Look Communications Inc. in October said it would expand its UltraFast wireless high-speed Internet service into the Ottawa Valley and Outaouais region. For small and medium-sized businesses located on Ottawa’s outskirts, the Milton, Ont.-based carrier offers data connections at 750Kbps and 1.5Mbps, burstable to 1.5Mbps and 3Mbps, respectively. Look’s schtick is fixed-wireless hookups, whereby users connect to the Internet via antennas, rather than phone or cable lines. The company quit its expansion in 2001 when it ran into trouble sourcing capital; earlier this year Look said it would start growing again. Look is online at www.look.ca.
SaskTel boosts CommunityNet
SaskTel, Saskatchewan’s incumbent telco, in October expanded its high-speed Internet service into outlying areas, including Pelly, Rocanville, St. Brieux, Wicox and Pense. The carrier said its quick expansion comes courtesy of the provincial government, which in March 2001 unveiled plans for a Saskatchewan-wide high-speed network to connect public institutions and residents. Dubbed CommunityNet, the initiative spelled a $2 million boost over three years for Saskatchewan schools and hospitals to improve their data connections and a further $3 million to develop online learning resources. For more information see Sasktel’s Web site, www.sasktel.com.
Relaxing a Rock-hard stance?
Minister of Industry Allan Rock says the federal government might reconsider Canada’s foreign ownership restrictions. Certain telcos have complained that the rules governing foreign ownership are too restrictive – that they hinder investment, competition and ultimately hinder service improvement for users. Companies like AT&T Canada Inc. have said Industry Canada should re-jig the system, while Bell Canada’s spokespeople argue that greater foreign investment does not necessarily spell greater competition, improved service or better rates. The rules currently say foreign investors cannot own more than 30 per cent of a Canadian company.