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Deferral Implementation Schedule

(Reviewed 03 Feb 2013)

Bell Deferral Account Report 15 Jan 2013

This is a follow up to the blog entry CRTC Directs Stricter Deferral Account Reporting of 30 Oct 2012. Under the stricter guidelines, the CRTC directed Bell to submit quarterly reports in lieu of annual reports.

Bell continued to follow previous practices and submitted the required report on the last possible date of 15 Jan 2013. It consisted of two documents; a letter in MS Word format outlining what Bell views as progress and an MS Excel spreadsheet with most of the information of consumer interest redacted.

As forewarned in the original blog, Bell also claimed confidentially citing competitive–sensitive information for the most of the timeline material that would be of value to the average consumer. (There are actually two reports: - one for the internal use of the CRTC and one for public publication. The former has all the information which would have been of value to the consumer.)

The eight page letter report can be divided into two major parts.

The first part is a rehash of the report requirements as directed by the CRTC and identified in the blog referenced above and a justification for the confidentiality claims. There is nothing new in these three pages.
The second part addresses the main purposes of the report, albeit because of the confidentiality requirements, without providing much in the way of real new information. A good deal of the verbage in the second part is just a rework of the information provided in the Bell reports of 04 May 2012 and 31 Jul 2012 which were criticized by the CRTC and lead to the new reporting requirements.

The second part speaks to three sub-divisions:

Summary of the Progress of the Rollout
This section does not introduce any new material but just repeats information from the previous reports. In particular, the project completion date of 31 August 2014 remains unchanged.
Status of the IS/IT System Development
This section adds some detail about what software is being developed to manage the unique features of the Deferral Account program such as billing for the monthly Deferral Account rates and data caps; Deferral Account eligibility management; internal Bell administrative procedures; DSL type application features changes to take into account the Deferral Account program; and internal and external features associated with Client Care support.

            There were two items that I found of notable interest:
1.    Bell is contracting a third party to provide the external antenna initial installation and ongoing support at the customer premises. (The requirement for Bell to provide an external antenna as part of the basic equipment suite was first identified in the 31 Jul 2012 report. The use of a third party installer is not unlike the Bell TV [satellite] service.)
2.    Bell has tested and approved for service and use in the Deferral Account package a dual mode (LTE/HSPA+) data hub for use at the customer premises. No particular model was identified in the report but there is adata hub with LTE/HSPA+  capability listed on the Bell Mobility site. The fact this hardware has 700 MHz capability could affect the eventual Deferral Account design depending on the outcome of the 700 MHz spectrum auction scheduled for 2013. (In theory 700 MHz systems have better obstacle penetration and greater range thus should require fewer tower sites to achieve optimum coverage.)
            Status of Wireline Transport Backbone Construction
There was nothing divulged in this section that would be of use to the consumer as Bell claimed business confidentiality for any item of informational value. Some dates were cited but not referenced to any location. To state that 16 sites will be started in 2013 but not reference this fact to any location is of little value.

Over all, I find this report very disappointing. The claim by Bell of confidentiality is flimsy at best as a competitor with more resources than I have could find out much of the information if they so desired. For example, it would possible to find out about new site locations by checking on building permits or public notices of consultation.
One can hope that new claims by the CRTC that they are in support of the consumer will lead them to disallow the claim of confidentiality and publish the information.  
The whole report is available for downloading at this site.

CRTC Admonishes Bell and Directs Quarterly Reporting for Deferral Account Status

On 26 Oct 2012, the CRTC directed Bell Canada and Bell Aliant i.e. Bell to submit quarterly reports on the status of their Deferral Account project. They stated the reports must be filed within 15 days after the end of each quarter, beginning with the quarter ending December 2012.

The CRTC took this action in response to the amended report submitted by Bell on 31 Jul 2012 which in effect scrubbed the previous announced implementation schedules and combined the implementation period for about 100 localities to a single date of 31 Aug 2014. This report was also the incentive for my letter to the CRTC in August 2012.

