Industry committee reports on foreign investmentThe House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology will release its final report on foreign investment in the telecom sector this afternoon. A copy of the committee’s news release was accidentally posted on the committee’s web site briefly last week. The MPs will reportedly recommend that ownership limits be lifted entirely for telcos and cablecos. Bloc Québécois representatives Paul Crête and Jocelyne Girard-Bujold have submitted a dissent to the majority report. The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, which testified against the change, issued a news release denouncing the report before it was released. Nortel reports profit for Q1 2003Nortel Networks Corp. reported a paper profit of US$54 million for the first quarter of 2003. President/CEO Frank Dunn said the troubled equipment manufacturer had achieved profitability one quarter earlier than projected. Net earnings for Q1 included US$190 million from discontinued operations. The company also announced it will pay dividends on preferred shares and that the board will effect a reverse stock split. Alcatel introduces frame-to-Ethernet serviceAlcatel has unveiled a frame-to-Ethernet VPN service interworking feature, to be utilized on its routing switch platform. Much of the work on the device will be done at the company’s Ottawa offices. The equipment manufacturer also announced it is cutting 650 jobs in its space division in Europe. Bell West rolling out SuperNet between three Alberta citiesBell West has begun rolling out 150 km of fibre between Calgary, Strathmore and Drumheller for the Alberta SuperNet. The rollout will blanket 29 communities in the area and should be finished by the end of July. Bell West is investing $102 million in the provincial backbone. Aliant unveils new advertising campaignAtlantic ILEC Aliant Inc. has launched a new advertising campaign promoting its history and heralding its future. The company will feature its employees in the ads, along with the Jimmy Swift Band. It is seeking to reassure subscribers that Aliant remains committed to local residents, despite being owned by Montreal-based BCE Inc. Telus agrees with disabled DA Part VII applicationTelus Communications Inc. has filed its reply to a Part VII application from the Advocates for Sight Impaired Consumers (ASIC). The telco will exempt blind subscribers for the automatic directory assistance call completion charge. ASIC filed the application in February (NL Update, Mar. 17/03). High-speed rollout in Saskatchewan to be finished by SeptemberSaskTel expects to complete its rollout of high-speed Internet service by September. It currently has 121 communities online and needs to wire 70 more. SaskTel has spent more than $60 million on the project, which is wrapping up ahead of schedule. In other SaskTel news, the telco has posted its 2002 Annual Report online. Computer Talk Technology bullish on new contractToronto’s Computer Talk Technology Inc. has had its contract for a dairy promotion renewed. QVS Promotions has hired CTT for a second year to provide the voice technology for the Bovine Phoneline contest. Residents of four provinces can win LD phone cards, music and Via Rail passes by calling a toll-free number. INTERNATIONAL NEWSFCC studying power line communicationsThe Federal Communications Commission has begun an inquiry into broadband over power lines. It is currently seeking comments from interested parties in the rollout of the service. The United Telecom Council has been a prime advocate of the technology (NL, Mar. 11/03). Global Crossing continues restructuringAmerican telecom carrier Global Crossing has changed its organizational hierarchy as it works to extricate itself from Chapter 11 protection. All sections will report directly to CEO John Legere, eliminating other operational bosses. COO Carl Grivner is departing the firm as part of the restructuring. Taipei seeks to reassure Computex delegates over SARS fearsThe mayor of Taipei, Taiwan has sent letters to 200,000 overseas buyers, assuring them that they will not contract SARS if they attend Computex Taipei. The trade show is scheduled for the Taiwanese capital at the beginning of June. Several trade shows and conferences in Asia and in Toronto, including the Canadian Cable Television Association’s Cable Summit and CANARIE’s Iway Awards, have been postponed or cancelled due to fears over the virus.