Saturday 12 February 2011

North Sault Broadband and Cellular News 12 Feb 2011

Followers of the blog with an interest in the status of the North Sault broadband (high-speed Internet) and cellular service will by now be aware that the services are still not available.
The best I can report is I am receiving updates to the effect that the remedial work required by MTS Allstream on their Bellevue tower before they will approve Tbaytel mounting their equipment is taking longer than planned. The delays are attributed to engineering design work, engineering coordination and the weather. Much of this work is being done by third party contractors.
The Heyden and Goulais (Buttermilk) sites are ready. Once the tower reinforcement and the antenna mounting hardware work is completed at Bellevue, the necessary broadband and microwave antennas will be installed. The system can then become operational
The Bellevue tower is critical to providing service as it acts as the hub and spoke with links to the Goulais (Buttermilk), Heyden and Searchmont sites.
As Albert Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Wishing to avoid insanity, I am not going to predict a new projected in-service date.
I am in regular contact with Tbaytel staff and will post any credible date they provide. In fairness, Tbaytel is somewhat at the mercy of the Bellevue tower owner, and their third party engineers, who has the final say on what can be mounted on their tower.
On a positive note, I received confirmation from Tbaytel that the 3G HSPA Rogers overlay project will be implemented in the Algoma District, including the North Sault area, this year. I will post additional information as it becomes available to me. See my blog for how it is working in other areas.

3G HSPA Broadband in South Algoma and West Sault

I have received reports that the Northland Consultant team has been extremely busy installing external Yagi style antennas and connecting them to customer provided Bell or Rogers data hubs. My understanding is they have done installations on St. Joseph Island, on the mainland along the St Joseph North Channel, the area north of Bruce Mines towards Rydal Bank, Echo Lake Road area and the area south of the SSM airport.

Once set-up, speed tests show a 3-5 Mbps download and 2-4 Mbps upload. I guess I had better be like the ISPs and state that these are samples only and your actual statistics may vary due to terrain, weather, local situation and other acts of the technology gods.

If you are near any Bell or Rogers cell site and want broadband (high speed Internet), you may want to give this a try.

For more information about HSPA broadband, see my blog entry.