Saturday 16 January 2016

BWI5 General Info and Maps Jan 2016

The purpose of this post is to provide general background information about the boundaries within which a user has to live to be eligible for the Bell Wireless Internet 5 (BWI5). It can also act a reference post to respond to various I receive, 

BWI5 is the marketing name being used by Bell Mobility to provide the service funded by Deferral Account money as authorized by CRTC. The CRTC gave the final authorization after nearly a decade of legal appeal which eventually reached the Supreme Court of Canada (SOC); regulatory appeals which included a direct appeal to the Governor-in-Council (i.e. the federal cabinet through Industry Canada) and public hearings chaired by the CRTC.  

Bell first provided information about BWI5 in late July 2014. Since then there has been at least three changes to the price structure and data caps with incremental increases in data cap and minor changes of the basic price in each iteration.  

Information about the latest price structure and data caps as of Jan 2016 can be found at this post.

One of the requirements to be eligible for the BWI5 service offering is the user must live within a designated Deferral Account area. The maps below indicate the Deferral Account areas in the Algoma District.  However, I am aware of users who do not meet this criterion who are receiving the BWI5 service.

Bell Mobility is the lead BCE subsidiary for BWI5. Unfortunately, I cannot find any information about the BWI5 on the any BCE website.  BWI5 can be ordered through Bell Mobility direct sales at 1-888-466-2453 or through the Bell store in SSM. 

 Goulais DA

 Wawa DA

 Echo Bay DA

SSM Airport DA

St Joseph Island DA


  1. Good review of this program Wilf - thanks

  2. The links for your maps don't work. I just called Bell to inquire about this service, and was told it is not available in my area: Goulais River, Bye Side Rd. near Pine Shores Rd. I said I just read that 300 people in my area have it, and she said they go by the postal code and Google maps and it shows as not available. I said there is only one postal code for all of Goulais River, and that's as far as I could get. I will try at the local outlet downtown.

    1. Hi CV: I have checked with other people in the Goulais area and they are not having problems with the maps downloading and being visible on their web browser. I tried Chrome, IE and Edge and they all seem to work on my own various computers and devices. It may be possible that the browser you are using is blocking images as a security feature.

      As to problems with Bell Customer Service Representatives (CSR) being unaware of the BWI5 program, this has been an issue with some CSRs in the past. If you have the name or ID number of the CSR, it can be reported to a higher management level. I have reported the general complaint to Bell Mobility in Toronto.

      Note to all readers: In any dealings with Bell or any other service provider, always keep a record of the date and time of the event, the number called and the number called from and get the CSR’s name or ID number.

      Rest assured, your location at Bye Side Rd is within the designated BWI5 (Deferral Account) service area.

      Good luck with local Bell stores and please keep me in the picture with the results.

    2. I went today to the local outlet, they signed me up no problem at all, and I'm using the Bell connection. I told them I had called in the morning and couldn't get anywhere and they weren't surprised. So tell people not to bother calling, you have to go into the local outlet. I'm so glad I took a lot at your blog... the deal has five time the amount of data as I had from Rogers for almost the same price.

    3. I'm glad it worked out for you.

  3. I tried to switch my plan to the bwi5 but they told me I do not live in the area although I clearly do according to the above map of the Island. They also claimed on the phone these plans are only for people who have bad service and the service offered here is too good. While it has not gone down the speeds are not the greatest. That being said my bill this month is approaching $300 and wish there was other option. Everyone complains about hydro prices but you can go off the grid and get your power from wind or sun. I cannot get my internet any other way than bell.

    1. I have no influence on how Bell implements the service. I assume by “the Island” you mean St. Joseph. Bell uses Google Maps to determine your address so ensure you are providing the address that corresponds to the Google terminology. This may differ from the Canada Post address or local usage.

      The comments by Bell about bad service is pure nonsense. If you live within the Deferral Account area you qualify. Demand to talk to a supervisor and continue to escalate until you get a knowledgeable person to talk to you.

      If you are an existing Bell Mobility customer, you have to deal with Customer Service and not Bell Direct Sales. There may be a charge to cancel an existing service in order to switch.

      Many people have had success by dealing in person with the Bell Store in the Station Mall.

      Persistence is the key.

  4. Hermes, just a quick note of thanks for your work in putting this resource together. I used it to obtain the WI5F service for our rural property (not in Algoma) despite there being no information available from any Bell source.

    1. Hi Gavin:

      You are welcome. Would you be willing to share the postal code where you obtained service.

      You can use my e-mail address if you wish some privacy.