Tuesday 31 May 2011

Additional HSPA Sites Operational Along Hwy 17 North

The following cellular sites along the Hwy 17 corridor north from the Sault towards Thunder Bay are now operational in both the 2/2.5G CDMA (Bell, Telus and Tbaytel compatible hardware only) mode and the 3G HSPA (Rogers and Tbaytel compatible hardware only) mode. A single handset capable of both 2/2.5G CDMA and 3G HSPA operation is not available :

  1. Bellevue
  2. Michipicoten
  3. Wawa
  4. Marion Lake
  5. White River

Additional sites are scheduled for commissioning between now and September 2011.

Monday 30 May 2011

Bellevue and Heyden Canopy Wireless Broadband Operational

Tbaytel has confirmed in writing that the Bellevue and Heyden broadband (high speed Internet) Canopy systems are now operational effective Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm. Residents of the North Sault area within range of one of these towers can now get better access to the Internet.

The area installer has also confirmed that he has received the go ahead from Tbaytel.
To order the service, contact Tbaytel customer service at 1-800-264-9501 or customercare@tbaytel.net

I hope some of you will have service in the next few days. I would be interested in hearing if and when you get access and what you think of the service. Either contact me directly or use the comment section below.

Thursday 26 May 2011

North Sault Broadband Installations To Start 30 May 11

Tbaytel has started to contact users who registered for the Canopy wireless broadband (high speed Internet) service to arrange site visits to confirm the availability of the signal and to carry out installations.

Tbaytel uses computer generated coverage projection models to determine which access point provides coverage in the user’s area. For the initial phase, areas covered by the Bellevue and Heyden access sites will be contacted followed shortly by people in the Goulais (Buttermilk) area. As previously reported, there is considerable pent-up demand and it may take a while to get around to all potential users.

The visits are scheduled to start the week of 30 May 11.

These new access point sites join the Batchawana and Searchmont sites that have been providing service for nearly a year.

Bellevue HSPA Operational

Tbaytel informed me that the Bellevue HSPA cell site is now operational.

This means users with Rogers or Tbaytel 3G HSPA hardware i.e smart phones should be able to get service in the coverage area. The site will not work with Rogers 2/2.5G GSM hardware. 

Bell and Telus 3G HSPA will not work with the new service.The site will continue to provide Tbaytel and Bell/Telus 2/2.5G CDMA service. In other words, if you were able to use your cell phone previously, the new HSPA service will have no effect.

Tbaytel will be providing more details on the HSPA service in due course and I will provide particulars as they become known.

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Stats Can Internet Survey

Statistics Canada has released its most recent Canadian Internet Use Survey. the full report is available at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/110525/dq110525b-eng.htm.

In my opinion, this is probably the single most important document affecting national policy decision about the roll-out of universal Internet access in Canada.

There are some interesting conclusions in the report about availability. access, and usage. I am sure the report will generate a lot comments in various places.

This is a major note from the report. Note the definition of CMA.

Note to readers

The 2010 Canadian Internet Use Survey, sponsored by Industry Canada, was conducted in October and November as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey.

Redesigned for 2010, this survey now consists of a household component, which measures home access, and an individual component, which measures online behaviours.

This release features home Internet access, based on a sample of about 30,000 households. Data on individual online behaviours will be released later in 2011.


The "Home Internet access" rate is the proportion of households with access to the Internet from home.

The survey asked about the type of "devices" used to access the Internet, including a desktop or laptop computer; a video games console; a BlackBerry, iPhone or other wireless handheld device; and other devices.

The "Home high-speed access" rate is the proportion of households with a self-reported high-speed connection to access the Internet from home.

A census metropolitan area (CMA) and a census agglomeration (CA) consist of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a major urban core. A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000, of which 50,000 or more live in the urban core. A CA must have an urban core population of at least 10,000.

The rate of home Internet access also varies by household size and composition

Friday 20 May 2011

SSM–Airport Deferral Account News 20 May 11

It appears that Bell Canada is moving ahead with Deferral Account development work in the SSM – Airport areas. This is in spite of the appeal submitted by Rogers to the federal cabinet.

Bell Canada hosted a public information meeting in Sault Ste. Marie Sault on 19 May 11 to receive input and comment on two new cell sites proposed for the Sault west end. This is part of the formal process required by Industry Canada regulations pertaining to the construction of new towers. No objectives were raised about the sites. This is not surprising as I was the only one from the public in attendance.

The sites are to be located at 978-B Second Line West (near Allens Sideroad) and Carpin Beach Road near Second Line West.

The first site is a gap filler site funded by Bell but the Carpin Beach Road site in the middle of one of the Distribution Serving Areas (DSA) designated as a Deferral Account area. The Bell representative further indicated that he would be checking sites in the Nokomis and Pointe Louise areas as part of the Deferral Account roll out.

These actions seem to indicate that the program schedule published in Feb 2010 showing a 2011 construction start date and 2012 service start date is still valid.
SSM Airport New Bell Tower

Friday 13 May 2011

Clarification of Pay-As-You-Go Availability

I wish to issue an apology and a clarification  to the blog on the new Heyden cell site.

The clarification concerns Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) phones. A PAYG will only work with the Tbaytel cell sites if the hardware is compatible with the Tbaytel network and Tbaytel has a roaming agreement with the PAYG service provider. 

If the hardware is compatible, there should be an indication of network connectivity i.e. some signal strength bars showing and dialling 611 will result in a recorded message from Tbaytel. The completion of normal phone calls will not be possible.

Funding for Desbarats and Echo Bay Cell Sites

NOHFC today made public the previously approved funding support for two Bell Mobility cellular telephone sites in the East Algoma area. The Desbarats site has been operational since December, 2010 and it is anticipated the Echo Bay site will be on-line by the fall of 2011. Both sites will use the latest 3G HSPA technology but will not be backwards compatible with the older 2/2.5G CDMA technology.

The Desbarats site has been well received by the residents in the coverage area, particularly for its ability to provide broadband (high-speed Internet) service as well as voice service. Please refer to the Bell Canada website for additional information about their broadband (high-speed Internet) data plans .

NetCentral, based in Sudbury, is lead Community Based Network (CBN) for the project. As the local Algoma partner ADnet provides the management coordination and local knowledge input for the sites which are located in the ADnet catchment area.

ADnet and NetCentral have been working initially with with NOHFC and subsequently Bell Canada for over 3 years to get the funding support in place. The process involved an open, transparent and competitive bidding process followed by extensive negotiations to ensure optimum benefits to the public.

Thursday 5 May 2011

CRTC Announces Broadband Targets

The following is from a CRTC press release of May 3..2011 and is posted without commentary at this time.

“The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today set a target for broadband Internet access services across Canada. By the end of 2015, the CRTC expects all Canadians to have access to broadband speeds of at least 5 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads.

"A well-developed broadband infrastructure will serve as a gateway for Canadians to participate in the digital economy," said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. "The target we have established is the minimum speed we believe consumers in rural and remote areas should be able to receive. The industry is actively responding to market demands and we have every confidence in its ability to meet the target."

The CRTC anticipates that this target will be reached through a combination of private investments, targeted government funding and public-private partnerships. The launch of new satellites and advances in wireless technologies will make it possible to provide Canadians in rural and remote regions with reliable broadband connections at reasonable rates and higher speeds than those available today.

Despite Canada's unique geography, 95% of households currently have access to Internet download speeds of at least 1.5 Mbps through telephone, cable or fixed-wireless networks. Over 80% of households already have access to download speeds of 5 Mbps or higher.

The CRTC will closely monitor the industry's progress in reaching the target”