Saturday 19 May 2018

New Xplornet LTE Service

The material in this post is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered in any way an endorsement or recommendation of Xplornet or its services.

Since the middle of 2017, Xplornet has built around 70+ towers in Northern Ontario in the area stretching from Manitoulin Island to Timmins and Including St. Joseph Island and the Goulais River area,

As of 19 May 2018, the Xplornet website indicates the LTE fixed wireless service is available in the Goulais postal code area (P0S 1E0) There is no similar listing for St. Joseph Island.  

The services offered are:

Down/Up Speed
Entry 50
5/1 Mbps
50 GB
LTE 10/200
200 GB
LTE 25/400
400 GB
LTE 25/500
500 GB

Note: There are the usual additional statements about “up to speeds”, throttling, additional GB overage charges, etc.

This is a terrestrial service and should not be confused with the Xplornet satellite service. According to Xplornet documents, they use fibre optics or m/w wireless to provide backhaul connectivity to the Internet backbone. There is no indication what is being used in Goulasi River.

I am not aware of anyone that has signed up for this service but I would to hear from anyone who has.

Saturday 12 May 2018

OEB Increases Pole Attachment Charges For Telecom

Did you know that the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) can have a direct impact on what you pay for your Internet and cellular service in the province of Ontario?

The OEB is the agency responsible for the setting the rates that power (hydro) companies can charge telecommunications companies to attach wires and cables, including traditional copper cables and fibre optic cable. to the poles owned by the power companies. Note that most cellular sites have a backhaul terrestrial connection that relies on power pole lines to carry the link.

In March 2018 the OEB approved a new provincial wide charge of $43.63 per pole/per attacher [SIC]/per year.  The old rate of $22.35 was set in 2005.  The power utilities had asked for an increase to $52.00

The OEB determined that the new charges should be phased in over a four-month period.  From September 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018, the pole attachment charge will be $28.09 with the full $43.63 charge to take effect on January 1, 2019

The new rates apply to those power utility companies that do not have company-specific charges already approved by the B. These. previously named companies and the approved rates are for Hydro One ($41.28), Toronto Hydro ($42), Hydro Ottawa ($53.00) and InnPower ($38.82), The OEB claim the new rates only apply to about 10% of the companies in Ontario.

The CRTC is the regulatory agency that controls the cost of third-party attachments to Bell Canada poles and their current rate is $12.48.  (Why do I think there are a bunch of rate clerks beavering away in the Bell backrooms preparing an application to the CRTC for a rate increase.)

Pole line maintenance is one of the items used by the power companies to justify the high delivery charges in power bills, Does anyone really think this new revenue will lower these delivery charges?