Telecommunications briefs, June 11, 2004

Bandwidth bandage

Industry analysts often say companies shouldn’t try to solve network quality issues with more bandwidth, but one high-profile tech insider seems to think otherwise. Niklas Zennstrom, founder of the online file-sharing program Kazaa and its peer-to-peer phone service sibling Skype, said it’s no good to embed quality-of-service technology into the Internet to aid voice transmissions crossing that medium. Zennstrom’s answer to QoS problems: more bandwidth. He told the audience at VON Canada last month that bandwidth is cheap, plentiful, and less likely to disrupt the Internet as we know it today.

CATA supports review

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) figures it’s time for a policy review of the nation’s telecom framework, according to a notice that the group sent out last month. CATA, a tech-minded association, said it sent a position statement to federal Industry Minister Lucienne Robillard supporting a review centred around three considerations: that new technology like Voice over IP spells a host of new telecom players; that increasing global competition affects the domestic situation; and that businesses “require the most flexible and quality-driven communications system possible.” For more information visit

Cosy carriers

Canadian telecom service providers are cosying up to each other. MTS aims to acquire Allstream, which operates a fixed-wireless business with Inukshuk, a subsidiary of Microcell, which partners with Sprint Canada and also happens to be the subject of a hostile takeover by Telus, which shares a wireless network with Bell Canada, which has deep ties to Aliant and owns part of MTS. A SaskTel representative said recently it’s as if the Stentor days have returned. Note that SaskTel is the sole major carrier standing beyond the consortium’s borders.

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