Wednesday 22 December 2010

Bellevue and Heyden Sites Update 22 Dec 10

In what is becoming a mantra, Tbaytel has once again informed me of  a delay for the activation of the Bellevue and Heyden sites. They are now projecting a date of sometime in January 2011.

This means a delay in wireless broadband (high-speed Internet) service from the Bellevue and Heyden tower sites as well as cell service from the Heyden site.

For what it is worth, they are citing construction delays on the Bellevue tower upgrade caused by weather coupled with, in their terms, a “brown out” period during the Christmas break.

I am seeking clarification of the whether the Goulais (Buttermilk) site will be activated as the same time.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Desbarats Cell Tower Hwy 17

I have been informed that the new Bell cell tower outside Desbarats is scheduled for commissioning the week of 20 –24 Dec 10. This should improve connectivity in the south Tarbutt Township and North East St Joseph Island areas. The site is HSPA so it will support Turbo Stick and Net Gear or Ericsson Turbo hub connectivity.

Northland Consultants located on the Searchmont highway  can provide advice and hardware if an external antenna is needed to ensure solid service.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Using HSPA to Provide Broadband Service

I received a number of questions concerning the use of HSPA technology to provide broadband service in rural areas.In response I have put together a short paper addressing some of the issues.
The paper is available for download in .pdf format from the ADnet website.

Sunday 21 November 2010

Goulais (Buttermilk) Cell and Broadband Site

The Goulais (Buttermilk) site is now physically in location on the ski hill. Viewed from the parking lot, the tower is just to the left of the chairlift. I notice the cell and broadband antennae are in place but I could not detect any microwave antennae or see an equipment shelter. (The base of the tower was out of my line of vision.)

There was no cell signal coming from the tower on Sunday, 21 Nov 10 but I am hoping it will be activated as part of the Bellevue/Heyden project, if not before.

Once activated, the cellular and broadband coverage in the Goulais area will be improved markedly.

Residents in the Goulais area  may wish to contact the Tbaytel service desk at 1-800-264-9501 to register for the service or see for more details.

Thursday 18 November 2010

Bellevue and Heyden Sites Update 18 Nov 10

The Bellevue and Heyden broadband (high-speed Internet) sites  and the Heyden cellular site have been delayed once again. The unofficial new date is early December 2010.

In response to my queries, Tbaytel advised me on 18 Nov 10 that they are experiencing delays on the retrofit reinforcement work for the MTS Allstream owned Bellevue tower. The retrofit is necessary to allow the mounting of the microwave dishes needed to interconnect the Heyden tower into the Tbaytel backbone network proving access to the cellular mobile switching centre (MSC) and the broadband (high-speed Internet) point-of-presence (PoP).

The reinforcement project has two consecutive phases:

a. Work to meet the MTS Allstream requirements; and

b. Work to meet the Tbaytel requirements

The MTS Allstream work is scheduled for completion on 26 Nov 10 at which time the Tbaytel work will commence. Tbaytel did not provide an estimated completion date but I estimate the work may take up to two weeks.

Once the Bellevue tower is reinforced, microwave dishes will be mounted on the both the Bellevue and Heyden towers, tests conducted and the locations put into service.

Once one sees microwave dishes on the Heyden tower or receives strong cell phones signals from the tower, the work will be completed. While the work is being carried out, there may be disruptions with the cell signal from the Bellevue tower.

Monday 15 November 2010

Tbaytel Website Layout Changes

Tbaytel has changed their website layout and modified their logo and name style to Tbaytel by dropping a couple of capital letters.

The revised site also provides details about the relationship with Rogers and the provisioning of 3G HSPA service in the Tbaytel service area.

Saturday 30 October 2010

CRTC Approves Bell Deferral Account Proposal

On Friday, 29 Oct 10 the CRTC issued Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-805 approving the use by Bell Canada of 3G HSAP+ cellular based technology to provide (high speed) Internet to the 112 designated unserved areas.

It now remains to be seen if the other carriers or public interest groups will launch further appeals’

The Deferral Account areas in the Algoma District are SSM-Airport (Pointes areas), Wawa, Goulais, Echo Bay and St. Joseph Island.

