Copyright 2002 Toronto Star Newspapers, Ltd.

Toronto Star…03/14/2002

From LexisNexis

Alcatel SA, the largest supplier of equipment that ensures fast Internet access, has won a $400 million contract to provide gear to Bell Canada's customers.

Alcatel's agreement with Bell Canada will allow Canada's biggest phone company to offer digital subscriber line, or DSL, technology to 85 percent of its customers by the end of the year.

The contract, which renews an earlier agreement, will last between three and four years.

Canada is home to the second-highest proportion of broadband subscribers after Korea, with 16 percent of households having the technology, Alcatel said. The agreement renews an existing deal to provide DSL gear to Bell Canada since 1997.

Bell Canada added more than 130,000 high-speed customers in the last quarter of 2001 and its subscriber base rose 125 percent over the past year. BCE Inc. owns 80 per cent of Bell Canada. SBC Com- munications Inc. owns the remaining 20 per cent.

Alcatel's shares have declined 12 per cent this year