The CRTC expressed concern that, based on the information available, there is a risk that the rollout will not be completed by the end of the rollout period in August 2014.

The letter identifies specific information that must be included in the quarterly reports:

a. A summary of the progress of the rollout;

b. The status of IS/IT system development to support the retail wireless broadband system, including the expected completion date;

c. The status of wireline transport backbone construction, including

i. communities completed with completion date, 
ii. communities started with expected completion date, and 
ii. communities not started with expected start and completion dates;

d. The status of wireless access construction by community, including the number of

i. towers required, 
ii. towers existing or completed, 
iii. additional towers with expected start and completion dates, and 
iv. towers where electronic augmentation has been completed;

e. The service ready date, achieved or planned, by community.

The quarterly reports are also to include the following:

a. A description of any significant changes to the previous report and reasons for those changes;

b. Information about any delays in radio frequency testing and electronics implementation;

c. A list of communities where negotiations have begun for placement of cell towers for wireless broadband service and the status of such negotiations;

d. A summary of the results of any testing of customers’ wireless broadband service, including effects on the rollout schedule and lessons learned; and

e. The steps the Bell companies are taking to avoid excessive delays due to any of the above.

How much of this information will be made public or how much Bell will claim is competitive or proprietary information and therefore confidential, remains to be seen.

It is unfortunate that the CRTC choose not to issue a directive to Bell to accelerate the roll-out.

It could be a good test of the new CRTC regime’s stated aim to be friendlier to consumers.

Bell Update Report of 31 Jul 2012

The CRTC has released the Bell Deferral Account report submitted by Bell on 31 Jul 2012 and it is a shocker.

The report completely revamps the schedule and throws out all previous ones, including the barebones version submitted as recently as May 2012 and reported in this blog. The bottom line is Bell states it will not be a position to implement the Deferral Account wireless plan until 31 Aug 2014. It shows 100 Deferral Account locales being activated on that date.

This includes the 5 areas in the Algoma District and means that, barring further changes by Bell, the Deferral Account service implementation is now not scheduled as follows:

Deferral Account Area

Original Date

New Date

Echo Bay

2013

31 Aug 2014

Goulais

2013

31 Aug 2014

SSM -Airport

2012

31 Aug 2014

St. Joseph Island

2013

31 Aug 2014

Wawa

2014

31 Aug 2014

In my simplified interpretation, Bell states the implementation of the HSPA+ wireless solution will be much more complicated than anticipated and it wants to conduct field trials in nine selected locations as shown on this map, all of which happen to be in southern Ontario, before rolling out the technology in all Deferral Account areas.

You can read the full Bell report  and the Bell schedule as released by the CRTC by following the links.


It is obvious the new proposal is a major disappointment to those living in the Deferral Account areas. The question now becomes one of whether or not the CRTC will accept the Bell plan or force them to somehow speed up the roll-out.  At the Telecom Summit in Toronto on 05 Jun 12, Leonard Katz, Acting Chairman, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission made the following statement concerning Bell  and the Deferral Account program;

“Unfortunately, it's a different story with Bell Canada and Bell Aliant. Nearly two years after we issued our directive, Bell has extended broadband service to only three of its 112 communities.

Broadband service is more and more of a necessity for full participation in the digital economy and in our life as Canadians. The funds were collected over a number of years from Bell subscribers. I urge our friends at Bell to give a higher priority to the needs of the people in these rural and remote communities by accelerating their rollout plans.”

One can hope that the CRTC will continue to press Bell to speed up the implementation. In the cases of the Algoma District areas, I suspect Bell could roll-out DSL quicker and with less effort than the challenges they seem to be facing with the HSPA+ wireless roll-out. A lot depends on whether or not the existing pole-lines could handle the additional cable loads.

I will be doing some follow-up work in this whole Deferral Account arena and will pass-on other observations in due course.

.  