Friday 8 October 2010

Rogers Responds to Bell Deferral Account Appeal

On 4 Oct 10, Rogers filed a Comments paper with the CRTC on the matter of Bell’s appeal of CRTC Telecom Decision 2010-637 concerning Bell’s use of Deferral Account funds. In particular, Rogers objected to allowing Bell to use HSPA cellular technology to provide broadband (high speed) Internet to unserved areas.

To support their objective, they claimed that Bell and Rogers either separately or together are already providing HSPA service in 93 of the identified Deferral Account 112 locations. They cited the current coverage maps available on the Bell and Rogers websites as the basis for this claim.

The following is information exacted from the published documents submitted by Rogers and applies to the Deferral Account areas in the Algoma District.


Rogers HSPA



TBayTel Exp*


St. Joseph Island



SSM - Airport




TBayTel Exp*


Echo Bay



*- Refers to a TBayTel/Rogers agreement to provide a Rogers compatible HSPA overlay by 4Q 2011.

In my estimation, the Rogers claim that broadband (high speed) Internet is available by means of the supposed HSPA coverage in these locations is bogus. While there is partial service in some of the areas, it can hardly be considered as coverage. The images below are extracted from the Bell, Rogers and TBayTel coverage maps.

In all cases they show there is only partial coverage in the affected Deferral Account areas in spite of the fact coverage maps published by carriers are notoriously optimistic. This quote from the Rogers site indirectly confirms this:  “The map is a general representation of wireless coverage, current and future, where indicated. The areas shown are approximate. Actual coverage area may vary from map graphics. Reception may be affected by various factors, including system availability and capacity, customer's equipment, signal strength, topography and environmental conditions. Charges are based on the location of the site receiving and transmitting the signal, not the location of the subscriber.”

Another factor conveniently ignored by Rogers is that the coverage is not uniform even within the areas the maps designate as served. Trials by currently subscribers have shown that HSPA based broadband (high speed) Internet is not available within the areas even when a mast or tower mounted external Yagi antenna is used. Bell’s proposal calls for the construction of additional broadband (high speed) Internet sites (towers).

The Rogers submission only concerns the impact of Deferral Account funds on corporate finances and does not address the financial impact on users of defaulting to the in place HSPA service at the existing rates. The Bell Deferral Account proposal will provide robust service at a fraction of the cost that the existing HSPA would cost for the same amount of usage, provided it was even available.

Rogers proposes that the CRTC conduct an auction and allot the Deferral Account funds to the vendor that can prove the most efficient use of the funds to provide broadband (high speed) Internet. This proposal does have a certain amount of logic, especially if one is not currently eligible to receive any Deferral Account funds. Unfortunately, the regulatory and “red tape” that would need to be developed would likely take years to implement. It also glosses over the history of how and why the Deferral Accounts were created in the first place; it was a way to protect for alternate service providers like Rogers and others from unfair rate competition as they first entered the market place. In a manner of speaking, Rogers is proposing that it be allowed bid for a “double dip.”

Bell Coverage Goulais

Rogers Coverage SSM-Airport, Echo Bay,



Bell Coverage SSM-Airport, Echo Bay, St. Joseph Island

Rogers Coverage St. Joseph Island



Bell Coverage Wawa

Rogers Coverage Goulais




TBayTel Goulais and Wawa



Tuesday 28 September 2010

Broadband Canada Update Sep 2010

The September 2010 Industry Canada newsletter entitled “IC Monthly Headlines” had the following status update for the Broadband Canada  program:

“On May 9, 2010, Minister of Industry Tony Clement announced conditional funding approval for 52 projects that were either the only applications proposing service in a specific area or the clear leaders based on a combination of cost and coverage. A second round of 25 conditionally accepted projects in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec was announced between July 6 and 15, 2010. These 77 projects will bring broadband to approximately 220 000 households, and represent a federal investment of approximately $110 million. More announcements are set for later this year.” [Emphasis added]

The total budget of the Broadband Canada is set at $225 million. 

