Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame



Canada

June 04, 2007 08:30 ET

Telecom Competition, Spectrum Management and Telegraph Pioneers Heralded by Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - June 4, 2007) - Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame will officially announce today at a special VIP Luncheon at the Palliser Fairmont Hotel in Calgary, the names of the four 2007 Telecom Laureates who have been nominated and selected for induction later this year into the industry's Hall of Fame. The Class of 2007 Telecom Laureates are: Michael Kedar, Toronto (Champion of Telecom Services Competition), Robert W. (Bob) Jones, Ottawa and Kelowna (Canada's Radio Spectrum Ambassador), Frederic Newton Gisborne, St. John's, (Colonial Telegraph Trailblazer), and C.R.O. (Bob) Munro, Montreal (Patron of Federally Regulated Telecom). In addition, the Hall of Fame's coveted Special Recognition Award for 2007 goes to the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC), Ottawa West, ON (Canada's Telecom R&D Laboratory).

"For a third straight year, we are proud to shine a spotlight on Canadian telecom achievers and achievements," says Lorne Abugov, Founder of Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame. "Mike Kedar persevered against all odds in a six-year long struggle to break Canada's telecom monopoly in long-distance services. One hundred and fifty years earlier, Frederic Newton Gisborne implemented North America's first working undersea telegraph cable and strung telegraph lines between the Atlantic Provinces and across the Prairie Provinces well before the Railway was built. These Telecom Laureates represent a true "never say die" spirit that has put Canada at the forefront of telecommunications the world over. Bob Munro fought his battles before the Canadian courts and the CRTC to assert a strong federal role in telecommunications, while Bob Jones used the jurisdiction over wireless technologies to promote Canada's domestic and international reputation in spectrum management."

Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame will co-host the Calgary VIP Luncheon with WiTec Alberta, an industry association that supports the wireless & telecom industry in the Province of Alberta. Speakers at the luncheon will include Bill Hews, Chairman of WiTec, and Lawrence Surtees, Vice-President of IDC Canada and an award-winning telecom journalist and author. Mr. Surtees will speak about the past and future of Canadian telecom. Invitees to the Hall of Fame's VIP Luncheon consist of telecom industry CEOs and senior executives.

"WiTec Alberta is pleased to co-host this Calgary VIP event and we congratulate Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame on their initiative," says Bill Hews, Chairman of WiTec Alberta. "Canadian telecom inventors, innovators, business pioneers and achievements are world class, and deserve recognition at home and on the global stage. We are also delighted that this year's announcement of the Telecom Laureate inductees is being made for the first time from Western Canada, a vibrant and innovative contributor to the national telecommunications scene."

The Hall of Fame has conferred its Special Recognition Award on the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) and its predecessor, the Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment (DRTE) for the public sector organization's outstanding contribution to Canadian telecom research and development over nearly 60 years. For more than five decades, the CRC has contributed to many global telecom breakthroughs in satellite, radio spectrum, and fibre optics-based telecommunications, and continues to perform cutting-edge research and development in telecom technologies of the future.

The Telecom Laureates announced today will be officially inducted into Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame at the 2007 Telecom Laureate Awards gala dinner and induction ceremony, October 16, 2007 at the historic Windsor Train Station in Montreal.

About Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame

Established May 30, 2005, Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame is a not for profit organization with a mission to promote and celebrate the rich history of the telecommunications industry in Canada. The Hall of Fame fulfills its mission through two principle programs: The Telecom Laureate Program and the Education and Outreach Program, which serves to promote the historical legacy of success of Canadian telecommunications and encourages Canadian youth to choose the industry as a fulfilling career choice.

Nominations for Canada's Telecommunications Hall of Fame (www.telecomhall.ca) are open to the general public and to members of the telecom industry, and are screened by an independent Nominations Committee and short-listed for decisions by an independent Selections Committee, both comprised of leading experts from Canada's telecommunications industry.

About the 2007 Telecom Laureates

Michael Kedar (Icons of Business Category). Mr. Kedar's persistent and tenacious battle to introduce competitive telecom business services to Canadians is legendary in the Canadian telecommunications industry. In 1992, after leading his upstart telecom resale company, Call-Net for six years, Mr. Kedar succeeded in convincing the CRTC to break Bell Canada's long distance voice telephone monopoly. Today, after launching several other successful Canadian and international telecoms, Mr. Kedar is the CEO of mobilExchange, a venture capital company in Toronto.

Frederic Newton Gisborne (Inventors and Innovators Category). Frederic Newton Gisborne is credited with several inventions and innovations including an anti-induction ocean cable and electric and pneumatic ship signals. Gisborne had the vision to connect Canada to Europe by undersea cable and to link the emerging Canadian nation by telegraph. In the 1850s, he laid successful telegraph cables to connect New Brunswick and PEI and the mainland of Nova Scotia to Cape Breton Island, and also succeeded in convincing a New York financier to connect Newfoundland to Ireland. Before the railway, Gisborne shored up Canada's fledgling telegraph system spanning both the Atlantic provinces and the Prairie provinces..

C.R.O. (Bob) Munro (Advocates and Academics Category). C.R.O. (Bob) Munro was a formidable force in telecommunications law during the 1970s and 80s. On behalf of CNCP Telecommunications, he successfully argued in several crucial proceedings before the CRTC leading to the opening of competition in business voice and data private line services. Bob Munro's greatest achievement was before the Supreme Court of Canada where he successfully argued the Alberta Government Telephones v. CRTC and CNCP Telecommunications case which affirmed that Canadian telecommunications regulation was exclusively a matter of federal jurisdiction.

Robert W. (Bob) Jones (Servants of the Public Category). Robert W. (Bob) Jones was chosen as a 2007 Telecom Laureate for his leadership of both the Canadian and global management of the radiocommunications spectrum. Bob Jones managed elements of Canada's spectrum regulation at the Department of Communications and later Industry Canada during the 1970s-80, and was a key figure in the launch of cellular telephony in Canada.. Thereafter, Bob Jones was three-times elected to key leadership positions within the Radiocommunications Branch of the International Telecommunications Union, the highest ranking Canadian to ever serve with the international telecom regulator.

Additional biographical information on the Class of 2007 Telecom Laureates can be found at www.telecomhall.ca or through the Hall of Fame media contacts.

Contact Information

  • Joanne Kennedy
    Director, Communications
    514-235-4380
    or
    Lorne Abugov
    Founder
    613-878-1532