Comment 07 Jul 12

This page was reviewed on 07 Jul 12. It is considered current as of that date. No significant changes or updates are  expected until Bell issues the detailed schedule at the end of July 2012 as noted in the 17 May 12 entry below.

Deferral Account News 17 May 12

Bell has submitted an additional report to the CRTC concerning Deferral Account status that elaborates on the rather skimpy information provide in the 30 Mar 12 report discussed in the blog on 03 Apr 12. All items in quotes are from the recent Bell submission to the CRTC.

The new report gives greater detail about the Deferral Account work program which needs to be completed before the service can be offered to the public in the Deferral Account areas. Unfortunately, the item most blog readers are interested in – the roll-out schedule - has been blanked out. Bell’s reasoning is: - “To release the draft roll-out plan contained herein may convey plans to communities that will change significantly once the detailed roll-out plan is finalized and put on the public record at the end of July.” (emphasis added by page author.)

The report also clarifies that Bell “plans on deploying broadband services to the reaming 109 approved communities using the wireless HSPA+ technology. Completion of the roll-out to all communities is planned for 31 August 2014, consistent with [CRTC] decision 2010-637.”

Bell provided a public high level schedule in the report as follows but it does not identify the communities (Deferral Account areas):

  1. By 31 December 2012, seven communities are expected to be in-service;
  2. Between 1 January 2013 and 30 April 2013, eight more communities are expected to be rolled out:
  3. Between 1 May 2013 and 31 December 2013, 28 additional communities are expected to be rolled out; and
  4. Between 1 January 2014 and 31 August 2014, the remaining 66 communities will be in-service by 31 August 2014.

The report identifies three categories of work that needs to be done before Deferral Account service can be activated in a specific area;

  1. System Development. This is the IS/IT systems that need to be in place to support the service “including the pricing, specifically set for the deferral account-funded communities only. Until this work is completed, even if the HSPA+ technology infrastructure was built in a community, the Company could not launch the service. This work is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2012.”
  2. Wireline Transport. “Construction of wireline transport includes augmentation of the transport equipment where required in the core network and building the fibre to the tower sites in the deferral account-funded communities.” This clarifies the initial report that gave rise to the possibility that fibre would be used instead of HSPA+. Unfortunately it looks like we will be stuck with HSPA+
  3. Wireless Access. This covers the design, engineering, real estate acquisition and construction of the actual towers and installation of the electronics for the broadband transmission.

I find the procedure for roll-to interesting. According to the report, “…for a given community, once the wireline transport is ready and 80% of the households have access to broadband from a site or tower in the community, broadband service will be made available to those customers. The remaining customers in the community will be provided access as the additional sites required are constructed.” My interpretation of this is that the Deferral Account rates will be only offered once the criteria are met. When this is combined with the System Development requirement noted above, the new site at Goulais may be initially commissioned as a normal cell site in 3rd quarter 2012 and perhaps converted to Deferral Account service afterwards.

An attachment to the report lists the 109 communities designated for Deferral Account service. In the Algoma District they are: Echo Bay (Sylvan Valley and rural area around the community), Goulais, SSM-Airport (the Pointes area), St Joseph Island and Wawa.

The next milestone appears to be the release of the detailed schedule.

Deferral Account News 03 May 12

This is the follow-up to my blog of 22 Feb 12 on the Deferral Account situation. Since then I have written a letter to Bell Aliant trying to get clarification as to what is going on with the Deferral Account roll out in terms of DSL vs. HSPA.

Bell submitted the required annual report to the CRTC dated 30 Apr 12. It was notable for its lack of detail, in particular the omission of any community names and a detailed schedule. The following is taken from the report published on the CRTC web site.

4. Broadband IP networks have been extended to 22 of the approved communities in 2011 in support of the future provision of broadband services to those areas. These fibre optic networks are being engineered with full diversity to ensure a level of service that will be equal to what is currently available in the rest of the network. The Companies are in the process of completing similar work for another 46 communities during 2012.