Thursday 16 September 2010

Bell Appeals CRTC deferral Account Ruling

As expected by most observers and forewarned in my post of 31 Aug 10, on 13 Sep 10 Bell launched an appeal of the CRTC Deferral Account Decision 2010-637 .  The appeal has two main components: – it challenges the CRTC’s right to dictate which technology Bell can use to provide broadband service in the Deferral Account areas and the amount of money the CRTC identified as accrued interest on the Deferral Account funds held by the telcos. 
In addition the appeal addresses the issues raised by the Commission concerning the need to match existing Bell urban broadband services; Bell calls this the  Urban Service Comparability Requirement.
To meet these requirements Bell amended the original application (created a new application?) with significant increases in monthly data limits (Caps) and an usage insurance option of $5.00 per month for an additional 40 GB. This is the same feature available to current DSL subscribers. This means a consumer could get up to a 7 Mbps download with a 65 GB cap for $46.95 plus taxes and fees.
These changes address my major concerns with the original proposal. If the Bell ends up being allowed to implement this solution, I believe it will satisfy the majority of users in the Algoma District Deferral Account areas.
Original HSPA Broadband Service Proposal
Proposed HSPA+ Retail Broadband Services
Service Name
Home Zone Wireless
Home Zone
Wireless Plus
Monthly Rate
Download Speed
Up to 2 Mbps
Up to 2Mbps
Up to 7 Mbps
Upload Speed
Up to 800 Kbps
Up to 1 Mbps
Up to 3 Mbps
Monthly Usage Allowance
2 GB
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 Stick provided at no charge
Turbo Hub: $3.95 monthly rental fee

The Bell appeal submission proposes the following timeline: -  “Interested parties would have 30 days from the date of this Application (e.g., no later than 20 October 2010) to comment and the Company [Bell] would have 10 days thereafter (e.g., no later than 1 November 2010) to file its reply.”
Furthermore “ …Company requests that the Commission confirm in its forthcoming process that it will issue its decision in respect of this Application no later than 90 days from the date of Decision 2010-637, or by 29 November 2010 in order to preserve the Company's rights pursuant to petition the Governor in Council for the review, variation and rescission of the DSL Technology Directive pursuant to section 12 of the Act.”
I believe the CRTC is now on the horns of a dilemma: if they rule against Bell, then Bell will petition the Governor in Council (i.e. the Federal Cabinet); if they rule in favour of Bell, one or more of the other HSPA or vested interest parties will appeal or take legal action. 
It will be interesting to watch Bell explain how it can offer this level of service for Deferral Account areas at the  prices proposed compared to the prices it charges its regular HSPA data customers in other areas.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Bellevue Tower Dispute Resolved

It is reported the Bellevue tower dispute identified earlier has now been resolved. TBayTel and the tower owner have reached an agreement on the work necessary to make the tower safe for additional antennas. Once all the work is done, the necessary antennas will be mounted on the Heyden and Bellevue sites which will then be activated.

It is anticipated the work could take several months and no dates for activation are available at this time.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Sault Star Article on Deferral Account Decision

The Sault Star published an article about the Deferral Account decision

The item is entitled “ CRTC rulings impact North”  By Marc Capancioni , Special to the Star

Tuesday 31 August 2010

CRTC Approves Bell Deferral Account Funds for Broadband but Directs Bell to Use DSL Technology


In Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-637 released on Tuesday, 31 Aug 10, the Commission approved the use of $306.3M of Bell Deferral Account money to provide DSL based broadband (high speed) Internet service in the selected service areas. This would appear to nullify the Bell Canada submission to provide the coverage using 3G HSPA technology.

Particulars concerning the implementation schedule and other details are not available to me at this time.

I consider today’s decision a significant move forward and a better technical solution for broadband (high speed) Internet delivery to the users in the selected Deferral Account areas.

While I welcome this decision, it is not unknown for affected parties to initiate appeals that could slow down the implementation process.   

I will post additional information as it becomes available on the ADnet web site and the ADnet blog over the next few days.

