Aliant Inc., parent company of the east-coast phone conglomerate Aliant Telecom, in October said it would reduce operating expenses and capital expenditures in light of “the continued downturn in the information technology industry.” Whereas Aliant had planned $440 million to $465 million in capital expenditures for 2002, the company now expects to spend $415 million to $430 million. Aliant said it would go ahead with the 250 job cuts already in the works and scrutinize investments’ impact on the bottom line.

Hasta la vista, bankruptcy

Vancouver-based 360networks has reached the final step in its bid for business viability. The telecom service provider in October said a U.S. Bankruptcy Court confirmed its plan for reorganization, paving a way out of bankruptcy protection. The firm in September won approval for its restructuring plan from the Supreme Court in B.C. 360networks filed for protection in June 2001. Since then it has lit its Canada and U.S. footprint and amassed $100 million, enough that the company need not seek further funding for five years, according to a statement.

Wagons west

Bell West, Bell Canada’s answer to Telus Corp. in Alberta and B.C., in October announced increased coverage in the two western provinces. The voice and data provider said it would expand in Alberta to Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer. In B.C. the company will stretch to Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton, Prince George and Vernon. Bell West bills itself as “a real alternative in service providers” with local, long-distance and IP services for businesses.