Zarlink writes down investment in Mitel NetworksOttawa’s Zarlink Semiconductor is writing down its investment in Mitel Networks Corp. to nil value. The company cites ongoing market challenges and its assessment of Mitel’s financials as the reasons for the move. It is writing down US$11.5 million or nine cents per share. Service basket filings submitted to CRTCThe first round of filings arising out of Telecom Decision 2003-11 has been submitted to the CRTC. The major ILECs, AT&T Canada and the Canadian Cable Television Association have all submitted material to the commission. The CRTC ruled on service basket assignments in mid-March (NL, March 24/03). ILECs submit comments on compensation per call appealThe major ILECs have filed their comments on a Part VII application by Call-Net Enterprises Inc. about rates for compensation per call. Call-Net wants to ensure the payphone rates conform to the price cap decision. Telus Communications Inc. and Bell Canada and its allies want the appeal dismissed. Telus and TWU continue contract talksNegotiations between Telus Communications Inc. and the Telecommunications Workers Union continued last week. The two sides are attempting to merge several collective agreements into one new contract (NL, Sept. 23/02). The talks are in recess this week, as Telus and the union are before the Canada Industrial Relations Board over representation of workers from the former Clearnet Communications. Bell West releases first-year financialsBell West Inc. celebrated its first anniversary of operation by issuing its financial update. The company has captured 10% of the business wireline market in British Columbia and Alberta and has installed 11,000 km of local fibre. Bell Canada’s investment in infrastructure in western Canada now amounts to $1 billion. CRTC approves Telus dark fibre applicationIn Telecom Decision 2003-22, the CRTC approved a fibre agreement between Telus Communications Inc. and Axia SuperNet Ltd. Telus will provide Axia with dark fibre, under an IRU, for the Alberta SuperNet project. Bell Canada, which is the primary contractor for SuperNet, supported the application. Bell West sells fibre to Alberta for use in SuperNetBell West Inc. has sold 3,000 km of dark fibre to the Alberta government to be used in the provincial SuperNet project. Bell will use the dark fibre to provide inter-exchange transport connectivity to 98 centres across the province. Some communities have only one site to be connected; Peace River has 41 sites to be connected. Shaw leads North American cablecos in Internet penetrationShaw Communications Inc. said in releasing its fiscal 2003 second-quarter financial results last week that it leads North American cable operators in high-speed Internet penetration, with 40.4% of its basic cable customers taking the service. Shaw added 41,717 net high-speed Internet customers in its second quarter ended Feb. 28, 2003 to end the quarter with a total of 854,681 customers. Its Fort McMurray AB cable system has now achieved an impressive Internet penetration rate of 70%. Cogeco Cable grows high-speed Internet subscriber base in Q2Cogeco Cable Inc., Canada’s fourth-largest cable operator, added 11,654 net high-speed Internet subscribers in its fiscal 2003 second quarter ended Feb. 28, 2003, according to financial results released last week. That’s down sharply from 19,183 net Internet subscribers added in the same quarter a year earlier. The cableco had 188,096 Internet subscribers at the end of February, with pending orders potentially pushing the number to 190,926. PIAC awarded costs over CISC filingsThe Public Interest Advocacy Centre has been awarded $13,489.85 for its work on the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee in 2002 in Telecom Costs Order 2003-5. Bell Canada must pay 50%, Telus 30%, AT&T Canada and Call-Net Enterprises Inc. 7.5% each, and Microcell Telecommunications Inc. 5%. The commission agreed that several wireless interests and the Canadian Cable Television Association should not be assessed costs. Telus Quebec releases corporate responsibility reportTelus Quebec has issued its corporate responsibility report for 2002. The company said it has been active in areas like education, healthcare and culture. In addition, its employees have donated nearly 20,000 hours of volunteer service. INTERNATIONAL NEWS French government told to comply with EC telecom rulesThe European Commission has ordered the French government to correct inequities in its system of financing ubiquitous telecom service. The EC is not criticizing the principle, but it is questioning the way the French are implementing the program. A court order by the Court of Justice of the European Communities demanding more transparency was issued in December 2001. France criticized for not obeying cable telephony regulationsThe European Commission has given the French government two months to comply with rules permitting cablecos to provide telecom services. The EC notes that France still has separate regulatory arrangements for cable telecom. The original directives were issued in the mid-1990s. American court says FCC overstepped authority on slamming rulesThe United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has struck down a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fine on AT&T Corp. for slamming customers. The court said the FCC overstepped its authority by demanding telcos provide "actual authorization" rather than "verification" of a customer’s decision. AT&T had been fined US$80,000 for switching LD clients.