The Deferral Account areas in the Algoma District are SSM-Airport (Pointes areas), Wawa, Goulais, Echo Bay and St. Joseph Island.

Monday 30 August 2010

Wireless Broadband (high speed) Internet Comparison

Wireless Type



Cost *

Small dish antenna installed on user residence.

1. Universal coverage of Canada
2. In theory easily scalable
3. Can connect to LAN

1. Latency/delay
2. Limited data Speed
3. Inconsistent data Speed
4. Impaired by weather
5. High initial user cost
6. Fair Use Policy limits

MRC: $59.99
Speed: up to 1 Mbps down
Activation OTC : $99.00
Annual Licence: $75.00
Hardware: $199.00 (Can be waived)Installation Cost: Varies

Fixed Wireless
Small panel or yagi antenna installed on user residence.

1. Relatively inexpensive to install
2. Consistent data speed
3. Medium range initial user cost
4. Can connect to LAN

1. Limited data speed
2. Line-of-sight to base required
3. Subject to terrain masking

MRC: $47.95
Speed: up to 4 Mbps
Activation OTC: $75.00
Pop-up Tower (if needed) $300.00

Data stick or Data hub connected to computer. Can use external antenna for better speeds

1. Greatest data speed
2. Broadband and cellular capable
3. Expensive initial user cost without contract
4. Can connect to LAN

1. Line-of-sight and 5 km to cell tower
2. Expensive if basic data caps are exceeded
3. Subject to terrain masking

MRC: $35.00 – 1 GB
$60.00 – 10 GB
Speed: up to 7Mbps rural; 21Mbps urban
Hardware: Hub: $400.00
Data stick: $175.00

  • Taken from ISP websites. Packages and bundles can affect the actual prices a user pays. Does not include taxes or regulatory fees.

Friday 27 August 2010

Is the CRTC Deferral Account Decision Near?


On 27 Aug 10 the CRTC issued a Media Advisory to advise “On August 31, 2010  a media lock-up will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for the decisions related to the disposal of the funds remaining in Bell Canada, Bell Aliant, Telus and MTS Allstream's deferral accounts. “

I expect the decision will become made public shortly after 4:00 PM on Tuesday, 31 Aug 10. 

I have not any seen leaks at the time of writing on what the decision will be.

As you recall, in January 2010 the Bell Companies proposed that Deferral Account  funds be used to provide broadband connectivity in the designated Deferral Account areas by means of 3G HSPA wireless technology. Extensive discussions and consultations took place over the past several months leading up to Tuesday's anticipated announcement.

The Deferral Account areas in the Algoma District are SSM-Airport (Pointes areas),  Wawa, Goulais, Echo Bay and St. Joseph Island.

Friday 30 July 2010

Broadband Statistics From the CRTC

The CRTC has released their annual Communications Monitoring Report 2009. The full 213 page (7.10 MB) report covers all aspects of the broadcast and telecommunications industry in Canada and may be downloaded from the CRTC site.   Since most reader will be interested in the part pertaining to the Internet and broadband, I have posted a 10 page PDF extract at the ADnet website under the What’s New column.

The table below from the report is the high level summary. The statistic on average downloads and uploads near the bottom of the table are noteworthy and is far out of line with the total being touted by Bell in their Deferral Account proposal where they cite less than 2 GB per month. It also belies the argument of the proponents of 3G HSPA as the solution to broadband in rural areas as it is greater than the cap provided in the flat rate service shown before. Overage  charges will run up the total bill quickly.

It also has a rate of growth in the 30% range for 2008 to 2009 which is only likely to increase at a greater rate with the introduction of new services such as Netflix. Rogers appears to have admitted as much with their recent cap adjustment although they state there is no direct relationship.  


