Friday, 22 August 2014

Bell Now Taking Deferral Account Sign Ups 22 Aug 2014 (Updated Phone Number 28 Aug 2014)

I signed up for the Bell Deferral Account service this morning.

Residents of addresses eligible to participate in the Deferral Account program will be notified via a direct mail campaign delivered to the users mail address. If you live within the boundaries shown on these maps you are potentially eligible. While there is nothing on the bell website as of this writing, if you are interested in getting set-up, call  1-866 -724-9452.

(Added 28 Aug 14 - Another number may be 1-888-466-2453. See comment by Michelle at 2:10 pm below.)

The trade name for the Deferral Account plan is Bell 5 Internet (not to be confused with Bell Fibe Internet 5). I dealt with an agent named Lucy. It took her a few minutes to find the information but in the end she was very helpful:  

Here are the details:   

a.  $37.95 per month for Bell Bundle customers
·         $41.95 per month for Bell 5 internet only
b.    Speed: 5 Mbps download and 800 kbps upload.
c.    Turbo Hub is model 4G LTE Netgear MBR 1516: frequencies handled are   700/850/1900/2100 MHz. There is a one-time charge (OTC) of $79.95 with a 2 year contract or $199.95 without a contract.
d.    Basic usage is 20 GB usage per month
e.    There are 2 overages options :
1. Regular rate is $2.50 per GB for maximum of $80.00; or
2. Insurance: for $5.00 per month get an extra 25 GB for a total of 45 GB for $42.95 (bundle) or $46.95 (no bundle)
f.     The set-up requires an external antenna installed as part of the basic price.


The data hub will be mailed out by Canada Post and an antenna installer will contact the user to arrange the install.

106 comments:

  1. Wow-$42.95 fro 45 GB-that's fantastic!

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    1. I just spent 1.5 hours on the phone trying to figure this out. When you reach this number above they put you through to Bell Mobility. I was stonewalled on the rates and was only offered the Flex $10 plan or the Flex $60 plan. No insurance plan for overages or anything. They have not heard of Bell 5 Internet. If anyone has more information it would greatly be appreciated.

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    2. As far as I know, Bell Mobility is the product line manager for the Deferral Account program. When I phoned, the agent tried to pass me to Sympatico (DSL) or Bell Fibe but I was able to talk her through what I wanted.

      It sounds like they were trying to sell you their normal mobile and portable internet plan.

      I am getting the impression that they did not expect the telephone number to become public yet and they are not prepared for the deluge of calls. All the agents may not be fully trained.

      I have not yet received any marketing material in my mailbox. Once I do, I will scan it and publish it as a blog entry.

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    3. I live on the McCarrel Lake Road east of Echo Bay. I spent 105 minutes on the phone to different departments before I reached the right one. The plan I am now on is 20GB plus 20GB overage not 45GB as stated above..

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  2. Thanks for the heads up - I called today as well. There were some differences in information given e.g. with the insurance I was told I would get an extra 20GB and an overage cost of $4.00 / GB. Everything else pretty much the same as in the post here. Maybe they have to iron out the wrinkles....?

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  3. It does sound good. Do you guys have any recommendations for a utility to track usage? I'm currently on Vianet's somewhat slow 1.5 Mbps service and am tempted to switch to Bell but the Vianet service has no download limit (so no extra charges, ever). I need to figure out if I'd be getting dinged a lot for overages by Bell.

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    1. There are literally dozens of software programmes available to measure data throughput. Just do a Google search. I used “data usage software for windows 7” and got a number of possibilities.

      You should get one that measures the main network ISP interface traffic especially if you are using a router or more than one computing device. Some applications only measure the data on the device they are installed on.

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  4. I heard about the $4.00 for 20 GB from another source. When I asked the Bell agent about this, she did some searching and said this was for another package. Unfortunately, even when I pressed her, she would not elaborate. I know there is a Quebec price plan different from the Ontario price plan (The Quebec plan is a lot cheaper thanks to the Vidéotron completion.) I asked at least three different time for the clarification on the overage packages and she always came back with the two options. I even read back to her my calculation of $42.95 for 45 GB and she agreed it was correct.

    The $2.50 per GB and the $5.00 insurance were park of the rate package approved by the CRTC. A major difference from the CRTC approved plan is the download speed was 7/3 Mbps instead of 5/.8 Mbps. However, the Deferral Account plan is tied to the terrestrial plan in the nearest serving which in this case is the Bell Fibe 5 Internet.

    The Deferral Account plan is covered by the Wireless Code so there is a 15 day, no questions asked return policy if I am unhappy with the service.

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  5. The agent I dealt with was extremely pleasant - she knew immediately what service and plan I was referring to. I'm curious to compare plan rates from actual user bills once a few people are up and running. I have to assume the bills should be consistent across all users so they should adjust if necessary?

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  6. Before switching from Vianet it might be a good sanity check to see what actual user experiences are (if the Bell network holds up under the pent up demand)? This blog seems to be a good place to get some feedback like that if you don't mind watching and waiting for a bit.

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  7. Replies
    1. The map link was there. I made it bolder and changed it to red to make it more obvious. The maps are located part way down the linked page.

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    2. Thank you for the map link. I talked with Preston. Same monthly rate and "insurance" = 46.95/m for 45GB (not bundled), 200 for the device but did not have the 2yr contract pricing. 29.95 setup fee and antenna optional depending on signal level. He did admit it was a new plan and he was still finding out about it!
      Marty

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    3. Are you located in a purple area on one of the maps?

      This is now getting to be interesting with a lot of differences in the rates being quoted by various Bell agents. I know in my case they were very careful to pin down my exact location where I would use the service before they would give me a quote.

      By way of reference, the ratres as proposed to and approved by the CRTC can be found in this blog entry:

      http://adnetinalgoma.blogspot.ca/2014/04/bell-deferral-account-report-released.html

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    4. Yes. Purple on the Goulais map (Horseshoe Bay) but the agent took my address and said I was in their "yellow" zone so I was eligible. $41.95 for 20 + $5 for extra 25GB.
      Marty

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  8. I just signed up this morning on pineshores in goulais. I was quoted same price for the first 20gb and could purchase overage of only 20gb not 25gb extra as others have stated here. Found that odd. But lady on the phone checked with supervisor and came back on the line wirh only 40gb maximum plan. So i went ahead

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  9. I tried to sign up this morning and the agent told me that my location was not on their map (purple zone on above maps Four Season Road). I went back and forth with her for awhile but she said the Bell 5 specifically was not available at my location.

