May 5, 2004  Incumbent telcos see growth in high-speed Internet subscribersTELUS Corp., Bell Canada and Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS) each reported strong growth in the number of high-speed Internet subscribers they signed up in the first quarter of 2004. TELUS closed the quarter with 605,200 high-speed subscribers and 309,100 dial-up subs, up 12.3% on a combined basis from the first quarter of 2003. Bell Canada increased its Sympatico DSL High-Speed Internet subscriber base by 32% in the same period to now reach 1.6 million subscribers, and saw the highest quarterly net increase in DSL subscribers since 2001, adding 115,000 during the first quarter. The company counted a total of 2.43 million subscribers to its high-speed and dial-up services. MTS saw an increase for its first quarter in the number of Internet subscribers of 11.9%, or 139,904 customers for high-speed and dial-up. During the quarter, the company added 5,821 net new high-speed subscribers.Canada again ranks first on e-government maturityCanada ranked first out of 22 countries surveyed by Accenture in terms of e-government maturity. The firm placed Singapore and the U.S. in a tie for second place. “Over the past year, Canada’s focus on self-examination and its relentless pursuit of user feedback have allowed it to continue to build what is clearly one of the world-leading customer-focused government online programs,” said Graeme Gordon, an Accenture partner, in a media release.OMT sells radio automation product to U.S. broadcasterWinnipeg-based OMT Inc. has sold and delivered its radio broadcast animation suite iMediaTouch to MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting. MultiCultural Radio will use the product in its New York headquarters to develop unique ethnic content in over 22 languages that it will distribute to its local radio station affiliates. A media release notes that OMT has now sold the gear to 47 stations across the U.S.NakedNews migrates to cell phonesNaked Broadcasting Network Inc. has signed a contract with Icemobile BV in the Netherlands to provide Naked News content to wireless cell phones and handheld devices. Details of the deal were unavailable in a media release.Tariffs filed with Copyright BoardSeveral new proposed tariffs were filed with the Copyright Board of Canada and gazetted May 1. The proposed rates are for Tariff 2.A and Tariff 17 collected by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) for music used in television programming; proposed rates filed by the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) and its Quebec counterpart for the reproduction of musical works by commercial radio stations and by online music services; and the proposed royalties to be collected by SOCAN for the public performance or the communication to the public by telecommunication, in Canada, of musical or dramatico-musical works. For permanent downloads, CMRRA is proposing that online music services pay the greater of 15% of the gross revenue attributable to permanent downloads or $0.10 per permanent download of a single musical work embodied in a sound recording. Canadian NEW MEDIA will have further details in an upcoming issue. Objections to any of the proposed tariffs are due no later than June 30.Motorola and OpenTV extend ITV relationshipMotorola Inc. and OpenTV have extended for five years their existing relationship to deliver interactive television (ITV) products. Under the agreement, Motorola will be able to offer cable and satellite operators a wide range of digital receivers that have been fully integrated and tested with OpenTV’s Core 1.1 middleware. The agreement also covers a variety of OpenTV extension packages, including support for Motorola’s family of receivers with built-in digital video recording capability, according to a media release.Alliance announces awards finalistsThe Alliance numériQC has announced the finalists in it first edition of the Prix d’Excellence numérique. A jury of six will choose winners from two categories with three finalists in each. The complete list of finalists and jurists is available from the association’s web site. Winners will be announced on May 6 in Montreal.BioWare licenses technology to showcase new Xbox gameEdmonton-based games developer BioWare has used CodeBaby virtual agent software to create an interactive demonstration of its new Jade Empire video game on its web site. CodeBaby software is being used to show off the various fighting styles used in BioWare’s game. The demonstration is available at http://www.jade-empire.com. A media release announcing BioWare’s choice of CodeBaby software to enable the demonstration is also available.