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Videotron to spend $18 million on network upgrades in the Eastern Townships, Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec

Sherbrooke, February 27, 2006 - Videotron is investing $18 million between now and the middle of 2007 to upgrade its network in parts of central Québec, specifically Sherbrooke, Granby, Victoriaville and Trois-Rivières (Cap-de-la-Madeleine sector). The network modernization will increase bandwidth from 480 MHz to 860 MHz and support new technologies in the years ahead.

State-of-the-art network
Videotron's $18 million upgrade project is in addition to its major investments in the region since 1995, which have added fibre optic capacity to its coax cable system and created a two-way network. The network improvements have enabled Videotron to become the first carrier in Québec to offer interactive services such as video on demand, pay per view, interactive games and interactive television schedules. The current project will increase the bandwidth of Videotron's network and let the Company offer local consumers cutting-edge progressive digital TV, high-definition TV, Internet and telephone services. For example, with the increased capacity, Videotron's network will be able to support 800 digital television channels or 126 high-definition channels. New services may be added in the region as a result of this project as of winter 2007.

Work on project design started at the beginning of the year and will continue until March 2007. Roll-out began in April in Sherbrooke and will end in June 2007 in Cap-de-la-Madeleine. More than 3,000 linear kilometres of the network will be upgraded. The four urban centres affected by the project, Sherbrooke, Granby, Victoriaville and Cap-de-la-Madeleine, also include the towns of Coaticook, Lennoxville, East Angus, Fleurimont, Cowansville, Bromont, Waterloo and Princeville. During the project, one-day planned service cuts will have to be made. Approximately 1,000 households will be affected at a time. Videotron customers will be informed several days in advance.

Speaking at a press conference at Videotron's Sherbrooke offices, Robert Dépatie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Videotron, said: "Videotron's mission is to serve up the best possible user experience. This project is consistent with that vision. It will enable us to remain the first to offer distinctive, reliable services that meet consumers' real needs and match their active lifestyle."

Last week, Videotron also announced a new high-speed Internet access service delivering speeds of up to 16 mbps. Videotron becomes the first major telecom provider in Canada to offer residential service at that speed throughout its service area,

When it comes to digital TV, Videotron remains the only provider of video on demand service in its service area. Under an historic agreement with the French-language network of the CBC, illico on demand has been carrying coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin free and without commercial interruption since February 11. A total of 160 hours of Olympic programming is being made available via video on demand.

Videotron's cable telephone service, which has met with consistently enthusiastic consumer response since its launch, will be made available to consumers in the Eastern Townships, Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec regions later in 2006. Videotron serves nearly 180,000 households in the area.

Videotron Ltd. (www.videotron.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quebecor Media Inc., is an integrated communications company engaged in cable television, interactive multimedia development, Internet access services and residential telephone service. Videotron is a leader in new technologies with its illico interactive television system and its broadband network, which supports high-speed cable Internet access, analog and digital cable television, and other services. As of December 31, 2005, Videotron was serving 1,506,000 cable television customers in Québec; including 475,000 illico subscribers. Videotron is also the Québec leader in high-speed Internet access, with 656,000 subscribers to its cable modem and dial-up services. In addition, Videotron provides residential telephone service to more than 163,000 customers in Montréal, Montréal South Shore and North Shore, Laval and the Québec City area. 


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