 

5. Finally, Bell Canada is in the process of modifying its processes and systems to be able to provide the approved retail wireless broadband services to the approved areas, and plans on completing this work by the end of this year. Bell Canada expects to start offering its wireless broadband services to some of the approved communities by the end of this year or early next year. At this time, the Companies are unable to provide a precise roll-out plan for this program.

 

My interpretation of the above is that Bell is reneging on its policy of wireless only for new broadband (high speed) Internet installations and is installing fibre optic based networks in 68 of the Deferral Account communities but no locations are specified. I suspect they are the communities on the suburban fringe of major market areas and to some degree are accounted for by new urban sprawl since the original Deferral Account plan submissions. At the moment, I have no way to determine if any areas in the Algoma District are affected.

I will continue to monitor the project and publish information as it becomes available.

 

This is copy of the information published on the ADnet in Algoma  blog on 22 Feb 12.

Deferral Account News 22 Feb 12

The legal challenges to the Bell Deferral Account project appear to have come to an end. The procedure under which Rogers appealed the CRTC’s concerning Bell’s use of HSPA+ technology to provided broadband (high speed) Internet service using Deferral Account funds allowed the Governor-in-Council (GiC) a “silence” procedure. This meant that the GIC had a 12 month window from the date of the original CRTC decision under appeal to act. If the GiC did nothing, it effectively denied the Rogers petition. The GiC did nothing. This “pocket veto” in effect killed the appeal.

In a report to the CRTC, Bell indicated they were proceeding with the implementation of the Deferral Account project. Bell has completed 3 localities and plans on deploying the broadband services to the remaining 109 approved communities using the HSPA+ technology over the 2012 to 2014 timeframe.

Bell Canada expects to roll out broadband services to 25 communities in 2012, 41 communities in 2013, and to the remaining 43 in 2014. The company has started the construction work associated with 18 of these areas already.

Not surprisingly, the annual totals vary from the original 2008 submissions. Their last report did not include a list of locality crossed referenced to the year. Bell stated they expect to be able to provide more detail on their rollout plan in this year’s annual report which is due on 31 Mar 12. Bell already completed public consultations for sites in the SSM-Airport Deferral Account area and on the fringe of the Goulais Deferral Account area. There are also a few towers showing up in the North Sault area which I cannot cross reference to a public consultation. I am not aware of any overt activity in the Echo Bay and St. Joseph Island areas.

Bell provided the three localities identified as Deferral Account areas completed to date – Nakina (Greenstone) and Pass Lake in Ontario and Bury in Quebec – with DSL service. The remaining 109 will get the HSPA+ service. CRTC Decision 2010-805 approved a pricing plan that allows for 65 GB of data transfer for less than $50.00. This places the HSPA+ service at a price competitive with the DSL.

The bigger question is the technology. As HSPA+ is rolled out as part of the vendors’ regular broadband (high-speed) Internet package by Bell, Rogers and Tbaytel, network congestion and the resultant speed slow down have become major issues. One can hope that the Bell Deferral Account design which is based on a smaller cell density will overcome these network problems.

Another outstanding question is the procedure for users to gain access to the Deferral Account service at the rates quoted by Bell and approved in principle by the CRTC. It is clear from the Bell submissions, that a user must reside within the designated Deferral Account area to receive the preferred Deferral Account rate. What is less clear, is how the source of the signal received by the user, affects the rates. Radio waves are not restrained by the artificial Distribution Serving Area (DSA) boundaries that define the Deferral Account areas. There are ready users living within the defined Deferral Account DSAs using Bell data hubs but are not receiving the Deferral Account rates. Repeated enquires to Bell on this matter have been met with silence. At the moment I am not aware of any cell sites actually located within a Deferral Account DSA boundary. Based the public consultations held 2011 this situation will change early in 2012.

In a related matter, I cannot find any reference on the CRTC website pertaining to a Bell request for a drawdown of Deferral Account funds to support the broadband (high speed) Internet roll-out. Other vendors such as Telus, MTS and SaskTel have made submissions. When Bell does act, it will have to identify the sites supported by Deferral Account funds; logically user with these DSA areas will eligible for the Deferral Account rates. The proposed cell site locations which generated the SSM–Airport and Carpin Beach Rd public consultations were clearly defined as Deferral Account sites.

