CRTC tells Telus to halt trial Back
(Source: The Calgary Herald -- Jan 28, 1998)

Telus Corp. has been told by federal regulators to stop its multimedia trial in Lake Bonavista.

Telus, which is supposed to be testing delivery of advanced multimedia services over telephone wires, has so far offered only regular cable television services.

A condition of the trial, as approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, was that Telus would provide services such as movies-on-demand and high-speed Internet access from the outset.

On Christmas Eve, the CRTC directed Telus to "cease and desist its operations" until it can comply with the condition.

Telus responded by continuing the trial and writing a letter to the CRTC explaining its difficulty in obtaining digital set-top boxes essential to providing the advanced services.

The commission's reply Tuesday requires Telus to comply with the original directive by next Tuesday.

A spokesman for Telus could not be reached for comment.

Peter Bissonnette of Shaw Cable, the incumbent cable provider in Lake Bonavista which has been losing customers to Telus during the trial, said he doesn't think Telus can continue to snub the CRTC.

"The commission has shown a tremendous amount of patience, and also boldness," Bissonnette said. "They (the commission) are clearly serious about the letter they sent."

If Telus fails to comply with this latest directive, the commission said it will initiate a hearing pursuant to section 12 of the Broadcasting Act.

Bissonnette, who was seeking legal advice on the relevant section late Tuesday, said he believes it involves a meeting with the commission where Telus would be allowed one last chance to argue for continuing the trial.