviceHigh-speed Internet usage has overtaken dial-up connections, a new international study finds. Nielsen/NetRatings reports that high-speed users logged 1.9 billion hours in January, representing 51% of the 2.3 billion hours spent online. Another study by the ARC Group in Britain estimates the residential broadband industry will be worth US$80 billion by 2007. DSL will take up a third of the connections, followed closely by cable modems. The rest will be handled by satellites, fibre and fixed wireless.