 

Deferral Account News 21 Nov 11

I  sent the following message to Mr. Bryan Hayes, MP Sault Ste Marie. This is a follow-up to previous correspondence.

Hello Mr. Hayes and Jody:

I wonder if you have any additional information concerning  the status of
the appeal by Rogers to the Governor-in-Council (GIC) dated January 26, 2011, in which Rogers requests that the GIC vary Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-805, Bell Canada – Applications to review and vary certain determinations in Telecom Decision 2010-637 concerning the use of high-speed packet access wireless technology and the deferral account balance.

As noted on the above link, the notice of the Rogers appeal was published on March 10, 2011 and had a 30 day comment period. The Industry Canada/Spectrum Branch website
published a list of comments received with a “modification” date of “2011-05-27.” I take this to mean that since this is after the 30 day limit it contains all the inputs submitted to assist the GIC in arriving at a decision.

Subsequently, Bell filed a request for judicial review of the Rogers GIC appeal with the Federal Court.

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. 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


This would seem to place the ball back in the government’s hands.

There are areas within the riding, namely
SSM-Airport (Pointes areas), Goulais, Echo Bay and St. Joseph Island that have a vested interest in the outcome of the GIC decision. In particular, implementation of the Deferral Account program will significantly reduce the cost of broadband (high speed) Internet service in the affected areas, in some case from the $130.00 range to less than $50.00 monthly. The Deferral Account program will also close the last noticeable gaps in broadband (high speed) Internet coverage in the riding (with the exception of Red Rock). A graphical representation of broadband (high speed) Internet coverage in the riding is available at
this link where you can zoom in and click on the symbol to get additional information.  

In some cases, users living in the Deferral Account designated areas can get access to broadband (high speed) Internet service using the technology offered by Bell in the CRTC Deferral Account submission, but Bell is not offering the Deferral Account rates as approved by the CRTC in Decision 2010-637.

I realize there was an election and change of minister since original Rogers’ appeal but it seems for an issue like the Deferral Account implementation which was initiated in 2004 and has suffered through CRTC regulatory review, Supreme of Canada legal review, and now additional federal Court review, it is time to get a final decision from the GIC. As long as the spectre of the Deferral Account appeal hangs over the project, it will continue to spin its wheels and the residents of the Sault Ste Marie riding will be  the ones to miss out on the benefits of reasonably priced broadband (high speed) Internet access.

Thanks you for your consideration to this matter.

 Deferral Account News 15 Aug 11

Bell continues to show signs of moving ahead with the Deferral Account. Bell issued a notice of public consultation for a new tower in Nokomis Beach within the SSM-Airport Deferral Account area. Further details are available on the ADnet in Algoma blog site.


There is nothing new to report on the other Deferral Account areas.

SSM–Airport Deferral Account News 08 Jun  11

This the most recent information concerning the status of the Bell Deferral Account (DA) program as it pertains to the Algoma District DA areas of Echo Bay, Goulais River, St. Joseph Island and SSM – Airport.  

The original schedule as shown below has not been formally amended and as far as can be determined still stands.

DA Sched Algoma

As noted in my blog of 20 May 11 Bell has started the site selection process for the SSM–Airport DA area.

However, again as identified in a previous blog, Rogers submitted an appeal to the Governor in Council (i.e. the Federal cabinet
- in this case to Industry Canada) asking for a review, reversal and amendment of the Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-805 that allows Bell to use HSPA technology to implement the DA services.

The Rogers appeal asked the cabinet to
permit Bell to use the Deferral Account funds to implement service in the areas already scheduled for 2011, such as SSM-Airport, albeit at a reduced amount. Rogers further asked that the CRTC allot the remainder of the DA areas and the associated DA funds to the winners of an auction process open to all competing vendors.  