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    1. Hi Chad:

      The Deferral Account (DA) maps I use, with the exception of the Echo Bay map, are clipped from the larger maps submitted to the CRTC around 2007. At that time, the D A proposal was to use DSL Technology. The maps used the Bellcentric distribution serving areas (DSA), the purple areas on the maps. A DSA is the Bell companies' geographical planning unit within a wire centre for commercial broadband expansion to unserved areas. All other DA companies used community names.

      When the CRTC (and the appeal process) approved the Bell requested switch from DSL technology to HSPA+ technology, they did not adjust the maps. In fact, Bell made the argument that the service areas would remain the same.

      While the DA project worked its way along, Bell continues to expand normal cellular network coverage. Any type of cellular coverage along some parts of Four Season Rd. remained problematic even with the addition of new sites at Nils Bay, Goulais (Pine Shores) and Harmony (Goulais Buttermilk) surrounding the area.

      These sites operate in the 1900 MHz frequency band. Although this band can handle very fast data rates, it has a short reach, poor "bending" characteristics, and very poor foliage and building penetration. In other words, even though the area may be targetted for DA, the installed technology cannot deliver it.

      Bell does not have any 850 MHz licenses for the area but does have 700 MHz licenses. On Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014, Bell announced it planned to grow 4G LTE coverage to over 98% of the population by the end of 2015 with LTE rollouts to rural and remote locations across the country. This rollout will include using the 700 MHz band.

      The advantage of the 700 MHz band is that has far greater range and much better foliage and building penetration. The 700 MHz should be able cover a number of areas previously considered dead zones. I hope that one of these areas will be Four Season Rd. The other approach, though much more expensive, would be for Bell to install another tower and site, an approach that would surprise me if Bell divided to due this. There is no firm time line for any of the above.

      I think Bell has locked down any discussion about DA coverage over the telephone. They prefer to have people wait for the mailbox marketing campaign to get into motion. The true test of eligibility will be whether to not you get a notice in the mail box.

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    2. Thanks for the reply Hermes - in terms of coverage I currently use a Bell Turbo Hub (1516) at my location on Four Season Road. Very true that coverage in parts of Four Season Road are problematic. Last summer before the new towers were put up, I had to use a cellular booster to get service. After the towers were added this year, I was able to turn off my booster and I have excellent coverage (4 bars and good transfer speed 11-12MB). Since I have a hub in use, I am not following why this package would not be available at my location. Is this new package not utilizing the same technology and towers? Thanks again for all the info - your blog is very informative!

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    3. Thanks for the positive comment. I am glad you find the material useful.

      As to specifics, as far as I know it is the same data hub, the Netgear 1516. There may be a configuration limitation that will only allow a 5 Mbps download rate when used in a DA role. The agreement with the CRTC was that the DA rates compare favourably with the bordering urban terrestrial rate which in this case is SSM Fibe Internet 5. I can't see Bell allowing both a good rate and unlimited speed.

      You may have to make a decision; do you want a slower speed at a lower price; or a higher price at a higher speed.

      I suspect the confusion about the DA rate with the agents may be due to the fact it is a limited plan and only applies to a very small number of service areas.

      I remember watching the Wireless Code hearings a couple of years ago and one of the carriers comments they had over 1800 active types of cellular plans available at that time. Nevertheless, their computers should be able to narrow down the location and plans.

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  10. Are coverage maps for other deferral account areas available? I'm in the Campbellville area.

    Also, has anyone else had Bell try to charge them $10/month for the insurance rather than $5?

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    1. Campbellville is identified on the Bell list of Deferral Account areas in their reports to the CRTC.

      While my primary area of interest is the Algoma District in Northern Ontario, if you can provide a road or street you are interested in, I might be able to help you

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    2. 12303 4th line nassagaweya milton (which campbellville is part of).

      If you could point me to the original CRTC maps I could search myself, but I haven't been able to find them.

      Thanks,

      Sean

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    3. Hi Sean:

      That address is in the Campbellville DA area. I don't have a map link per se.

      If you can provide an email address to me at
      hermes 1802@gmail.com I can send a clip of the map.

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    4. For Sean at Campbellville: Sorry but it looks like mu blog e-mail address is not working correctly.

      Try using wlefresne@adnetalgoma.ca

      Sorry for the confusion.

      Delete
  11. Called 3 times, 3 different agents and each time been told it's not available in my area and to come back later. I can see the Havilland tower!

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    1. As I understand it, Bell is still working around a Deferral Account release date of 31 Aug 2014. They caught Bell off guard when the telephone number and ordering details became public last week and requests for service started to roll-in.

      It now looks like Bell has shut down the “pre-order” process.

      Since 3 agents told you to come back later, this is indicative to me that they knew what you were talking about but for some reason are under instructions not to take orders at this time.

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  12. Try calling 1-888-466-2453. That is the consumer direct line. I had no issues signing up here in Laird. I got all the same info $79.95 for the hub on the 2 year contract for $41.95 for 20 GB. The optional "insurance" was offered to me at $10 for 20 GB until I questioned them based on the information provided on this website. When I said $5 for 25GB that option was then offered to me.

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    1. Thanks Michelle. This is valuable information. I have updated the original blog entry to reflect the new number.

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    2. Looks like some folks are paying a bit more for a bit less (i.e $10 for 20 GB). I feel a need to call and complain already.

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    3. Michelle's number worked. The agent at first said I wasn't in the area but he had an incorrect list of address numbers for my street. However, he then took great pains to locate me using Google Earth and bingo! I was in! No 2 year contract bit all else same: 37.95 for 20 GB + 5.00 for insurance 25 GB + 29.95 for setup fee (i am not already a Bell Mobility customer) + 199 for the hub. Signed, Happy at Horseshoe! Thanks, ADNet.