Internet and broadband availability at a glance




Revenues ($ billions)




Internet access and transport

















Residential subscribers (millions)




Residential high-speed access revenues per subscriber per month




Internet access market share (revenue)

Top 5 major ISPs (including affiliates)



Cable operators



ILECs (excluding out-of-territory)



Broadband availability (excluding satellite)











All speeds






Broadband (1.5 Mbps and higher)



Broadband (5 Mbps and higher)



Average Gigabytes downloaded per month per user



Average Gigabytes uploaded per month per user



Source: CRTC data collection

Thursday 29 July 2010

Batchawana Outages Follow-UP

TBayTel confirmed they had a short term system outage and while the cellular network came back automatically, the Internet hardware needed a hard reset that required the dispatch of a service technician from the Wawa work centre.

They had no comment on  the remote reset action that users reported.

TBayTel is investigating further as why this happened at all and how to detect/respond to these types of troubles better in the future.  

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Internet Service Speed Categories

Listed below are the speed categories used by the CRTC and Industry Canada. ADnet will comply with this convention in all documents from this point forward.

Low-speed Internet service includes speeds that are below 128 kilobits per second (128 Kbps).
High-speed Internet service includes speeds at or above 128 kilobits per second (128 Kbps).
Broadband Internet access service includes speeds that are above 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps).

Monday 26 July 2010

CRTC Asks for Public Input on Internet and Telephone Service

The CRTC issued a call for public input on Canadian telecom services on July 22, 2010. Details of the undertaking and how the public can participate are available on the CRTC website at 

This consultation will last four weeks, from July 13 until August 10th, 2010.When the consultation is closed, all comments will appear on the CRTC’s website.

The CRTC is asking five base questions:

1. What services should be included as part of your basic telephone services today?

2. In the context of (universal basic wireline telephone access) , what role, if any, should the CRTC play in ensuring that all Canadians have access to broadband Internet service?

3. Do you think that cell phone service can be a substitute for traditional home phone landline service? Explain why or why not.

4. Do you think that wireless services (e.g. WiFi, 3G networks or satellite) can be substitutes for landline services to connect to the Internet? Explain why or why not.

5. For what activities do you use or expect to use your Internet service?

This is your chance to make your views known to the CRTC. You can be sure the industry based special interest groups will be.

Friday 23 July 2010

Wireless Outages at the Batchawana Site

I am receiving reports that there has been a number of outages affecting the Canopy fixed wireless broadband services off the Batchawana site.  The problems seems to be associated with Canopy services only as the cellular services still operate during the broadband outages.  Reports indicate that service can be restored remotely by the TBayTel help desk.

I am not sure if this is systemic problem or just some glitches during the burn-in period.

I will continue to monitor the situation and make my concerns know to TBayTel management .

Deferral Account Update

The final date to submit comments to the CRTC on Bell’s Deferral Account proposals was 08 Jun 10. The CRTC issued a letter on 16 Jul 10 confirming this date and rejecting inputs received after the deadline.

From the wording of the CRTC letter it seems they are working towards a decision on the Bell proposal for the HSPA solution as opposed to the original DSL proposal.  There was no indication as to the date that the decision will be rendered.

As  a reminder, in the Algoma District, the Deferral Account decision affects the areas of SSM- Airport, Wawa, Goulais, Echo Bay and St. Joseph Island.

Additional information on the Deferral account may be found at .

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Engineering Dispute Delays Heyden and Bellevue Activation

There is still no word as to when the Heyden cellular and broadband (high speed Internet ) or the Bellevue broadband (high speed Internet ) sites will be activated.

The delay is due to a difference in technical opinion between the tower owner and TBayTel  on the impact of adding the necessary additional back haul and broadcast antennae to the Bellevue tower.

Batchawana Gets Broadband Service

It has been a bit of a struggle but the first customer to get broadband (high speed Internet) service from the Batchawana site was connected this morning.  The initial reports indicate the customer was happy with the installation process and the service.

Monday 12 July 2010

Next Generation Satellite Broadband Service

It is hard to visualize the day when end-to-end terrestrial broadband (high speed Internet) service such as DSL,cable, cellular wireless, fixed wireless or hybrids thereof will be a available to all users in Canada. A small percentage of users will always be served by ISPs using a satellite link as part of the network even if the final connection to the user is terrestrial.

