Sympatico Connecting Over a Million Canadians to Internet

[Montreal, CANADA] Bell Canada says that its Sympatico Internet
Service provider (ISP) now has more than one million residential
customers nationally–nearly 800,000 dial-up and more than 200,000
high-speed.

“Not only do Canadians choose Sympatico as their favorite ISP
overall, but Bell will exceed its Sympatico High Speed Edition
customer target for Ontario and Quebec in 2000, and we are signing up
more new customers today than any of our competitors,” said Bell
Canada president, John Sheridan.

Bell has recently taken a leading role among major North American
telcos in DSL high-speed access.

It has the highest penetration rate, growing from 0.7 percent of total homes
at the beginning of the year to 3 percent today–a more than four-fold
increase, and the highest coverage growing from 40 percent to 65 percent of total
homes over the same time period.

“Canada is a world leader in Internet access and in Internet usage
per capita,” said Sheridan.

He noted that recent initiatives from the Federal and provincial
governments have supported this development.

Last week, for example, the Alberta government announced a
partnership with Bell to build and implement a high-speed Internet
network that will connect the province’s communities, learning
institutions, hospital facilities, and libraries.

The Federal government has also announced that it will work with the
private sector to ensure that all Canadian communities have high-speed
access by 2004, and Bell expects to play a major role there.

Bell has been investing $1.5 billion in its high-speed access
network, and the company carries the vast majority of Canada’s
Internet traffic on its IP/broadband network. In addition, Bell’s
Sympatico.ca Web site is the most-visited Canadian portal.

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