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    4. I used the number provided by Michelle as well and it worked. The agent I spoke with was very helpful. I ran into the same issue where my location was not listed on their qualification list. After asking a lot of questions about what areas were qualified she told me they use a google maps view to determine qualification. In the end I was able to get the service ordered, however my offer was slightly different - $41.95 for 20GIG + $10 insurance for 20GIG (not 25GIG) + initial hub purchase. She used my existing bell mobility account to sign me up but the lower bundle rate was not mentioned. I received a shipment tracking email the same day. Anyone receive their hub yet and have it operational? Again great blog - looking forward to everyone's feedback once the service is up.

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    5. Happy at Horseshoe: Thanks for your compliment. A lot of thanks goes to Michelle as well for providing what is becoming the"magic" number.

      This is a good example of people working together to create a group benefit.

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    6. For those that are interested in useless trivia, Bell first applied to the CRTC to use Deferral Account funds to provide broadband (high speed) Internet to rural areas on 02 Dec 2003.

      I started writing about the Deferral Account project shortly thereafter.

      Ten and half years later we are almost there.

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    7. 10+ years. That really puts things in perspective. Thanks for all your efforts. I've been following this blog for a few years and it has saved my sanity a few times (the lack of rural broadband internet has been a pain point for a long time now).

      Delete
  13. I'm in the Horseshoe Bay(186-1) area and was just quoted the standard $41.95 price and the "insurance" portion at $10 for 20gigs ??? The agent said that her info was based on August 27th pricing. So it looks like they have jacked up the price $5 and reduced the overage 5gigs. BTW, Thanks Hermes for all your excellent work and posts, it's much appreciated.

    Also I used 1-888-466-2453,1,1,1 to get to the right dept. a Bell.

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    1. Same here ($10 for 29 GB - Marlette Bay area "just around the corner " from you). IMHO the DA pricing should be consistent across accounts particularly in the same area - as the moderator posted here earlier, $2.50 per GB and a $5.00 insurance fee were the costs that were approved by the CRTC and what some are being charged apparently. I hope that we can use this blog as a point of reference when speaking with Bell to argue the point, if need be...? I'd like to give Bell the opportunity to iron out any wrinkles as they roll this out, and it might not seem like a big deal, but for those of us who have suffered through incredibly high fees for this type of service in the past, I think it's really important to hold their feet to the fire if they try to nickle and dime anyone.

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    2. I talked to an agent at Bell on Friday about the variations in price. She indicated there was some confusion amongst the different agents due to the uniqueness of the services offering. It only applies to approximately 112 service areas spread over Ontario and Quebec and it is specifically tied to designated street/road/avenue/highway addresses. Whether one wants to consider this an excuse or a reason is up to the reader.

      She indicated there will be an agreement enclosed with the data hub when it is delivered and this is the agreement that will form the basis for the billing. Thanks to the CRTC Wireless Code, these details are easy to find and worded clearly.

      I tend to support rt's approach. In my opinion, we should wait until we see the written terms and how closely they reflect the versions presented in the blog comments. At that point, if there are any concerns we can express them to Bell.

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  14. We already had a flex plan with bell and they are saying with have to complete the 2 year agreement, keep the old hub, and sign a new agreement for 2years with the new hub and plan. Not very nice for present customers. plus 80.00 for the new hub Benn

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    1. This is a common practice with telecom companies. They give deals and breaks to new customers but offer little incentive to long-standing customers.

      I always recommend that customers buy their telecom hardware outright - be it phone, data hub, or data stick - to avoid this type of scenarios where you end up locked into a service or stuck with hardware you do not want. I know there is a price to pay but in a circumstance like the Deferral Account price differential, you can recover the costs quickly.

      Most telecom vendors are now offering a break on monthly rates for customers that "bring your own device" (BYOD) to the network.

      In addition, hardware owned outright can often be sold on an Internet site or handed down to relatives or friends.

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  15. The plot thickens. I got the hub via Canada Post with the paperwork enclosed - the costs shown on the agreement were $46.95 ($36.95 + $10 for add'l 20 GB). Total 40 GB plus a one time charge for the hub of $299. I am an existing Bell customer. These $ amounts are not what the agent quoted me on the phone. Has anyone else received any paperwork yet?

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  16. also fwiw - the rate plan is shown as "Bell Wireless Internet 5" (as opposed to "Bell 5 Internet" in the OP). My main concern right now is that the hub cost of $299 shows as "paid" and I anticipate this will show up on my next bill instead of $199 as quoted on the phone.

    lots of confusion here...

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    1. RT - did you get it fired up and working? Curious if the 5 MB is throttled.

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    2. Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to fire it up yet - may not get to do so until the weekend. I'll post here when I get some results. I have a "standard" Bell hub already at that location (flex plan), will be interesting to compare performance across the units.

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  17. Set up the new hub - plugged in SIM card, powered on. Signal strength good (solid blue LED and status shows -67 dB. Hub does not connect to Internet (mobile broadband connection fails). I don't know if the account is actually not activated yet, or the hub is flaky, or what but so far a big disappointment.

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    1. RT - same here. When I received mine in the mail it was not activated. It would not even show a signal level. After speaking with Bell Mobility the hub was activated. I now see a signal reading but it will not connect to the network. I have another hub on flex plan sitting next to it and it connects to problem. Took my SIM from the DA account and tried it in my other hub (that is working) and it does not connect. Anyone get one of these working on a DA account?

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  18. Mine reacts the same way; it will not make a Mobile Broadband Connection.

    I am in the process of drafting a complaint to the CRTC and Bell Regulatory.

    I have copies of correspondence between Bell Regulatory and the CRTC where Bell states unequivocally the Deferral Accounts will be up and running by 31 Aug 2014.

    This is obviously not the case.

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    1. Thanks all for the sanity checks. I was told by a bell tech this morning that the hubs are set up to talk to sites in a customer's designated DA area - e.g. a "SSM" hub won't work in Goulais or another deferral area). My first thought was that they set me up on the wrong DA service area (my agreement shows SSM as my service address even though I told the order agent it would be used in Marlette). But it looks like I'm not alone. Meanwhile the meter is running now (are we being billed for non-working accounts?).

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    2. The plot thickens

      I suspected this was the case but did not have any details. I always figured the Deferral Account data hubs would be “linked” in some manner to the Deferral Account tower site(s) and the user’s address/location where the data hub was approved for use.

