CRTC rules that internet is an essential service - Page 4 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #46 of 55 (permalink) Old 2016-12-25, 05:25 PM
 
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More likely the CRTC is trying to future proof any systems that are installed. I personally think that 50 down and 10 up is a good attainable level without any magic technology. Specifying slower just because it is a bit cheaper just seems wrong....people should, however, have the option of not buying the fastest speed available as they do now.

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post #47 of 55 (permalink) Old 2018-01-02, 04:04 PM
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Here's a bit more about this:

Bringing broadband internet to 1,500 households in remote Newfoundland and Labrador is going to cost about $26,000 a piece

Incidentally, my cousin recently mentioned his in-laws can only get about 1 Mb on ADSL. They're in St. Eleanors, near Summerside PEI.

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post #48 of 55 (permalink) Old 2018-01-03, 11:43 AM
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It looks like the installation is being done by Bell. I wonder if the contract was open for bids or was awarded without competition. Judging by the price, I'd guess there is excessive profit taking. Just who will "own" the system once it is built, the community, the government or Bell? If it is Bell, they will likely step in and charge inflated prices to customers. I've got to ask myself if there is a better way to do this than handing $27 million to Bell.

I've read a number of articles where incumbent providers fail to provide service to isolated communities. They then magically came up with the funds after community groups or startup companies find an alternative solution. Were all options explored in this case?
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post #49 of 55 (permalink) Old 2018-01-03, 12:14 PM
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^^^^
Speaking as one who has worked in the telecom industry for many years, including a couple of years in Northern Ontario, it may be that Bell is the only one in position to provide the network. When I was working in Northern Ontario, I was working for what was then known as CN Telecommunications. In some towns, we carried Bell. In others, they carried us. It costs a lot to provide service in low population density areas, but with little return. Back when Bell was the only phone company, they were a regulated monopoly. Part of the deal was they had to provide service in uneconomic areas, with revenues from urban areas subsiding that service.
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post #50 of 55 (permalink) Old 2018-01-03, 12:43 PM
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That was then. Many things have changed. For example, Bell now appears to provide modern services only in areas that provide the highest profits. Low profit areas are often excluded. That includes many urban areas in Ontario, not just remote areas. Bell has reneged on its promise to serve everyone but retains the competitive advantage it gained by once being a regulated monopoly. Why should the government step in and provide what amounts to a subsidy for Bell's refusal to upgrade its own networks? I wouldn't be surprised if Rogers and other companies could provide the same service but are at a disadvantage due to right of way considerations, Canadian ownership requirements and residual benefits that Bell gained from being a regulated monopoly.
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post #51 of 55 (permalink) Old 2018-01-03, 12:53 PM
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Somehow I doubt the "other guys" would want the burden of installing and maintaining those expensive services to remote locations forever. I don't see it being profitable for anyone.

Bell would rather not do it either but the CRTC seems to maintain some sort of special authority over Bell and different from all the others (probably because they're the only Telco that operates nationally).

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post #52 of 55 (permalink) Old 2018-01-03, 02:22 PM
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That was then. Many things have changed. For example, Bell now appears to provide modern services only in areas that provide the highest profits. Low profit areas are often excluded.
Providing service is expensive. If the number of customers is small, the investment will never be paid back. That sort of area is not "low profit", it's negative profit, in that it costs more to provide the service than the revenue it provides. The only method that doesn't suffer from this is via satellite. As I mentioned, back in the days of the telephone regulated monopoly, providing service to unprofitable areas was part of the deal.

Telecommunications is a very capital intensive business.

BTW, Bell is not the only telco that operates nationally. It's mainly in eastern Canada. For many years, CN Telecommunications > CNCP Telecommunications > Unitel was the only company providing service coast to coast. These days some cell carriers operate across the entire country, but there is no "land line" provider, other than the heir to Unitel, Zayo, that does.
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post #53 of 55 (permalink) Old 2018-01-04, 12:50 PM
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I'm not aware of any major operations, apart from satellite TV, that Bell has in BC or AB. That's done by Telus.

Otherwise, my low profit comment may have been a bit off topic but it refers to Bell failing or being extremely slow to upgrade its infrastructure in major portions of Canada's largest cities and rural towns. Meanwhile, they are rebuilding parts of Toronto a second time, from FTTN to FTTH. In overall numbers, Canada has dropped from 4th place in the world for internet connectivity in 2003 to 9th place in 2012, the latest figure I could find.

The Canadian government has announced it intends to connect 300,000 households in isolated areas by 2019. At 26,000 each, that's close to $7.8 billion in infrastructure improvement costs that will be offloaded to taxpayers. BCE makes over $20 billion a year in profit. That's over $80 billion in profit over the life of the current government program. That's not counting Telus, Rogers, Shaw and other companies that provide the similar internet services. It's not that Bell cannot afford to provide the services, it's just choosing not to because it knows the government will make Canadian taxpayers pick up the tab. And just where does it stop? Will Bell and other companies just stop investing in infrastructure, knowing that the government will provide $billions in subsidies over the next few years and even more in future years as Canada falls farther behind the rest of the world?
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post #54 of 55 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:19 PM
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Here's an article about the left coast:

High-speed internet coming to over 100 coastal B.C. communities

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post #55 of 55 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:01 PM
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It's probably needed. However, I would like to see the money go to community and regional operators rather than the large incumbent national telcos and cable companies. In US studies, research has shown that communities and regional organization usually provide faster and cheaper internet service than large incumbent providers. The funding and existence of independent community internet service has also been shown to prompt incumbent providers into providing better, cheaper internet to serviced areas and to extend service to areas they previously claimed they couldn't. What we need is the Canadian equivalent of Google Fibre to provide competition to the substandard, overpriced services that telcos and cable companies currently provide (or don't provide to many communities across Canada, not just on the east and west coasts.)
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