Friday 30 September 2011

Bell Deferral Account Update 30 Sep 11

The saga of the Bell Deferral Account program continues.

In March 2011, Bell Canada submitted an Application for Judicial Review to the Federal Court of Canada in the matter of the Rogers appeal to the Governor-in-Council (Federal Cabinet). Rogers appealed the decision of the CRTC to allow Bell Canada to draw down the Deferral Account to offset some costs for the implementation of the HSPA as the technology to provide broadband (high speed) Internet in underserved areas.

Subsequently, Bell filed a request for judicial review with the Federal Court. I am not a lawyer but my understanding is that Bell was questioning the right of Rogers to appeal to the Governor-in-Council.

The Bell application was heard in Federal Court in Ottawa on 12 Sep 11 and the Court rendered its decision on 29 Sep 11. This is an extract from the Court’s website (highlight added).  The court number is T-514-11:

Reasons for Judgment and Judgment dated 29-SEP-2011 rendered by The Honourable Mr. Justice Russell Matter considered with personal appearance The Court's decision is with regard to Judicial Review (s.18) Result: dismissed THE COURT'S JUDGMENT is that: 1. The application is dismissed. 2. Rogers and the Minister shall have their costs in this matter. Filed on 29-SEP-2011 certified copies sent to parties Final Decision Certificate of Judgment entered in J. & O. Book, volume 1135 page(s) 366 - 367

There is still no report on the any decision yet by the Governor-in-Council on the Rogers question.

It is my understanding that meanwhile Bell continues to plan implementation of the Deferral Account coverage in accordance with the published schedule.

Monday 26 September 2011

New Tbaytel Hub Data Flex Plan – 26 Sep 11 (updated)

According to their website page, Tbaytel has added a fourth tier with a 20 GB cap to its variable Hub Data Flex Plan. 

Under the new plans, the rates are:
Tbaytel Hub Data Flex Plan:
3 GB - $35.00
5 GB - $45.00
10 GB - $60.00
20 GB - $75.00
Overage .05/MB
The extra 10 GB for an additional $15.00 is a marked improvement. Under the old plan, this additional 10 GB would have cost $500.00!  The new 20 GB cap is about 25% greater than the average monthly usage as reported by the CRTC.

I am disappointed that the Overage rate of .05/MB was maintained. A rate comparable with the Rogers $10 per GB rate, while still high, is a little better. Under the Tbaytel plan $10.00 only buys an additional 200 MB of data transfer.

It will be interesting to see if Rogers announces any changes to their plan to meet the new Tbaytel rate plan.

Thursday 1 September 2011

Batchawana 3G/4G HSPA Site Activated

The Batchawana 3G/4G HSPA site is now active. That means 2/2.5 G CDMA (Bell compatible) , 3G/4G HSPA (Rogers compatible) and Canopy fixed wireless broadband are now available through the site.

More information about the services can be found on the Tbaytel website.

I expect the Searchmont site will be activated later in September.