      The original Bell submissions to the CRTC indicated that users would be charged the Deferral Account rate for data hub usage within the Deferral Account area. Bell would apply the normal Bell data hub rate any period the data hub was connected outside the Deferral Account area. i.e. Goulais usage at Deferral Account rates and SSM usage at normal Bell data hub rates. It now appears Bell will not allow usage outside the Deferral Account area.

      Base on this report, it appears that the Deferral Account hubs may be locked to access specific sites only by means of the user name and password which needs to be entered during set-up. The new question now is does this mean only one specific site as determined by Bell engineering or does it mean any Deferral Account site serving her Deferral Account area. Will the external antenna installer be told which Deferral Account site to use? Bear in mind, the nearest Deferral Account site may not be the best site for connectivity purposes.

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    3. Interesting - there are fields in the Mobile Broadband Settings for username and password. I wonder if this is a simple router config change, or is there something they set in the SIM card?

      I also hope this is not locked to a specific site based on just physical distance. According to the maps on this blog, the closest site to me is over some hilly terrain. Next closest tower is a clear line of sight over water.

      So far I have an agreement that includes costs that differ from what I was quoted on the phone, + pro rated costs (from an Aug 27 activation date), + costs now accruing for the current billing period, + an activation fee added - all this for a service that isn't even up and running yet. I have not heard from the network support team yet (my call yesterday was escalated to them to advise me on the best resolution). Couple more days and I hit the 15 day limit as I understand it (to send everything back). I have everything boxed up. If anyone has any new info to share here over the next day or so it is much appreciated.

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    4. My hub is now working. The APN setting was wrong. It needs to be bband.bell.ca instead of inet.bell.ca
      That setting is under advanced, mobile broadband settings

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    5. I made the recommended change and my Turbo Hub is now working without an external antenna.

      This is my first message of any nature using the Deferral Account set-up.

      My speeds are slightly over 5 Mbps down and 700 kbps up.

      I now look forward to getting the external antenna installed.

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    6. First ZDNet speed test shows 5.0761 Mbps @ Horseshoe Bay. Awesome!
      The editted APN did it!
      Marty

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    7. As a side note I set mine up in SSM to troubleshoot and once I got it working the max speed I could get was 1 Mbps down. Once I moved it north of SSM, the speed increased to 4-5 Mbps. There may be a setting on non DA towers to limit the speed if used outside of these areas.

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  19. I will try the APN setting as well - great info here - thanks everyone.

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  20. APN setting worked here too - connected to a tower in SSM right now to sanity check and troubleshoot. I see LTE in the connection status and testmy.net (speed test) shows @5 Mbs which kinda makes me wonder if it is throttled (LTE and tower is literally about a block from my house and every test stays near 5MB). I am anxious to see what happens when I get the hub back out to Marlette. Also not sure about the previous comment I made (Bell tech suggested hubs won't work out of the deferral area).

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  21. I live on St.Joseph Island in a DA zone.On Sept 3 after 1 1/2 hours on the phone I was confirmed by email as having a new account and that within 48 hours I would receive a phone call from the contractor to install the antenna.My hub was shipped and is now in my possession.The difference from the information in the blog is that I pay $10 for the extra 25 gigs.Also I have yet to receive a call from the contractor.(does anyone know who is the contractor?)I have a flex plan and a 1210 netgear hub in service now with an external antenna,Wilson,for 700-2700mhz.Can I not plug the new hug into my antenna and computer and begin my DA account,and then close out the old flex plan account which is no longer under a contract?

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    1. I have a wilson antenna that I used with a cell booster and I am planning to connect it to my hub as well. Provided the connectors are the same, I would connect it. There is a setting on the new hub to enable the external antenna(s).

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    2. I can offer you advise and the benefit of my experience but I cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes.

      Electronically, the antenna you describe should match the Deferral Account data hub without a problem provided the male and female plugs on the feed line cable and the data hub match. You also need to be sure the external antenna is aimed at a Deferral Account cell site.

      Follow the instructions on page 7 of “getting started guide Turbo Hub” that came with your unit. Then follow the instructions under the Set Up tab. The required APN is bband.bell.ca. If you run into problems contact Bell Mobility.

      I believe we are all waiting for the antenna installer to contact us. Bell Mobility keeps on saying it will happen soon.

      A number of us have started using the Deferral Account data hub operating on the internal antennas only. Mine appears to be operating at the promised download and upload speeds consistently

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    3. The following is from the Bell website http://goo.gl/AAgmlY

      "Bell does not sell or install external antennas. However, you can find an authorized installer and purchase products by calling Crossover Distribution at 1 866 616-5111. "

      Delete
  22. I had a similar experience to everyone else. Received my hub on Sept. 3 and called to activate my SIM card. Hub didn't work so transferred to Tech Support. Tech support issued a ticket number said to wait 2-5 days. I called back to talk to someone else - she did a little bit more digging - said the issue was part of a master ticket - multiple people were calling in about the same issue - and we all had the same plan. Hmmm. Waited until Friday, after no news, called back. Still no update on the ticket. Said to call back Sunday. Tech agent on Sunday morning told me my hub wouldn't work unless the external antenna was installed. Call Crossover Distribution on Sunday and left a message. No call back - called Bell on Wednesday - still no internet said that Crossover Distribution should call me back soon. Decided to check this site to see if anyone else was having the same issues. Wednesday night changed APN settings (thank you Anonymous!). Connected to the internet but to connection was intermittent. Called Bell - after 30 mins on the phone they said there was an issue with the tower and it would be fixed by the next day. Checked the speed later that evening, 3.5 mbps DL and 1 mbps UL. Happy to have internet working. Wake up the next morning and internet is slow - consistently through to this morning still slow. Check speed periodically throughout this time. As I write this - 0.26 mbps DL and 0.1 mbps UL. I really hope this isn't a sign of what's to come. I had the Rogers hub prior to this that worked great until summer hit and then the speed dropped to the point that it was unusable most of the time. Have a Bell 1210 Turbo hub from a prior contract - fired that up for the month of August to see if Bell could deliver better speeds - was getting 5 mbps consistently so I had hope for the new deferral account set up. Will call back to Bell to find out if it's still an issue with the tower. This might be the 20th time I've had to call Bell in the last month. Just an FYI also, I spoke to billing support yesterday as I was being charged for service as of August 28, the day I signed up - but said it wasn't working until Sept 10. They verified that in their records and credited my account. They are also trying to rectify the $5/25GB vs $10/20GB usage insurance situation - the sales agent that I dealt with to set up the account is supposed to return my call to correct the account as those were the terms that were agreed upon during activation. Hope this gets sorted out soon for everyone's sake!

