ROW Short Takes

Telesat and Barrett Xplore bring Internet to rural Canada
Telesat Canada and Barrett Xplore Inc. have signed a multi-year distribution contact that will deliver a whole new level of communications connectivity to Canadians in rural and remote communities. The agreement makes Barrett a national service provider for a new satellite broadband service operating on Telesat’s Anik F2 satellite. Subscribers can use the satellite broadband offering through Barrett’s Xplornet brand. In other Telesat news, the company and EMS Satellite Networks have been selected by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to deploy new technology on the Ka-band payload of Telesat’s Anik F2 satellite. The system will be operated from the company’s Vancouver gateway over three of F2’s Ka-ban spot beams covering northern Canada. Telesat has also announced that it has completed in-orbit testing of a digital broadband on-board signal processor on Anik F2. This will now enable Telesat to undertake follow-on applications development work. The experimental SpaceMux on-board processor makes it possible to provide direct user-to-user broadband connectivity.

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NL Update

CRTC orders 911 functionality for VoIP providers
The CRTC has ordered Internet voice providers to offer emergency calling functionality equivalent to that offered by incumbent telephone companies in their territory. VoIP providers, which offer nomadic services, are required within three months to implement a solution that mirrors that offered by the ILEC whether that be 911 or E911. Providers, which offer their subscribers out-of-exchange telephone numbers, are required to implement an interim solution at least comparable to basic 911 within 90 days. The full decision can be found here.

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CCR Update

CAB welcomes Canadian Heritage’s Part II fee study
The Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) says it welcomes Canadian Heritage’s study of Part II licence fees (CCR, March 29/05) “This is a file that we have been actively pushing and we welcome the study,” says the CAB’s Sandra Graham. She adds that the Part II fees are still a tax, regardless of whether or not the department factors into its study such factors as simultaneous substitution and the cost of spectrum management in putting a value on a broadcast licence. The money goes into the government’s consolidated fund, she notes, and is not used for matters connected to broadcast regulation. She further points out that broadcasters have other requirements, such as airing Canadian content, that are fulfilled in exchange for the simultaneous substitution protection.

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CNM People

Lorne Abony, CEO of FUN Technologies plc, will be a keynote speaker at CIBC World Market’s upcoming Global & Gaming Technology Conference, which will be held April 19 at Le Royal Meridian King Edward Hotel in Toronto. There will be feature presentations by eight influential North American and European gaming executives.

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