Archive November 1997 — Talking telework

In November 1997, it was predicted that large Canadian companies would adopt Internet telephony in two years. Everyone was getting on the bandwagon and releasing their own versions of voice-over IP.


not everyone was all that convinced about the effectiveness of the new technology. Ron Fischer, product manager at Castleton Network Systems in Burnaby, B.C., compared voice-over IP to a dog walking on its hind legs: “”He doesn’t walk well on his back legs, but it’s just amazing he can do it at all.””

Earlier this week, however, Telus unveiled a managed VoIP service called IP-One, which will handle call routing and integrate voice-mail, e-mail and data via a Web portal, in Quebec and Ontario.

Five years ago, even industry players like Cisco Systems were touting the expected growth of telecommuting. It had released telecommuting-friendly products like its AS5300 server, geared towards providing remote access, because of customer demand.

Joe Greene, senior consultant at IDC Canada, said at the time that telecommuting is “”a good thing in terms of cutting down on traffic, cutting down on pollution. Studies have also shown that people who do telework are much more productive.””

Today many people make home their workplace, but fewer analysts are calling telecommuting a trend. Some companies are rekindling interest in the concept, though. SuiteWorks, based in Barrie, Ont., next year plans to cash in on workers who prefer staying close to home by opening a telework centre, complete with all the office accoutrements.

A group that had been in charge of creating seven Internet top-level domain names in 1997 chose 87 companies from around the world to act as registrars for the new system.

The Top-Level Domain Memorandum of Understanding told the new registrars, known collectively as the Council of Registrars, to process the following Internet TLDs: dot-arts, dot-info, dot-web, dot-firm, dot-rec, dot-nom and dot-store. It was expected to be the Internet’s first open, shared international domain name registration service.

As most people know, these Internet suffixes never really took off. The cachet of dot-com was just too compelling, with 28 million registered dot-com domain names today.

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