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    1. Hi Michelle - glad I could help out! When I called tech support, I asked a lot of specific questions about the settings since I had compared them to my flex plan hub. When I mentioned the APN setting, the tech right away said that needed to be changed. Until I mentioned that we were not getting very far. My service has been fairly consistent around 5 Mbps and a little under 1 Mbps up. My signal strength is -86. If you have not checked that, you can see the signal level by connecting to the hub web interface and navigating under the advanced menu to connection status. The bottom LED light on the hub also indicates your signal strength (Blue for excellent) Where are you located and do you know what tower you are using?

      Chad

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    2. There definitely is a communication problem amongst Bell, Crossover and their customers. As far as I know, neither Crossover nor any other organization has contacted anyone who has been providing input to this blog about antenna installations.

      In my case, once I reset the APN, my Turbo Hub connected to the mobile broadband network. I do not have an external antenna connected and the Signal Quality light is a steady green indicating "good" coverage as opposed the steady blue that would indicate "excellent" coverage. The speed has not dropped below 5/1 Mbps except for one test where it dropped to 4.9/1 Mbps. I test regularly using Bell Aliant, Speedtest.net, and Tbaytel. The speeds vary between 5 and 6.2 Mbps. Ironically, Bell Aliant is usually the slowest and Tbaytel the fastest.

      In fairness to Bell with regard to speed, they have consistently said it would be necessary to have an external antenna connected to get the advertised speeds. Getting good speeds without an external antenna is an added bonus. Therefore, it should be even more obvious to Bell that they need to apply pressure to Crossover to get moving on the antennas. The lack of customer contact by Crossover is definitely not helping either company's image.

      There is still great confusion amongst the Bell Customer Service Representatives (CSR) about the Deferral Account plan and its term and conditions. For what is worth, I have submitted a formal complaint to the CRTC about the matter.

      The overage insurance plan continues to be a problem. One supervisor told me Bell replaced the $5 for 25GB plan with a $10 for 20 GB plan around 27 Jul 2014 along with another fixed wireless plan similar to the Deferral Account plan. She claimed this was the source of the confusion. How much credibility you place in Bell statement is up to you.

      Delete
  23. My connection is showing -98dbm and LED is lit green. Called Bell on Friday and tech agent said there was still "an issue with the tower" and created a ticket. I was told I would be contacted within 24 hours with a status update. Haven't heard back from them (not surprised) and my connection is still painfully slow (ie. 0.20 mbps DL). I am on Riley Road in Laird and one tech agent said the tower was on Maple Leaf Rd, but I wasn't aware there was a tower there. Nothing has been sorted out either with regards to the $5 vs $10 insurance as the billing agent I was speaking to said that the sales agent I dealt with would return my call. That was on Thursday. Needless to say I am beyond frustrated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I noted my unit also shows a solid green light, my reading bounces around between -90 dBm to -99 dBm but I get the expected 5/1 Mbps speeds.

      The nearest tower to your Riley Rd location is approximately 3 km away towards the SSE on the east side of Laird Hill. Unfortunately the radio path profile to this location is Near Line-of-Sight (NLOS) as there is a high point the radio waves have to bend around. This may not provide the best signal source.

      The best tower target for your location is indeed the Maple Leaf Rd site (46.462N, -84.082W). While it is farther away at approximately 6.5 km towards the NNW it has a very clear Line-of-Sight (LOS) path profile to the Riley Rd area.

      I fully agree that Bell is not handling this Deferral Account business in a very efficient manner.

      Delete
    2. Michelle, you will need to set a cap on your bandwidth in your router in order for it to jump up. I too was getting between 280 kbps to 320 kbps. Once I set a cap ( 5 mbps), saved and re-booted the router, the bandwidth shot up to 5 mbps as advertised. My upload was 1 mpbs.

      Delete
    3. What settings did you specifically change on the router? I was away for a week, internet is still as slow as ever. They are supposed to come out and install the external antenna this week, I hope that will solve the problem.

      Delete
  24. I ordered my unit on Sep09 and they billed my VISA the same day. When I called up today (Sep15) to check on the shipment status I was told that the Netgear hardware is back ordered with an ETA of 2 weeks.

    Has anyone else been given the same story, or conversely had a unit delivered that was ordered on or after Sep09?

    Thanks,

    Sean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sean: see my comment on this blog entry: http://adnetinalgoma.blogspot.ca/2014/09/summary-of-deferral-account-activity-14.html#comment-form

      Delete
  25. Just called about the internet. Got the rate as descirbed above, with $10.00 for 20 gig insurance. Price for the hubs was the same. The rep I spoke with said the hubs are on back order and took my name and number for a call back as soon as they are available. He also confirmed that Hilton Beach was on the list for areas that could get the service.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I live in Goulais River And have Tbay Tels umbrella service. I pay 49.95 a month for unlimited service. The problem is the service is slow and unreliable. Since March they keep telling me there is a problem with the tower in Heyden. Anyone else have this issue? Is this a better plan for me especially with gaming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assume you are referring to the Tbaytel Regional Internet service which uses Motorola (now Cambium Networks) Canopy technology. Effective 01 Jun 2014 Tbaytel increased the monthly recurring costs from $47.95 plus taxes to $57.85 plus taxes. There is no monthly data limit as of the time of this response. The nominal best rate of the system is 4 Mbps but the realistic best rate is closer to 3.3 Mbps

      The problem with the Tbaytel Regional Internet service is that it can get congested during peak hours which in the North Sault area are usually between 4:00 pm and 11:00 pm on weekdays and various times throughout the weekend. This is especially true for users homed to the Bellevue, Goulais to Heyden tower sites. Users homed to the Batchawana site seems to be better shape due to fewer users. Sometimes the congestion can get so bad, I have actually switched to dial-up because it was faster.

