Saturday 19 April 2014

Bell Deferral Account Report Released 17 Apr 2014

The latest Bell Deferral Account quarterly status report was released through the CRTC website  on 17 Apr 2014. This report covered the period Jan to Mar 2014 and like previous reports was heavily redacted with much of the information of value to potential customers blacked out under the pretence of "competitive information."  (I am sure the new cell site in Wawa, Goulais and St. Joseph Island would go completely unnoticed by the competition unless they were identified in the report.)

There were no problems or delay identified for the Algoma District Deferral Account areas and the previously published activation schedule still applies:

Deferral Account Area
Activation Date*
Echo Bay
31 Aug 2014
31 Jul 2014
31 Jul 2014
St. Joseph Island
30 Jun 2014
31 Jul 2014
                        Latest planned date. Could be earlier if all is ready
 By way of clarification these dates apply to the activation and availability  of the special Deferral Account service rates . Most of the tower and associated cell sites  in Goulais, St. Joseph Island and Wawa are completed and are operating in a normal fashion as part of the standard Bell Mobility network. This means that anyone using a data hub or a data stick connected through these new sites constructed as part of the Deferral Account project are currently paying the normal rates.

I am not sure of the policy that will apply after the Deferral Account service rates become available: will customers be moved onto the new rate plan immediately or will they be transferred only after their existing agreement expires? 

Below is the proposed rate structure accepted  by the CRTC for HSPA+ wireless based version of Bell Deferral Account service.( The original proposal back around 2004 called for a DSL based solution.) It has been fined tuned over the years: - the activation fees has been waived and the monthly rental fees dropped. For some reason, Bell is keeping the details very close to the chest. Bottom line is that $46.95 + plus tax ( $41.95 Home Zone Wireless Plus + the $5.00 insurance for an extra 40 GB), one can get 65 GB. 

Proposed HSPA+ Retail Broadband Services
Service Name
Home Zone Wireless
Home Zone
Wireless Plus
Monthly Rate
Download Speed
Up to 2Mbps
Up to 7 Mbps
Upload Speed
Up to 1 Mbps
Up to 3 Mbps
Monthly Usage Allowance
2 GB
25 GB
Monthly Charge for Additional Usage
$2.50/GB, maximum of $30 per month
Usage Insurance
$5.00 per month for extra 40 GB
Activation Fee
Turbo Hub: $3.95 monthly rental fee

The final rate structure is not readily available at this time but a Bell representative accidently quoted a basic rate of $37.95 for 20GB to customer in East Algoma but quickly withdrew the offer saying the plan was not available in the customer's area.

 Even though there are area in other parts of Ontario where the plan has been launched, there is nothing on the Bell website and I have not been able to get hold of the plan's official  rate structure. Unlike the tower/site locations redacted in the report, I accept the rate structure as legitimate "competitive information" at this time.

Bell will be conducting a marketing campaign with more detail once the service is ready to accept customers.

 The other big unknown is how will the other cellular service suppliers react to the new competition.  Will they match the new rates for their data hub services?


  1. I am fascinated as to how all this will turn out-it's good news for Algoma for sure.

  2. There are 40 Bell-DSL deferral sites already on line according to that recent CRTC spreadsheet, some as far back as 2011. How come nobody know or has found out the Bell rates?

    1. That’s a good question. It has not been from a lack of trying. I and others have contact various levels of Bell, Bell Aliant, BCE and Bell Mobility and to date have consistently run into a brick wall of claimed ignorance on the matter, wrong department, etc.

      Queries to the CRTC result in the standard reply of they do not regulate the cellular or broadband Internet service. (While this is accurate in the services are forborne, they did insist on a certain rate structure before approving the Deferral Account applications which they now do not want to discuss.)

      Some of the Deferral Account sites already on line are in Quebec. We know the rates for Quebec are different than the rates for Ontario; this is in response to the Vidéotron competition. As such, they are of little use to us in the Algoma District.

      Nine of the sites identified in the latest list were the Bell test sites locations: – namely
      Blyth, Clinton, Flesherton, Goderich, Harriston, Markdale, Otter Lake, Ridgeway, and Wingham. These sites were used for field trials and proof of principle starting in 2012. One of the major outcomes of the trails was the need for exterior antennas as part of the package.

      Phones calls to some of the Bell World stores serving some of the activated Deferral Account areas were also unsuccessful. In most cases, the stores claimed not to have any knowledge. One store in the Wingham area said they would discussion rates if I came into the store.

      If anyone knows what Bell is charging, I would really like to hear.

      My theory is that the Bell keeping the rates under wraps fearing a backlash from people on the wrong site of the Deferral Account area border that will not be eligible for the Deferral Account rates. It will be interesting to see how Bell will handle this.

    2. Further to my comment above. Can you clarify where you got the information about 40 DSL Deferral Account sites. As far as I am aware, there are only three DSL sites; all the rest are HSPA+ based.

      Thank you

  3. Hermes,

    I live on 6h Street in Hilton Beach about 100 meters from the new Bell tower. I managed to get Bell to buy me out of a pre-existing two year contract for a Flex 60 plan and hub when I order two new Bell Wireless Internet 5 hubs both with the biggest 40 Gb per hub data plans. I used a quite persistent manner and all the patience that I could muster to get the supervisor on the phone to put himself in my shoes and consider how Bell is behaving towards it's customers. Plus I might just have got lucky. It's a long story but I am happy to share if it would help keep you informed. I can be reached at