published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group
Number 481: May 13, 2005
Publication of Telecom Update is made possible by generous
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IN THIS ISSUE:
** CRTC Keeps VoIP Under Local Service Rules
** Telcos Outraged, Competitors Happy
** Rogers to Buy Call-Net
** 2004 Telecom Statistics Ready Next Week
** FCC to Consider VoIP-911 Rules
** Nortel Unveils New Small-Office IP-PBX
** VoIP Boosts Videotron Telecom
** CRTC Proposes Price Cap Extension
** Shaw, Bell VoIP Services Under Review
** Ottawa Launches Spectrum Policy Review
** BlackBerry Adds a Million Subscribers
** Cisco Telecom Sales Up 35%
** Mail Boxes Etc. to Offer Wi-Fi
** Conference Marks 20 Years of Cellphones
** More Cellphones Than Citizens in Ten Countries
** Vote Now for CATA Innovation Awards
CRTC KEEPS VoIP UNDER LOCAL SERVICE RULES: CRTC Telecom
Decision 2005-28, released yesterday, rejects arguments
by Bell and Telus that VoIP-based local telephone services
are, or should be, forborne from regulation. With two
Commissioners dissenting, the Commission ruled that Voice
over IP services come under the same regulatory framework as
circuit-switched services. Key rulings include:
** The incumbent telcos must file tariffs for "in-territory"
local VoIP services, at rates that at least cover costs,
and must comply with existing rules on bundling and
winback promotions. "In-territory" is defined by the
customer's phone number.
** Cablecos that offer local phone service must register as
Competitive Local Exchange Carriers and comply with all
** Incumbent telcos and CLECs must allow VoIP customers equal
access to all long distance service providers. Resellers
are not bound by this rule.
** Incumbent telcos and cablecos must amend their wholesale
broadband tariffs to allow ISPs and other resellers to
provide VoIP over these connections.
TELCOS OUTRAGED, COMPETITORS HAPPY: Industry responses to the CRTC's
VoIP decision depended, for the most part, on whether the responder
was an incumbent phone company or not, but the division was not
** Most incumbent phone companies were outraged. Bell,
Telus, Aliant, and SaskTel all said they will appeal the
decision. Bell's Lawson Hunter called the ruling "an
historic mistake," and Janet Yale of Telus said the CRTC
"chose to look backward and to impose restrictions from
the past that are no longer relevant."
** However, MTS Allstream said the decision is "good for
consumers and competition" because it limits the ability
of "dominant providers like Bell Canada ... to stamp out
their smaller rivals."
** The cable industry and most IP telephony providers also
said the decision will prevent the telcos from crushing
** Montreal-based BabyTel said the CRTC should regulate
services offered by the cablecos, not just the telcos.
** The Coalition for Competitive Telecommunications
criticized the CRTC's "intrusive regulatory approach,"
and called the decision "bad news for business."
ROGERS TO BUY CALL-NET: Rogers Communications has agreed to buy
Call-Net Enterprises, the parent of Sprint Canada, in a share swap
valued at approximately $330 million. The deal, which could close as
early as July 1, will give Rogers some 600,000 consumer and business
customers across Canada.
** Sprint Canada will probably be rebranded with the Rogers name.
** Rogers says that when it deploys its cable telephony
service some of Call-Net local service customers will be
migrated to that platform.
2004 TELECOM STATISTICS READY NEXT WEEK: The Monday, May 16, edition
of Statistics Canada's "Daily" will summarize telecom industry
statistics for Q4 2004. The full report will be available later in the
FCC TO CONSIDER VoIP-911 RULES: The U.S. Federal Communications
Commission will hold a public meeting on Thursday May 19 to consider
E911 requirements for IP-ba telephone services. (See Telecom Update
** Last week a Florida couple said that their three-month-old
daughter died because a 9-1-1 call on a Vonage phone was
routed to an admin phone in the sheriff's office, which
was closed for the day.
NORTEL UNVEILS NEW SMALL-OFFICE IP-PBX: On May 27 Nortel Networks will
launch Business Communications Manager 50, an IP-based phone system
targeted at offices with fewer than 50 users. It can support up to 80
VoIP BOOSTS VIDEOTRON TELECOM: Quebecor's Videotron Telecom unit had
first-quarter revenues of $23.6 millthan the same period last
year. The company attributes the gain in part to Videotron's consumer
VoIP service, which now has 23,000 subscribers. Videotron Telecom is
being integrated into Videotron Ltee this year.
** CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau says Quebecor will offer wireless service
CRTC PROPOSES PRICE CAP EXTENSION: The CRTC has invited comments on
extending the current price cap regime for the major incumbent telcos,
as well as for Telebec and Telus Quebec, by two years. A review at
that time would allow the Commission to take into account the impact
of VoIP competition and the framework for local service forbearance,
to be decided in 2006. To participate, notify the CRTC by June 2.
SHAW, BELL VoIP SERVICES UNDER REVIEW: The CRTC has resumed
consideration of Telus's complaint that Shaw is not complying with
CLEC obligations (see Telecom Update #475) and the complaints by
Cogeco, Quebecor, and the CCTA that Bell's Digital Voice service
violates Commission rules (see Telecom Update #476). Both disputes had
been suspended pending the release of the VoIP decision.
OTTAWA LAUNCHES SPECTRUM POLICY REVIEW: The federal government has
begun a full review of Industry Canada's spectrum policy, and is
inviting public comment. A public consultation paper has been posted
on Industry Canada's website.
BLACKBERRY ADDS A MILLION SUBSCRIBERS: Research In Motion's BlackBerry
platform now has three million users worldwide, after adding a million
subscribers in six months. BlackBerry is now sold at 50,000 retail
CISCO TELECOM SALES UP 35%: Cisco Systems' results for the quarter
ending April 30 show a 35% rise in telecom revenues compared to the
same period a year ago. Net income of US$1.41 billion was up
17%. Overall sales were $6.19 billion, up 2.1% on the quarter and
10.1% on the year, which was about half the rate of increase recorded
during the preceding year.
MAIL BOXES ETC. TO OFFER WI-FI: Mail Boxes Etc. is equipping most of
its 275 Canadian centres with Wi-Fi Internet access for business
travelers. Bell Canada, which is partnering with Boldstreet Wireless
to provide the service, hopes to enlist other carriers to bill usage
to cellphone accounts.
CONFERENCE MARKS 20 YEARS OF CELLPHONES: Mobile Telephony in Canada, a
conference organized by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications
Association on June 8 in Ottawa, will mark the twentieth anniversary
of the introduction of cellular service in Canada.
MORE CELLPHONES THAN CITIZENS IN TEN COUNTRIES: TeleGeography says
that at the end of 2004 in Luxembourg there were four wireless
accounts for every three inhabitants. Ten countries, including
Germany, exceeded 100% wireless penetration. Canada edged past 50%
penetration early this year.
VOTE NOW FOR CATA INNOVATION AWARDS: The Canadian Advanced Technology
Alliance will hold its twentieth annual Innovation Awards Gala June 21
at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. Online voting for the awards,
offered in five categories, closes on May 20.
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