Satellite based broadband (high speed Internet) connectivity does not have a very good reputation amongst users and this is putting it mildly. Over subscription, inconsistent data transfer rates, high latency, atmospheric  and weather interference, inability to handle VPNs are just some of the technical complaints while the initial cost of set-up, one-time hardware costs and monthly recurring costs are some of the financial issues often cited. 

Like cellular telephone, satellite services have gone through a number of “generations”. The new services expected to be on-line in 2011 have the potential to address many of current issues. 

More information about the next generation of satellites can be found at: 

The video portion of the site is also available on YouTube:

3G HSPA Broadband Pricing and Capacity - Revised

I am frequently asked about the 3G HSPA Broadband (high speed Internet). service currently offered along Hwy 17 from Sault Ste Marie to Sudbury and which will be offered along the Hwy 17 Sault Ste Marie to Thunder Bay corridor by the end of 2011. 
The following collection of public links and information is provided as examples of services obtainable. ADnet neither endorses nor receives compensation from any of the vendors identified. It is considered accurate at the time of posting but is subject to change at the whim of the vendor or a CRTC ruling.
3G HSPA technology uses the cellular network as the medium to deliver Broadband (high speed Internet). It is an order of magnitude improvement over the previous 2.5G technology. The service is available as a standalone data package or bundled with other vendor offerings. It provides a nominal download speed of 7 Mbps at the cell site but degrades the farther the user is from the cell site. At about 5 km, the data rate is approximately 1 Mbps. The user receives the service via a hardware USB data stick or a wireless/Ethernet data hub. A nice feature of the data stick approach is its portability, a feature the frequent traveller will appreciate.
The main drawback with the 3G HSPA system is that it can become very expensive if care is not taken to monitor downloads to ensure the cap is not exceeded.  There are a number of software programs available that monitor data usage and can be set up to warn you when certain data levels are reached.
3G HSPA Access Hardware
Bell Turbo Hub – HSPA Data Service
Bell Data stick – HSPA Data
Bell pricing for Data plans (the voice add-on is a version of VoIP not cellular)
Rogers Turbo Hub – HSPA Data Service
Tbaytel Data Hub _ HSPA Data Service

Data CapBell RogersTbaytel
Flex RatePer GBFlex RatePer GBFlex Rate Per GB 
3 GB
5 GB
$ 55.00
10 GB 
15 GB


20 GB 


Bell and Rogers Data Compared based on Bell's Deferral Account Submission and Rogers Data Calculator
Sample Traffic Bell Rogers
50,000 E-mails 2 GB 1.2 GB
4,000 E-mails with large attachments 2 GB 1.31 GB
20,000 Web pages 2 GB 4.75 GB

Sunday 11 July 2010

Broadband Canada Announcements 09 Jul 10

The Broadband Canada announcements are coming fast and furious. Another round of announcements was released on 09 Jul 10 including three in Northern Ontario but not in the Algoma District. Based on the companies named, they appear to be fixed wireless and satellite based systems. 

The full list is available at 



Spectrum Telecom Group Ltd. / Blue Sky Economic Growth Corporation Beaucage, Chisholm, Rutherglen, Nipissing, West Nipissing, Sundrige, Strong, Estair, Wahnapitei, Skerryvore, Shawanaga, Bell Lake, Bonfield, McDougall, McMurrich, Armour

Galaxy Broadband Communications Inc.

Cochrane District

TBay Tel / Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre Inc. Oliver-Paipoonge, Fort William, Neebing, Township of Shuniah



Return to Top of Page

Thursday 8 July 2010

Broadband Canada Update

Broadband Canada published a second round of  vendor selections on 06 Jul 10. All seven locations are in the province of Quebec. Details can be found at . This link also contains a link to a map showing the coverage of the projects announced to date.

Sunday 4 July 2010

Latest Reports on Batchawana Installations

I have received reports that Quattra SCS of Sault Ste. Marie has been contacting potential TBayTel fixed wireless broadband customers in range of the Batchawana site to arrange for appointments to install the necessary hardware. I am still awaiting confirmation from either a customer or the TBayTel head office that installations are in fact taking place. 