      Systems like Canopy operate on the shared bandwidth principle – a fixed amount of bandwidth is shared amongst the active users. During the workday hours, the system works fairly well as few people are trying to use the network at the same time. Download speeds are usually in the range of 2.5 to 3.2 Mbps range throughout the day. At around 4:00 pm, the speeds start to slow down as more users try to jump onto the system. If the users are running applications that demand high band width – read video, gaming and streaming media here – the network can slow to a crawl or stop altogether.

      There have been numerous complaints about the congestion on all the Tbaytel and Rogers networks in the North Sault area.

      As to which is the best plan, it is an individual decision. I can compare some features to help you make a decision.

      A main consideration for many games is the effect of latency. Latency is the round trip time for data between a user and a server. The Canopy system has typical latency in the 40 – 80 ms range, the DA –BWI5 ranges from 80 to 200 ms and Xplornet runs in excess of 600 ms. Anything in excess 250 ms makes applications that require real time or near real time responses an iffy situation.

      Consistent speed is another parameter worth observing. As the comments notes, the Canopy system can slow to a crawl. At the moment the DA-BWI5 service, seems to have consistent speed in the 5+ Mbps range. I have some confidence that this consistency will be maintained. The Xplornet service at the moment cannot handle most gaming situations. If Xplornet brings their newer 4G technology on line in the Algoma District, this point may need to be revisited.

      A final consideration is the data cap issue. This is an important point if you are a heavy data user which a gamer typically is. At the moment the Canopy system does not have a data cap. The DA-BWI5 has basic cap of 20 GB with another 20 GB available for $10.00 per GB. À la carte DA-BWI5 overage is $4.00 per GB. Xplornet now has a plan that charges $2.50 per GB for overages.

      Delete
  27. I live in Goulais River and have Tbay Tels umbrella service. Very slow and unreliable. Is this a better way to go . I do alot of xbox gaming.

    ReplyDelete
  28. with external antenna I am now -70db

    ReplyDelete
  29. For the love of God... I feel compelled to share my Bell experience here. First off let me play you off the highlights reel. I posted on here on August 27 that I successfully signed up for the service. It is now September 27th. I have spoken with 18 Bell agents. I have been on hold for a total call time of 12 hourrs and 11 minutes. I have been transferred 21 times. I have been stuck in a dead loop between bell mobility and fiber-op 4 times because bell agents didnt give a flying fxxx enough to listen to me or my problems and simply wanted to transfer the call as fast as humanly possible. And I now posess the personal phone number of a regional manager for Bell in Toronto. I also have many months of free service and many apologies. One month in, and a good chunk of my life that I can never get back.... I want to officially make it easier for all residents of Goulais to get this fxxxxxxx service. So I shall provide a step by step guide to getting this program successfully without creating a xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on Bell employees.

    Step One: Hard Liquor and cigarettes. Use as directed. Try to stay calm. Sign up for Bell Wireless Internet 5 and enter into contract.

    Step 2: Try not to commit suicide. Your modified turbo hub should arrive by mail without incident. No bell agent at 310-BELL will have any training whatsoever in the program you just signed up for and several of them may call you a crazy person when you present them with your contract ID. mobile number. account number. Details of your service contract... etc. Several of them may suggest that you are delusional l and imagined the physical hardware arriving at your house because no such program exists at bell. And nobody in their immediate chain of supervision has ever heard of such program.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Step 3: Attempt to book your appointment to have your fixed antenna installed on your house. Remove all firearms from reach. Judicious usage of alcohol highly recommended. Call 310-Bell or bell technical support at 18006670123 and be prepared to be told that no such program exists. Theres no 3rd party contractor to install your antenna for you so you can activate your internet... and you are basically fucked. By now you should have at least received one bill from bell charging you for a months worth of internet that doesnt exist and you cant activate becuase there is absolutely no fucking way to contact the contractor to install your antenna. Well.... thats just crazy. The dudes name is Paul. The company contracted to install your antenna is Citywide Electrical based out of Prince Township. You are basically an insane person and nobody in any department at any level in the bell corporation will be able to help you in any way whatsoever. You want to call Frank Costa of Optik technologies and systems solutiions ltd. at 705 575 9986 or mobile 705 943 6789 and book your appointment yourself to have your antenna installed. You are not in fact insane.... and you really actually just wanted the internet package you signed up and are already paying for. This guy will take care of you and get your antenna mounted on your house.

    Step 4: Now you need to activate your HUB. Forget 310 Bell. You are already crazy. You now own bell equipment to a service that doesn't exist and have your hardware ready to try to connect to a tower on Pineshores Rd that doesn't exist on a 1900 mhz frequency that your HUB cant recieve with APN settings that you cant obtain.
    ..... Deep breath...... more alcohol...... xxxxxxxx a few Bell employees xxxxxxxxx if it makes you feel better.
    go to your internet browser. type in www.routerlogin.net in the address bar. your username is admin. your password is password. Go to your broadband settings menu. Change your APN settings which are probablly reading inet.bell.ca in the form box... erase that and change it to bband.bell.ca. click apply. then after it reboots click connect.

    Step 5: you should now be the proud new customer of a bell service that does not exist, in a program that does not exist.. with an account that has a past due balance for an imaginary service you thought existed a month ago but were wrong.... because .... nobody.... absolutely nobody.. at bell .... gives a flying fxxx if you have internet or not.

    Hopefully this helps you.

    ReplyDelete
  31. For even more fun, try setting up your bell.net e-mail addresses. You will just love tech support when they tell you you cannot use bell.net e-mail with a Turbo Hub.

    ReplyDelete
  32. An experience similar to Ryan's is why I am no longer a Bell DSL customer. I'll spare any readers the long details.

    So far the Deferral Account setup has been a bit of a pain - but nothing in comparison to the past adventures - thanks this time to a CSR that actually knew all about the new service, and who didn't even flinch when I asked to speak to her manager (a supervisor mentioned in this blog) about being billed for a service that wasn't even working. And that supervisor who promptly contacted me and resolved the billing issues - and offered to ship me a new hub with the proper config (not needed now thanks to the info on this blog). And the folks here for apparently knowing more about the new service than the service provider. Kudo's to all of you.

    ReplyDelete
  33. After some headaches and back-and-forth and confusion over the actual install location, and finally a mix-up on the install date (I drove out and waited for them, but they were a no-show) I was pretty upset - I contacted Frank @ Optik directly using the # posted here by Ryan. Explained the circumstances, and an installer came out on the weekend and got me hooked up. Nice guy, a very professional attitude and nice neat install IMHO. So I gotta give them credit for being a stand-up company and making things right. They're likely dealing with a ton of work-orders scattered all over Northern Ontario and maybe getting some crap in their faces from frustrated customers (like me).