Industry Canada received five written responses to their request for comment on the Rogers appeal. Not surprisingly, Barrett Xplornet, Eastlink, and GlobeAlive Wireless supported the Rogers position in various forms while Bell and Telus were against the appeal. The links to all the submissions
are available on the Industry Canada (IC) website.

In a separate but associated move, Bell filed an application for judicial review of the Rogers appeal with the Federal Court on 28 Mar 11. The application hearing is scheduled to be held in Toronto on 12 Sep 11. The date of a decision from the Federal Court is unknown.

On the positive side both Bell and Telus in their submissions to IC made the point that the implementation process, including budgets, for the entire DA schedule is in their current planning cycles.

SSM–Airport Deferral Account News 20 May 11

It appears that Bell Canada is moving ahead with Deferral Account development work in the SSM – Airport areas. This is in spite of the appeal submitted by Rogers to the federal cabinet.

Bell Canada hosted a public information meeting in Sault Ste. Marie Sault on 19 May 11 to receive input and comment on two new cell sites proposed for the Sault west end. This is part of the formal process required by Industry Canada regulations pertaining the construction of new towers. No objectives were raised about the sites. This is not surprising as I was the only one from the public in attendance.

The sites are to be located at 978-B Second Line West (near Allens Sideroad) and Carpin Beach Road near Second Line West.

The first site is a gap filler site funded by Bell but the Carpin Beach Road site in the middle of one of the Distribution Serving Areas (DSA) designated as a Deferral Account area. The Bell representative further indicated that he would be checking sites in the Nokomis and Pointe Louise areas as part of the Deferral Account roll out

These actions seem to indicate that the program schedule published in Feb 2010 showing a 2011 construction start date and 2012 start date is still valid.

Rogers Appeals to Cabinet  24 Mar 11

The word coming out of Ottawa is that the other shoe has dropped on the Deferral Account issue.

During the Deferral Account review process,  Rogers threatened to appeal to the federal cabinet any decision by the CRTC to approve Bell’s use of Deferral Account funds to provide broadband service using 3G HSPA cellular technology. Nevertheless, the CRTC moved ahead and approved the Bell application. 

Rogers did indeed file a petition and is asking the federal cabinet to direct the CRTC to rescind the decision and establish a competitive process to allow potential Bell competitor to gain access to the Deferral Account funds if they can provide the equivalent or better broadband service more cost effectively than Bell’s proposal. 

The impact this appeal process will have on the Deferral Account schedule is unknown at this time. 


CRTC Approves Bell Deferral Account Proposal 29 Oct 10

On Friday, 29 Oct 10 the CRTC issued Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-805 approving the use by Bell Canada of 3G HSAP+ cellular based technology to provide (high speed) Internet to the 112 designated unserved areas. This ruling confirms the Bell proposal detailed in their 13 Sep 10 submissions.

It now remains to be seen if the other carriers or public interest groups will launch further appeals.

The Deferral Account areas in the Algoma District are SSM-Airport (Pointes areas),Wawa, Goulais, Echo Bay and St. Joseph Island.

This remains the only implementation schedule made public by Bell.

DA_Sched_Spread

Bell Appeals CRTC deferral Account Ruling on 13 Sep 10

Not unexpectedly, on 13 Sep 10 Bell launched an appeal of the CRTC Deferral Account Decision 2010-637 with the key feature of calling on Bell to use DSL technology.

The appeal has two main components: – it challenges the CRTC’s right to dictate which technology Bell can use to provide broadband service in the Deferral Account areas and the amount of money the CRTC identified as accrued interest on the Deferral Account funds held by the telcos. 

In addition the appeal addresses the issues raised by the Commission concerning the need to match existing Bell urban broadband services; Bell calls this the  Urban Service Comparability Requirement.

To meet these requirements Bell amended the original application (created a new application?) with significant increases in monthly data limits (Caps) and an usage insurance option of $5.00 per month for an additional 40 GB. This is the same feature available to current DSL subscribers. This means a consumer could get up to a 7 Mbps download with a 65 GB cap for $46.95 plus taxes and fees.

