News Briefs

Bell West expands Alberta SuperNet with fibre purchase

Western Canadian-based service provider Bell West has purchased six fibre lines in Alberta from broadband network owner/operator Total Telcom, taking another step towards completing its SuperNet Network. The network is aiming to provide broadband services to most businesses and residences in the province. The six dark fibres, which stretch for 473 kilometres, run northwest between Edmonton and Grand Prairie, Alta. Under the agreement, Total will maintain the lines for at least 20 years. Bell West plans to use the lines to provide inter-exchange transport connectivity between the two cities. The brainchild of the Alberta provincial government, SuperNet is being designed to link 4,700 hospitals, libraries, schools and provincial government offices in 422 communities across the province. It is scheduled to be completed in 2004.

360networks files reorganization plan with courts

The Canadian and U.S. subsidiaries of 360networks Inc. announced last month that they have filed reorganization plans with bankruptcy courts in their respective countries. The plan, if accepted, would allow the Vancouver-based tech company to reform and emerge from bankruptcy protection by September. Under the plan, senior secured lenders, led by J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, would become secured shareholders, while unsecured creditors of the subsidiaries and employees would hold the remaining stake in the new enterprise. Shareholders and unsecured creditors, including bondholders of the parent company, will get nothing. The new standalone enterprise would begin with US$215 million debt and more than US$50 million of cash on hand. The restructuring plan would dissolve parent company 360networks, which filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and U.S. in June 2001.

CANARIE goes with Juniper over Cisco

CANARIE Inc., operator of a national broadband network, has announced it will purchase Juniper Networks Inc. M-series Internet routers to incorporate into its national research and innovation network, a decision based on the manufacturer’s “proven results.” The routers will allow CANARIE’s CA*net 4, national research and innovation network to deliver reliable, scalable and secure IP services across a high-speed, private network, according to Juniper. Bill St. Arnaud, senior director, Advanced Networks at CANARIE (Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research, Industry and Education), said the decision was based on “pricing and a couple of features”, such as support for XML and IPv6, that tipped the scale in favour of purchasing the Juniper M40e and M20 Internet routers.