Friday 25 June 2010

Still No News On North Sault Area

TBayTel informed me at noon on 24 Jun 10 there was still no news on any of the points raised on Tuesday. The issues were taken to senior management but responses have not yet trickled down. 

Tuesday 22 June 2010

TBay Tel Regional In-Fill (RIF) News 22 June 10

I took part in a lengthy teleconference with TBayTel personnel on Monday, 21 Jun 10. Areas of concern were :

a. Delays in commissioning of the Heyden cell and broadband site;
b. Why the availability of broadband off the Batchawana site is still not available four weeks after the broadband equipment was declared operational;
c. Why a potential customer was charged $95.00 for a site signal check when the TBayTel web site clearly states there will be no charge if there is no signal;
d. Deployment schedule for remainder of sites in the Algoma District portion of the RIF: Goulais, Flour Bay, Carp River and Michipicoten;
e. Lack of TBayTel generated information; and
f.  TBayTel and Rogers HSPA overlay status


A. A technical dispute between TBayTel and Allstream about mounting backhaul and broadband equipment on the Bellevue tower is delaying the activation of the Heyden site. The companies’ structural engineers are not in agreement over hardware loads and mounting hardware. No new due date was provided.

B. The network managers could not explain why the Batchawana site was not actively connecting customers. There was a suspicion that it may have something to do with consolidating enough requests to make the dispatch of a technical to the area economical. TBayTel will get back to me with additional information.

C. TBayTel agreed that the website would indicate there is no charge for a site visit. The normal procedure is to do an assessment of service availability at a location using frequency mapping software in association with Google Earth. If the signal is charted as good or marginal, a technician is dispatched at no charge. If a customer insists on a site visit after being told it not likely a signal can be received in the area, then a charge is levied if no signal is received. 

D. The target date to finish the reaming sites is 31 Dec 2010. The Goulais site has been selected at Buttermilk Resort and the necessary consultative processes are now in progress. The other three sites have not been finalized.

E. TBayTel admitted the information and publicity on the service was not very good and would take action to improve in this area.

F. Work on the HSPA overlay has already started in the western end of the network and should be available in the Algoma District in the fall of 2010. The CDMA (Bell/Telus) will be continued for the foreseeable future.


TBayTel promised to provide some follow on information and this will be posted as it is received.

Friday 29 January 2010

Bell Deferral Account Proposal


Bell Aliant submitted a Deferral Account implementation package on 15 Jan 10 as requested by the CRTC on 25 Sep 09. It was published on the CRTC website on 20 Jan 10 and a copy is attached. Bell Aliant is proposing to serve the designated Deferral Account area by means of it High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology. This wireless based broadband (high speed Internet) service will make use of the Bell cellular infrastructure but will be a separate service offering with its own tariff. Known as Retail Wireless Broadband Service, Bell Aliant is asking the CRTC for approval of the following rate structure:


Monthly Rate - $31.95
Download Speed - Up to 2Mbps
Upload Speed - Up to 800Kbps
Monthly Usage Allowance - 2 Gigabytes (GB)
Charge for Additional Usage - $2.50/GB
One-Time Activation Fee - $35
Hardware - No charge
Term – Monthly

Included Services

5 e-mail addresses
Web-based mail
Connection Manager software
Basic Security services
Online storage (5MB)

The service will be billed one month in advance with a 30-day cancellation notice period. 


This rate structure will only apply to the Deferral Account home area of the user. Access outside the users’ home area will be billed at the normal Bell tariff rates.


Unlike the other carriers’ submission, the Bell Aliant submission did not include a detailed implementation schedule. Bell Aliant indicated they would provide the detailed schedule on 26 Feb 10. Their reasoning was they needed CRTC approval of the tariff before setting the schedule.


While a bit of surprise, a cursory review indicates that the proposal meets all the prerequisites of the CRTC Deferral Account decision. The greatest advantage is that it can be activated in many areas quickly after CRTC approval. Doubtlessly some Deferral Account areas will require the construction of additional access points but this should be made clear in the 28 Feb 10 submission.