    Now I just have to test drive the service for a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What type of antenna did they install? Outside install? I have been running my DA service for a month now. It has been working very well with consistent 5 meg speed.

      Delete
    2. A free external antenna and free installation is included in the BWI5 package,

      During field trials in 2010 or so, Bell determined that they could not ensure consistent speeds to some users without installing an external antenna. Bell made the decision to provide an external antenna to all subscribers at no additional charge,

      I too can operate my system without an external antenna and get consistent speeds. The external antenna does increase the signal strength reading on my Turbo HUb unit by about 10 -15 percent but does not affect the speed test readings.

      Delete
  34. I also had the service up and running without the antenna but as Hermes mentioned the outside antenna is included at no cost. More importantly, I was told by a Bell tech when the service wasn't working originally that it was because I had no external antenna (it was actually the APN setting as someone posted here, the signal was fine). So I wanted to make sure that the lack of an antenna can never be used to explain away any service issues in the future. The unit I believe is a Wilson multi-band, installed outside, in my case at a gable end, pointing towards the tower. I would get the install done regardless of the current signal. Not doing so might cause some grief later on IMHO.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I am having difficulties with Bell Canada and the Deferral Account Program. I live in a rural location within the Echo Bay Deferral Account Area. I have had neighbors subscribe to this program (Internet 5) successfully, but I have been trying for over 6 weeks to subscribe without success. Bell Canada appears to know very little about this program. Today I was advised that I was not eligible as I was told that I live outside of the eligible area. I asked the Bell representative as to why since any mapping that I have seen shows me within the deferral area, I have neighbors that have the service, and my township office is advising residents about the program. Based on everything that I have read and seen, I am eligible. It appears that the Bell mapping is inaccurate, since the person today had my home location actually over 74 kilometers to the west of where it actually is. What I am looking for is an accurate map or street listing for the Echo Bay Deferral Account Area. I am tired of dealing with the poor service and misinformation that has been provided to me via Bell, as well as the usual Bell aggravations. I live on Lakeshore Drive in Tarbutt Twp. From what I have seen in some the CRTC correspondence, it has our road listed as part of the Port Finally area. Is there any way to definitively determine if we are in or out. I believe that we are in based on the maps, neighbors, and from what I have read on-line, but everyone at Bell that I have dealt with to date seems confused or unfamiliar with the program. Help is appreciated. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you send me your contact info so we can discuss this off line e-mail and /or phone.

      wlefresne@adnetalgoma.ca

      Thanks

      Hermes

      Delete
  36. I am having difficulties with Bell Canada and the Deferral Account Program. I live in a rural location within the Echo Bay Deferral Account Area. I have had neighbors subscribe to this program (Internet 5) successfully, but I have been trying for over 6 weeks to subscribe without success. Bell Canada appears to know very little about this program. Today I was advised that I was not eligible as I was told that I live outside of the eligible area. I asked the Bell representative as to why since any mapping that I have seen shows me within the deferral area, I have neighbors that have the service, and my township office is advising residents about the program. Based on everything that I have read and seen, I am eligible. It appears that the Bell mapping is inaccurate, since the person today had my home location actually over 74 kilometers to the west of where it actually is. What I am looking for is an accurate map or street listing for the Echo Bay Deferral Account Area. I am tired of dealing with the poor service and misinformation that has been provided to me via Bell, as well as the usual Bell aggravations. I live on Lakeshore Drive in Tarbutt Twp. From what I have seen in some the CRTC correspondence, it has our road listed as part of the Port Finally area. Is there any way to definitively determine if we are in or out. I believe that we are in based on the maps, neighbors, and from what I have read on-line, but everyone at Bell that I have dealt with to date seems confused or unfamiliar with the program. Help is appreciated. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This appears to be a duplicate comment post. Nevertheless, the following reply still applies.

    Can you send me your contact info so we can discuss this off line e-mail and /or phone.

    wlefresne@adnetalgoma.ca

    Thanks

    Hermes

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hey hermes, I live on hwy 552 east and have tbaytel canopy. Now im sure you and everyone else know just how bad it is, the network load makes it darn near unusable lately. I have a direct line of site with the Bellevue tower, and i think should be eligible for the bell setup. Few questions for you; ping? I enjoy some gaming and am aware the bell wireless is a different broadcast type with a slightly slower latency.. any idea of how much? (or more practically what your actually getting?) Also i read all the above information and comments, how has your experience been? Speeds holding up? Tbaytels price goes up and the speed goes down, getting absolutely ridiculous. I legit had a customer service rep rudely tell me (i called in and politely asked if they were making changes as its getting even slower) that if i wasn't satisfied i could get the even worse satellite service. Really sick of them. Anyways sorry for ranting, if you can get back to me on how your bell experience is going that would be great!
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree the Tbaytel canopy system, especially on the Goulais area, shows all the symptoms of a congested wireless network even to the point of network failure on occasion. There is little doubt the existing design gets overwhelmed especially during peak hours and is in need of a major overhaul and upgrade.

      The Bell BWI5 service is available in the Hwy 552 East area (identified as Ontario 552 on Google maps which is the system used by Bell). However, the Bell system does not use the Bellevue tower. The nearest BWI5 tower is located at Kirby Corner. This site is also the only existing Bell LTE 700MHz site operating in the Goulais area.

      My ping times routinely vary between 60 ms to 90 ms and download speeds are consistently just above 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. I have not heard of any complaints about there being any signs of network congestion or speed reduction. Bell designed this service to handle data (the Internet) and sized it accordingly.

      There is also a hard data cap. Mine is cap of 20GB basic and another 20GB available for an additional $10.00 per month. These prices and caps are always subject to change.

