AT&T Corp. tried to back out of a lawsuit last month, agreeing to forgive charges from victims of the “yes-yes” voice mail fraud. The Bedminster, N.J.-based telco was criticized for charging business clients whose voice mail systems were hijacked. Hackers would break into a firm’s voice mail and change the outbound message to say “yes” repeatedly; the amendment let frausters charge long-distance calls to victimized companies. Dr. Jerry Orgel sued AT&T when it refused to forgive his US$23,000 phone bill. AT&T advises customers to use more complicated PINs for message systems.

SaskTel cranks up the Wi-Fi

Saskatchewan’s incumbent telco SaskTel in June introduced public Wi-Fi service in the Regina airport, and promised to turn on more wireless LAN hotspots in the future, including one at the Saskatoon airport. SaskTel says the service will be free of charge until Sept. 30, although the firm didn’t mention how much Wi-Fi access would cost down the road. The telco is using Vancouver-based Wi-Fi provider FatPort Corp.’s infrastructure to support the offering, which gives people with 802.11b-enabled portable computers high-speed Internet connectivity sans wires. For more info visit

Cisco’s remedy for TDM tedium

Cisco Systems Canada is offering a trade-in program for companies to exchange traditional telephone equipment for IP gear. The firm in June said it would take handsets and PBX cabinets by “select” manufacturers in exchange for rebates on Cisco IP systems. The company pointed out that some potential IP telephony purchasers eschew the new technology because of investments in installed equipment; Cisco figures this swap might entice entrenched users to board the IP bandwagon. The firm said the offer’s good to Oct. 25, 2003. For more info visit