Thursday 24 March 2011

Latest Deferral Account News for 24 Mar 11

Update of 08 Jun 11 available here.

The word coming out of Ottawa is that the other shoe has dropped on the Deferral Account issue.

As reported in my previous blog, Rogers threatened to appeal to the federal cabinet any decision by the CRTC to approve Bell’s use of Deferral Account funds to provide broadband service using 3G HSPA cellular technology. Nevertheless, the CRTC moved ahead and approved the Bell application.

Rogers did indeed file a petition and is asking the federal cabinet to direct the CRTC to rescind the decision and establish a competitive process to allow potential Bell competitor to gain access to the Deferral Account funds if they can provide the equivalent or better broadband service more cost effectively than Bell’s proposal.

The impact this appeal process will have on the Deferral Account schedule is unknown at this time.

The full Rogers submission can be accessed at this web address.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Gros Cap Area Added to Vianet Wireless Coverage Map

Update on 06 Jun  11. The wireless expansion is now complete and operational. My thanks to "Anonymous" for keeping me up-to-date on this expansion.

The Vianet website map is now showing the future coverage arc for the Gros Cap area.  No operational date is indicated. 

Additional details of the service can be found in this blog entry.

The Importance of a Safe Tower

I appreciate that there is frustration concerning the delays in the activation of the fixed wireless service in the North Sault area due to the time it is taking to retrofit the Bellevue tower to accept the additional antenna load.

However, the importance of ensuring that the tower is sturdy enough to support the load was recently presented on Manitoulin Island.

An account in the Manitoulin Expositor on March 09, 2011 by Michael Erskine reported the following:

“Violent winds toppled a key tower providing wireless Internet services to Wikwemikong and Sheguiandah recently resulting in a weeklong interruption in what has become a vital communication service. But the toppled tower quickly revealed that mechanical failure was just the beginning of the problems of web surfers in the affected regions.

“Manitoulin ISP operator Craig Timmermans provided the tower's services to the Internet provider OmniGlobe Networks and spent a frustrating week trying to determine how the damaged tower and equipment would be repaired.

"They really had too much gear on my tower," noted Mr. Timmermans, who said that he felt the loading of the tower played a role in its demise in the high winds.”

As understand it, in the Manitoulin case only Internet traffic was affected. If the Bellevue tower suffered the same fate, both cell and broadband service at the Goulais (Buttermilk), Heyden and Searchmont sites would also be loss.

I think we can all agree it is better to be safe than sorry.

Monday 7 March 2011

North Sault Update 07 Mar 11

I debated long and hard about this posting due to the many previous disappointments. In spite of what Einstein said, I believe I still have my sanity so, as the messenger, I will give it a go.

My Tbaytel contact provided me with a detailed scheduled indicating the work that still needed to be done. This plan calls for system operational testing to be completed around the 08 Apr 10.

There are two critical path items in the plan:

  1. The professional engineer approves and signs the engineering drawing so the reinforcing steel and mounting structure s for the Bellevue tower can be fabricated. This is scheduled for 08 Mar 11.
  2. Weather does not cause a delay. Personnel have to actually climb and work on the three towers concerned - Bellevue, Goulais (Buttermilk) and Heyden – and personal safety will always be a factor.

It then becomes a matter of scheduling a user site visit by the Canopy equipment installer. This can be arranged by contacting Tbaytel Customer Service Customer Service at 807- 623-4400 or 1-800-264-9501 or Email:

Cell phone users can enjoy the improved coverage immediately. 

Tuesday 1 March 2011

New Cell Site in Wawa Area

A new Tbaytel cell site serving the area south from Wawa along Hwy 17 is now operational. The tower is located at the Toke Mountain Ski Area.

Initial reports indicate that there is service improvement in the area. There is a good cell signal at the landfill site, all of Mission now has service, and there is a signal along Harbour Road up to Tremblay Flats Road.