Manitoba Tel applies for BDU license

Winnipeg - Manitoba Telecom Services has applied to the CRTC for a broadcast distribution licence.

MTS plans to test the service in early 2002 to approximately 200 Winnipeg customers. The television service will be delivered using MTS's DSL (digital subscriber line) broadband distribution network, similar technology as used by Bell Canada during its digital television trials at Toronto's Palace Pier condomimiums.

If viewers are watching an author talk about a book, they'll be
able to order the publication by pushing a button on their remote

The vDSL technology MTS plans to use allows the phone line to be used for voice, high speed Internet and digital TV distribution at the same time with no need for a second phone line. According to Roy Sherbo, general manager of next generation services at MTS, the company has not yet made final decisions on who the technology vendors will be. "It's similar to what Bell did at the Palace Pier but we have not confirmed our technology choices yet," he told

The advantage of this option is for simultaneous delivery of digital channels to multiple TVs in the home. While incumbent operators can offer one signal per set-top box, MTS will offer three signals per set-top box. With MTS's service, customers will be able to tape a program on one channel while watching something else on another channel.

"The possibilities are virtually endless with this technology," says Fraser. "A sports reporter covering the Olympics can watch coverage of the event in the corner of the computer screen while working on their story. And customers without personal computers will be able to use a remote control or a keypad to surf the Internet, send e-mails and browse through TV channels using their televisions."

The MTS service will offer over 250 channels including popular Canadian and U.S. channels, as well as commercial-free music, local radio stations and access to pay-per-view channels, similar to what is already offered by existing cable and satellite companies.

The service will also offer theme packages of channels, movies and the recently launched digital networks. The service will feature an Interactive Program Guide that allows the viewer to control the navigation of channels and receive information about specific programs, and there will be the ability for parents to lock-out certain channels.

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