These changes address my major concerns with the original proposal. If the Bell ends up being allowed to implement this solution, I believe it will satisfy the majority of users in the Algoma District Deferral Account areas.


A COMPARISON OF THE ORIGINAL AND PROPOSED SPEED AND RATE  STRUCTURE

 

Original HSPA Broadband Service Proposal

Proposed HSPA+ Retail Broadband Services

Province

Ontario

Ontario

Service Name

N/A

Home Zone Wireless

Home Zone

Wireless Plus

Monthly Rate

$31.95

$31.95

$41.95

Download Speed

Up to 2 Mbps

Up to 2Mbps

Up to 7 Mbps

Upload Speed

Up to 800 Kbps

Up to 1 Mbps

Up to 3 Mbps

Monthly Usage Allowance

2 GB

2 GB

25 GB

Monthly Charge for Additional Usage

$2.50/GB

$2.50/GB, maximum of $30 per month

Usage Insurance

N/A

$5.00 per month for extra 40 GB

Activation Fee

$35.00

$29.95

Hardware

Turbo Stick provided at no charge

Turbo Hub: $3.95 monthly rental fee

Term

Monthly

Monthly

 

The Bell appeal submission proposes the following timeline: -  “Interested parties would have 30 days from the date of this Application (e.g., no later than 20 October 2010) to comment and the Company [Bell] would have 10 days thereafter (e.g., no later than 1 November 2010) to file its reply.”

Furthermore “ …Company requests that the Commission confirm in its forthcoming process that it will issue its decision in respect of this Application no later than 90 days from the date of Decision 2010-637, or by 29 November 2010 in order to preserve the Company's rights pursuant to petition the Governor in Council for the review, variation and rescission of the DSL Technology Directive pursuant to section 12 of the Act.” 

I believe the CRTC is now on the horns of a dilemma: if they rule against Bell, then Bell will petition the Governor in Council (i.e. the Federal Cabinet); if they rule in favour of Bell, one or more of the other HSPA or vested interest parties will appeal or take legal action.

It will be interesting to watch Bell explain how it can offer this level of service for Deferral Account areas at the  prices proposed compared to the prices it charges its regular HSPA data customers in other areas.

CRTC Decision on Deferral Accounts - 31 Aug 10

In Telecom Decision CRTC 2010-637 released on Tuesday, 31 Aug 10, the Commission approved the use of $306.3M of Bell Deferral Account money to provide DSL based broadband (high speed) Internet service in the selected service areas.

The released confirm the that five areas in the Algoma District were included in the decision - namely SSM -Airport (Pointes areas), Wawa, Goulais, Echo Bay, and St. Joseph Island. The press release showing the Canada-wide listing is available from the CRTC website. 

There was no indication this decision would have on the schedule of the rollout as previously announced and shown below

Bell Implementation Schedule - 26 Feb 10

On 26 Feb 10, Bell Aliant submitted their schedule for the implementation of the HSPA 3G proposal submitted on 15 Jan 10. The full version is available for download in ZIP format at the CRTC website:
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/PartVII/eng/2008/8638/c12_200817505.htm

A big surprise was that Bell Aliant listed all the communities identified in the original 2007 document submitted to the CRTC and approved in principle in the CRTC Telecom Decision 2008-1.

In the case of the Algoma District, 5 areas were listed whereas only 3 areas were identified as Deferral Account areas in the database used for the Broadband Canada program. The impact of the two programs using what appear to be different databases is unknown at this time as Broadband Canada has yet to make any vendor selection announcements.

The other area of concern is the rather extended timeline with the first Algoma District area not receiving service until 2012.

DA_Sched_Spread

Deferral Account Maps as Submitted by Bell Aliant in 2007
Deferral Account areas marked in Purple
No map available for Echo Bay

Goulais DA Map SSM Airport DA
St Joseph DA Wawa DA Map