Shaw to lease capacity from Bell Canada for VoIP offeringShaw Communications Inc. announced on June 25 that the company has selected Bell Canada as its wholesale supplier of capacity for its initial residential Voice over IP launch and Siemens to provide the softswitch platform. The Calgary-based cable TV and Internet provider announced its intention the same day it released its third quarter financial results. A news release reads: “Bell will provide wholesale services including interconnection to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and long distance termination in order to enable Shaw to provide residential telephone service to its customers in Western Canada.” Shaw is now focusing on preparing its network, customer support, billing and provisioning systems for trials and initial deployment in early 2005. Momentum continues for Nortel in broadband access and video distributionNortel Networks Corp. has announced major customer wins that it says demonstrate the company’s momentum in the broadband access and video distribution markets. Red Electrica Telecommunications, a service provider in Spain, will deploy Nortel’s Broadband Access Gateway 7720 in 80 central offices in Madrid and Barcelona to support a triple play services bundle including voice, high-speed data and television distribution. Illinois-based Geneseo Telephone Co. will be the first carrier to deploy Nortel’s Calix C7 Ultra Broadband Loop Carrier to deliver voice and high-speed access services to its customers. On the video side, Nortel is working with component vendors Amino, Entone, Kasenna, Minerva Networks and Westell to provide its customers with reliable and interoperable video systems, according to a company press release.YAK to use ActivEdge in VoIP offeringYAK Communications Inc. will use IPeria’s ActivEdge voicemail software as part of its WorldCity Voice over IP services, the company expects to launch this September. Charles Zweber, president and CEO of YAK, says IPeria was chosen because it will be able to provide YAK with a turnkey voicemail software system in time for the company’s anticipated September launch. “IPeria’s carrier-class ActivEdge software provides a scalable high performance solution for web and telephone-based voicemail, auto attendant, and unified messaging for both the subscribing customer and for persons calling into the system,” reads a June 23 news release.TELUS to block LD calls to four countriesTELUS will on July 1 begin blocking long distance direct-dialed calls to four small countries to help prevent future incidents of modem hijacking. Giunea-Bissau, Guyana, Nauru and Sao Tome are the countries TELUS names in a news release. Subscribers who wish to make calls to these countries still can, but they have to contact at TELUS operator, who will process the call. Modem hijacking occurs when users download files from pop-up windows, which causes their modem to dial numbers in foreign countries resulting in LD charges. There are reports that SaskTel has committed to preventing modem hijacking and has instituted a program to stop direct-dialed long distance to these countries and others. Bell Canada in possible fight with unionCanada’s largest incumbent telco is facing union problems as the company’s technicians, represented by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union, have been told to reject the company’s latest contract offer. Bell was informed of the CEP’s recommendation on June 22. “Bell’s offer balances the need for the company to remain competitive as Canada’s flagship communications provider and an international leader, with the justifiable expectations of employees that they be treated fairly and rewarded for their contributions,” reads a June 24 news release. The company has tabled an offer that offers: no change to existing job security provisions; a wage settlement well-aligned to the market; enhanced benefits; certification premium program; conversion of part-time jobs to full-time positions; and generous voluntary early retirement packages. Bell has also offered 4,500 employees early retirement packages and gave notice that an additional 2,300 are imminent. The initial 4,500 represents 10% of the company’s workforce and affected employees have until July 22 to respond. Phonetime creates new company for ethnic communitiesPhonetime Inc. has formed Call Select Inc., a new company to be headquartered in Vancouver that will focus on marketing Equal Access, commonly known as 1+, long-distance services to the ethnic residential and small- and medium-sized business (SMB) markets across Canada. The new company will also market Phonetime’s Dial’n’Save service. The Ontario-based LD phone card supplier will own 80% of the new firm with the remaining 20% held by Call Select senior management Stan Cohen, John Schilling and Donald Kim. Call Select’s goal is to become a leading supplier of long distance services to the growing ethnic and SMB communities in Canada. “The combination of Call Select’s unique marketing and sales expertise, along with Phonetime’s telecom experience, will enable both companies to effectively deliver a premier service and pricing structure and thereby build strong and sustainable customer relationships,” reads a June 23 news release.NHC launches new products for large scale ILEC applicationsMontreal-based NHC Communications Inc. has launched two new main automated distribution frame (MDF) systems allowing ILECs to offer up to 57,000 and 81,000 voice and data ports respectively. The ControlPoint products are targeted at ILEC central office applications, NHC says in a news release, and allows the company to better serve ILEC customer needs for unmanned and manned central offices, the company says.“Based on NHC’s current evaluation of the automated cross connect space, NHC has the only available solution on the market that can scale to over 80,000 ports, that is currently supported by its already deployed CMS 3 software,” reads a June 21 news release.Ontario ISP latest customer for SpediantMilverton ON-based Mornington Communications has ordered copper bonding equipment for deployment across its network from Spediant Systems Inc., NJ. The regional telco will use Spediant’s EML 8000 to provide high-speed Ethernet backhaul capabilities for a DSL access multiplexer application. The equipment was sold by Spediant’s new distribution partner, Calgary-based Dynavar Networking Inc., according to a media releaseTELUS to offer SlipStream in QuebecTELUS Corp. will deploy SlipStream Data Inc.’s Turbo GT service through its TELUS Quebec subsidiary. The faster dial-up service has been offered by the telco in Western Canada since April.