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Bell Canada

From Academic Kids

Bell Canada Enterprises Template:Tsx Template:Nyse is a major telecommunications company and a provider of telephone services in Canada. The current president of Bell Canada is Michael Sabia.

Contents

History

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Alexander Graham Bell, who resided most of his life in Nova Scotia, Canada, was granted a US patent (#7,789) for the telephone in 1877. Graham Bell assigned 75% of the Canadian patent rights to his father, Melville Bell, who, with a friend, Reverend Thomas Henderson, started up a business of leasing pairs of wooden hand telephones for use on private lines constructed by the client from, for example, store to warehouse or home to office. The Bell Telephone Company of Canada Ltd. (known as "The Bell", or "Bell Canada" for short) was founded in 1880 and granted a government monopoly on Canadian long distance telephone service. By 1914, the Bell Telephone Company serviced 237,000 subscribers.

Eventually there were two main companies in the telephone industry in Canada -- Bell Canada selling services and a division of AT&T, Northern Electric, making equipment. There was a parallel setup in the US -- AT&T selling phone services and Western Electric making the equipment.

In recent decades there have been a number of changes. Between 1980 and 1997, the telecommunications industry was fully deregulated and Bell Canada's monopoly ended, leaving it to provide local phone service only in Ontario and Quebec, not the rest of Canada. Because of the breakup of AT&T in the United States, Northern Electric became Northern Telecom, later renamed Nortel. Bell Canada currently services over 13 million phonelines, and functions under the brandname umbrella, "Bell".

Bell's territory reduced

Bell Canada originally extended lines clear from Nova Scotia to the foot of the Rocky Mountains in what is now Alberta. However, most of the attention given to meeting demand for service focused on major cities in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces.

During the late 19th century, Bell sold its Atlantic operations in the three Maritime provinces, but purchased interests in all Atlantic companies, including Newfoundland, during the early 1960s.

Independent companies were started in many areas of Ontario and Quebec where residents were still waiting for adequate Bell Canada service.

Bell went on during the 20th century to acquire most of the independent companies in Ontario and Quebec. Quebec, however, still has large swaths of relatively rural areas served by Telus and Telebec, and some 20 small independent companies.

The three prairie provinces, at separate times up to 1912, acquired Bell Canada operations and formed provincial utility services, investing to develop proper telephone services throughout those provinces. Having achieved this, during the 1990s, Manitoba and Alberta moved to privatize, while Saskatchewan continues to own SaskTel as a crown corporation. Edmonton was served by a city-owned utility that was sold to Telus of Alberta in the 1990s.

British Columbia, served today by Telus, was served by numerous small companies that mostly amalgamated to form BC Tel, which served the province from the 1960s until sale to Telus.

Although Bell Canada started reaching into the Northwest Territories with an exchange at Iqaluit (then known as Frobisher Bay) in 1958, it sold its 22 exchanges in the area to NorthwesTel in 1992.

The Future

Bell Canada has moved into new industries like Bell Sympatico, an Internet service provider, Bell Mobility, a cellular wireless service, and Bell ExpressVu, one of Canada's two national satellite television providers. The BCE corporation also owns the CTV television network and The Globe and Mail, a national newspaper as well as other media assets in what is known as Bell Globemedia, Canada's largest media corporation.

Other assets include satellite systems integrator Telesat Canada, Western Canada CLEC Bell West, and minority stakes in Aliant and IT service provider CGI. All in all, BCE partially or fully owns sixteen companies in the fields of telecommunications, media, and information technology.

Shifting their focus on IP, Bell has in recent years deployed MPLS on their nationwide fibre ring network in anticipation of upcoming consumer and enterprise-level IP applications, such as IPTV and VoIP.

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