      Delete
    2. Hi Joey:

      Read about the new updated terms and conditions in this post:
      http://adnetinalgoma.blogspot.com/2015/03/new-bwi5-deferral-account-price-and.html

      Delete
  39. Interesting, definitely going to give them a call. Back when it was only dial up available out here it was thanks to you me and my neighbors found out about upcoming tbaytel and its availability etc, just wanted to say we are thankful for all your help and information distribution these past years!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joey:

      Read about the new updated terms and conditions in this post:
      http://adnetinalgoma.blogspot.com/2015/03/new-bwi5-deferral-account-price-and.html

      Delete
  40. Has anyone taken thier wireless router OUTSIDE the DAS footprint?

    Will it work on ANY Bell mobility tower in Ontario?

    Bell allowed me to sign up yesterday even though I'm not the in any of the support locations....they said "try it" if it doesnt work you can return it within 15 days.

    When I called I mentioned the Bell internet Wireless 5 plan - thats it...I'm live just norht of Alliston, Ont - about 20 mins. west of Barrie.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know of two similar cases.

      Bell is serving some users whose residence is located physically outside a designated BWI5 (Deferral Account) area. However, these users are connecting to a tower/cell site located within a Deferral Account designated area and built with a subsidy from the Deferral Account fund. They are being billed at the BWI5 (DA) rates

      Another user conducted an online test in an urban area outside a Deferral Account area to see if the unit worked before taking it out to his seasonal residence within a Deferral Account area. He reported the unit worked well. However he was not on line long enough to generate any billing data.

      I have personally moved my unit to connect to various Deferral Account tower/cell sites both within my home area and Deferral Account areas outside my home area. I have not had a problem.

      In the original Bell submission to the CRTC, they stated that the Deferral Account rates would apply as long as the unit was connected to a designated Deferral Account tower/cell site and the user’s residence was within the Deferral Account area. They further stated that while the unit would work outside designated Deferral Account areas, the user would be billed at the standard Turbo Hub rates. Like many thinks associated with the Deferral Account project, this appears to have changed.

      Since Allison (New Tecumseth) is surrounded by Deferral Account areas, I suspect that Bell is giving you the first option i.e. connecting to a Deferral Account tower/cell site and receiving the BWI5 rates. Be sure to check your bill to confirm the rate structure.

      Another possibility is that they are running it as a promotion – a not very well advertised promotion, I might add. See this blog entry - http://adnetinalgoma.blogspot.com/2015/03/new-bwi5-deferral-account-price-and.html - for more details a link to the promotion.

      I hope this helps. Please keep me informed of the outcome.

      Delete
  41. Hermes - will do and thanks for the information.

    I like many live just outside DSL service - 1 km away - and Bell has no intention of expanding.

    I'm covered either way as I did have Bell Portable internet (WiMAX) still serviced in my area till the end of this month - then then are shutting it all down. They are giving users a deal but's it less Gig per month:

    $49.99 - 20 gigs
    $10.00 - 20 + gigs

    Where as the Bell Wireless Internet 5 deal is 60 gigs for similair money.

    I must add that I also ordered a static IP for an addtional $10.00 (both plans)- for use with my home security cameras.

    We'll see what service works best.

    In my last talks with Bell (inside contacts) - they stated if/when they expand - it will be fibre to the home.

    If anyone is interested - here's a project (awaiting Gov. funding) to have FTTH by 2020 from Widsor to Orillia:

    http://swiftnetwork.ca/

    Cheers
    Rob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bell expansion of terrestrial service is still based on population density and the associated potential take-up rate i.e. how many of the residences passed by the terrestrial route will actually sign up for the service. (One of the problems for rural areas is that historically, studies consistently show the rural take-up rate lags behind the urban take-up rate by about 10% - rural at 60% vs urban at 70%.)

      Ironically, the installation of the BWI5 (Deferral Account) towers and associated backhaul may have in fact increased the cost effectiveness potential of Bell installing terrestrial services since a number of the tower/cell sites have a fibre based backhaul in addition to the alternate microwave. If everything falls into place, the Deferral Account installations may make the installation of DSL cost effective since most of the backhaul infrastructure required is already funded and installed by the Deferral Account project.

      As you may be aware, the three major carriers – Bell, Rogers and Telus – are awaiting the decision by the CRTC as to whether or not they will have to allow open access to their respective Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) medium to other carriers. This decision will likely influence if and how the carrier continue the roll-out of FTTH.




      Delete
  42. Another question - does anyone know if the 4G LTE Huawei B882 Turbo Hub can be placed into Bridge Mode??

    Limited documention on Bell's site....

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, can't help with that query.

      Delete
  43. Well after speaking to Bell support again this morning it seems since I ordered a static IP - the APN is different.

    Staticc IP APN is bband2.bell.ca

    So whoever setup the Huawei B882 router did not notice I had a static IP on my order.

    All working now ......

    ReplyDelete
  44. We had APN trouble with the original roll out as well.

    ReplyDelete
  45. FYI - no bridge mode for the Huiawei hub - it does have a DMZ setting which allowed me to leave my Asus router as the primary router.

    If anyone needs help setting this senecio up .... Let me know.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could use some help..just want to make sure I do it right... if my huiawei hub is 192.168.2.1 and my main router is 192.168.1.1, what settings should i use exactly? I want it wide open like a bridge mode. A screen shot would be appreciated.

      Delete
    2. I seem to remember vaguely something about there being an issue with Huawei hubs in the bridge mode but I can’t remember any details.

      In theory, I believe a router setting of 192.168.3.1 should work but I don’t have access to a Huawei hub to provide screen shots.

      Can anyone help Robert A. out?

      Delete
  46. It appears that Bell is either hiding, or has not completed the rollout of the program despite reporting "mission accomplished".

    I have complained to the CRTC Case ID 701360

    A copy of the complaint can be found at the link below:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwEjDkzP4A3qfmExTlNwMUdUTk54N0U3RzlSZTgzaHJBYmtrRDR3NERHNnFRZDY1Rml6dlU&authuser=0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ryan, I phoned the number above and got a very informative guy on the phone. As stated, this special program uses LTE technology, and also uses a special frequency, and at this time the Black Bay tower does support it, but that the tower would likely not reach to the corner of Priebe and Pitzner. He was however willing to ship me one of the special turbo hubs to try it. He also suggested that in approx. 2 months it should be available on a tower closer to that corner.

      Delete
  47. I wish this was available in Fort Erie. I called, they said:" It's very close to you, but you can't get it" They didn't seem to know when / if Bell would expand to cover me, I called quite a few times about this.

    ReplyDelete