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Shaw Communications' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We've just concluded our board meeting and AGM, and we are pleased to announce a 5% dividend increase to an annual rate of $0.97 per share. The higher dividend rate becomes effective at the beginning of Q3 and total dividend payments for fiscal 2012 are expected to be approximately $415 million.

We continue to focus on the execution of our strategic initiatives that we announced last year. Our digital network upgrade is well underway with over 50% of our customers now converted. The reclamation of additional bandwidth will provide us with the ability to triple our Internet speeds and create capacity to offer substantial increases in HD and VOD services. We continue to evolve our products and service offerings with enhancements that are geared towards improving flexibility, transparency and value for our customers. This includes the Shaw Plan Personalizer, easy-own hardware options and our broadband leadership.

During the quarter, we also announced our partnership with Motorola regarding our new DreamGallery Guide. This improved interface is expected to be launched in the spring of 2012. We launched our Wi-Fi trial on December 6 in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver, and we continue to add sites. We continue to believe that Wi-Fi will extend the value proposition of our customers' Internet services beyond the home and will reinforce our broadband leadership position.

We remain bullish on our goal to expand Shaw products and services within the business market across Western Canada, and this will continue to be a priority and focus for our company going forward. Our recent announcement regarding the city of Calgary contract is an example of the substantial opportunities that exist within this market, and we look forward to winning some of the incumbent's market share.

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