Bell Canada to acquire 360networks, spin off operations to Call-NetCanada’s largest incumbent telco Bell Canada will soon get bigger with a proposed acquisition of 360networks Corp.’s Canadian operations, announced on May 26. Bell will hive off most of the eastern Canadian activities to rival Call-Net Enterprises Inc., while holding onto the western Canadian facilities. Bell will pay US$205 million for 360networks’ entire Canadian operation. Call-Net will pay Bell $12 million over two years for 360networks’ eastern Canadian customer base. Network Letter will have more on this and the impact of greater consolidation in the marketplace in an upcoming issue.TELUS introduces wireless solution to connect multiple computers to InternetTELUS has introduced a wireless home networking solution that allows customers to connect multiple computers within the home to the Internet without wires or cables. The service is priced at an additional $8 per month for existing residential high-speed Internet subscribers, plus the cost of the wireless home networking kit. The plan offers Internet speeds of 2.5 Mbps, and customers have 24-hour, seven-day-a-week access to TELUS technical phone support.Rogers introduces Rogers Hi-Speed Internet ExtremeRogers Cable announced May 25 the launch of Rogers Hi-Speed Internet Extreme, which provides a download speed of 5 Mbps, and uploads of 800 kbps. The service is available to Rogers customers throughout Ontario and New Brunswick and will be launched in Newfoundland later this year. The service is priced at $44.95 per month, the same price as the current Rogers Hi-Speed Internet service. Customers will need to buy a modem from Rogers for $99.95 to receive the service. There is an introductory rebate on the modem of $20. Rogers offers other high-speed Internet services, including Rogers Hi-Speed Internet (3 Mbps download, priced at $44.95 per month with modem rental included), Rogers Hi-Speed Internet Lite (128 kbps download, priced at $29.95 per month) and Rogers Hi-Speed Internet Business services (ranging from $34.95 to $79.95 per month).Aurora Cable triples Internet speeds to 9 Mbps for residential customersAurora Cable Internet announced May 26 it was tripling its Internet speeds for residential customers to 9 Mbps. The company serving Aurora and northern Richmond Hill ON is basing its network on Terayon’s DOCSIS 2.0 solution. There is no increase in service prices for the increased speeds. “The increased bandwidth also opens the door for voice, videoconferencing, off site file backup, advanced real-time interactive gaming and other upstream-hungry applications,” the company notes in a media release.Quebecor to acquire outstanding shares in Netgraphe Inc.Quebecor Media Inc. announced May 17 that it intends to acquire all outstanding multiple voting shares and subordinate voting shares of Netgraphe Inc. for a total of about $24.5 million. A wholly owned subsidiary of Quebecor is offering independent shareholders 63 cents per share. The offer is conditional upon at least 90% of the outstanding multiple voting shares, excluding shares owned or controlled by Quebecor Media, being deposited under offers and not withdrawn. Quebecor directly or through its subsidiaries currently owns 99.8% of all the multiple voting shares outstanding and 97.8% of the voting rights attached to all of the shares of Netgraphe. The offering is open for 35 days following the offering on May 21. Netgraphe, a subsidiary of Quebecor, controls Internet portals, and offers e-commerce, information, communication, and IT consulting services.MTS-Allstream acquisition deposit deadline extended to June 1Allstream Inc. announced May 26 that it was extending until 5 p.m. on June 1 the deadline for holders of Allstream’s Class A voting and Class B limited voting shares to submit completed letters of transmittal and Allstream share certificates in exchange for MTS shares and cash. The previous deadline was May 27. “Failure to deliver a duly completed letter of transmittal by such time (or the delivery of a letter of transmittal which does not contain a declaration of Canadian residency) will result in the disentitlement to receive common shares of MTS upon the consummation of the transaction,” reads a statement released by Allstream.BCE completes sale of subscription receipts, holders can acquire shares of BCE EmergisBCE Inc. announced May 26 that it has completed the previously announced sale of its about 64% interest in BCE Emergis Inc. The sale was conducted through a public offering of about 65.9 million subscription receipts at a price of $5.40 each. Each subscription receipt will be exchanged for one common share of BCE Emergis. The subscription receipts began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on May 26. BCE Emergis shareholders will be asked to approve a special resolution reducing its stated capital to allow for the declaration of the special cash distribution at a special meeting on June 16.Aliant union wants federal regulator to intervene in labour disputeAliant is no longer meeting its terms of service requirements issued by the CRTC, and it’s time for the commission to intervene, the union charged May 27. Ervan Cronk, administrative VP of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, said that telephone service in Atlantic Canada has deteriorated drastically, with the wait time for a new phone installation being unacceptable. Cronk is the chief negotiator in a labour dispute with Aliant. Some 4,300 unionized Aliant workers have been on strike for about five weeks.Canadian government supports optics instituteThe Government of Canada has given the National Optics Institute $3.6 million in funding so that it can establish an agrophotonics program, which is aimed at bringing together agriculture and food processing and optics-photonics technologies. Canada Economic Development Corp. has provided the funding, the majority of which, $2.9 million, is a non-repayable contribution. The program will allow the optics institute to maintain 25 jobs, while also creating up to 30 new jobs.FY 2003 revenue down for PhonetimePhonetime Inc. has a posted decline in 2003 fiscal year revenue compared to a year earlier, but fourth-quarter net income helped offset a net loss in the first nine months of the year. FY revenue decreased in 2003 to $28.6 million from $30.5 million. Net income for the year was only $87,000 compared to earnings of $1.8 million in 2002. Fourth-quarter revenue dipped as well, but a net income of $410,000 reversed a net loss of $323,000 the company recorded in the first nine months of 2003. Phonetime notes that this trend is consistent with the increase in margins that resulted from the correction of over-billing issues and the creation of the carrier services group.