Does BellMts have a upgrade strategy for small "DSL Communities"?

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  • Updated 7 months ago
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I live in a rural area, and suffering from many of the same plights with slow DSL as other rural communities.  By today's standard it's slow, I am achieving the rated speeds.  Where I live the phone lines seem very clean.  My DSL modem shows only a few CRC errors after a month on uptime, and I've helped a few others with their internet problems, and to my surprise every modem I log into has great modulation and very few CRC errors.  Usually it ends up being WiFi or local congestion causing their problems.

Is Bell MTS entertaining newer copper options for our communities, especially ones where our phone lines are "clean".
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Preta

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Posted 9 months ago

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CoryB, Champion

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The current plans for the federal government are to target larger pockets of the population that currently do not have access to 50/10 service through the end of 2021. Then the next ten years will be on bringing other residents up to that same standard. It means you might be waiting until late 2031, if no extensions are granted, to see improvements.

In the case of rural communities, copper is really not an option. A long time ago when voice was the only service decisions were made that make delivering high speed internet service difficult on even the cleanest of lines. Basically the further a line is run the lower the internet speed, regardless of if it is urban or rural. In rural areas the lines run a lot longer distance than urban lines, even if towns and other communities.

Something you might want to considering is organizing local residents through a petition or similar to your local RM, town, etc. asking them to get on board and lobby for better Internet service in the community. If the local government is on board and willing to talk to parties, and perhaps put in some money, you are much more likely to get action than as a single resident working alone.

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mcmanone, Champion

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On an interesting note some communities in Southwestern Manitoba have formed their own fiber-to-the-home cooperative
http://www.chrisd.ca/2017/02/22/rural...
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Wally

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Wow! Speeds of 1 Gbps in rural land! At less cost than what the school division is now currently paying! How can anyone not go for that? You are starting to see more ISP's providing fiber services to rural areas. i.e.- High Speed Crow offers fiber to many rural gravel roads well outside the East Selkirk town area.


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Andy, Employee

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Hi Preta, thank you for your post and BellMTS genuinely appreciates your business and your willingness to help others on our service.  BellMTS has investigated multiple forms of copper based enhancements.  The main problem with copper technology is that in order to provide the speeds that the markets are now demanding (50+ Mbps) it requires the loop lengths to be quite short.  Anything over 1000 meters is generally not ideal.  Techniques like VDSL (Using more bandwidth on the copper pair), Pair Bonding (latching multiple pairs together), Vectoring (noise cancellation on the line), and G.Fast (advanced modulation), only work well when the loop lengths are short.  Copper distribution in rural areas often significantly exceed the ideal 1000 meter loop length and as a result nearly all DSL based enhancements either cannot be applied or would offer an insignificant improvement to service.  A simple analogy to this is AM radio vs FM radio.  AM radio has much less audio fidelity as compared to FM, but has much further range (I have followed Bomber games on CJOB while driving well into the US).  FM radio on the other hand not only has much higher fidelity and can also incorporate enhanced features like RDS (displaying the song title and station name), but the range is much less.  The same can be said with ADSL.  It doesn't have quite the throughput of the other technologies, but we have it running extreme distances (we've done 5000+ meters).  

There are techniques to overcome long loop lengths.  In high density locations like Winnipeg and Brandon, we build weather proof cabinets and move the DSL access multiplexer closer to the customer.  This requires a significant investment as we have to power/heat/cool the cabinet, and rural locations simply do not possess the density to justify this type of build.  

Essentially, fiber to the home is really the only ideal option for rural deployments that would meet current and future market demands.  Generally, evolutionary moves such as this are driven by competitive pressure or the existing copper plant requiring replacement.  Communities like Selkirk, Dauphin and Thompson are examples where a complete fiber overlay was completed.  In the case of Selkirk, it was driven by the condition of the copper plant.  We are constantly on the lookout for enhancements that could improve customer experience, but in the case of rural locations, it isn’t a lack of will, but simply a lack of available options that are economically viable.  
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Jake Krahn

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So then how are none of these techniques not being used in Winkler? I would hardly consider the 3rd largest metro population (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_communities_in_Manitoba_by_population) rural.
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Wally

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If a CITY the size of Winkler doesn't have a hope of upgrades by bell/mts, then that doesn't say much for any towns and other rural areas in this province! There does not appear to be ANY upgrade strategy.
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Mike

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I can't see any town under 8-10k in population get any kind of upgrade from bellmts and they will be dropped to other companys to invest in like coryb stated below. IE. Netset, HSC, commstream etc.  Unless some kind of a massive grant is given by the government to upgrade them. We all know how old the DSL network is and its been in dire need of a upgrade for many years now.  But they invested money else where cough cough All stream. 
(Edited)
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Mike

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Probably 2025-2030 you will see some improvement for rural internet From BellMTS.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

can't go big with no return.

In a perfect world everyone would have fiber in manitoba but the company doing it would go under in the first quarter.

Can't spend multi millions on a new fiber network for 1000 people in the community.
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Preta

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There are a lot of scenarios on how this could play out.  But the one I'm hopeful for is that the $1 billion commitment from Bell to upgrade broadband in Manitoba will put them in a good position to qualify for the governments CTI program and subsidizing the back hauls required to implement last miles strategies in the small communities.

It's likely wishful thinking, but I am an optimist.
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CoryB, Champion

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Bell's very public $1 billion commitment would actually be a reduction from what MTS had historically spent over the same time period so factor that into your expectations.

$1 billion is about enough funding to do last mile FTTH for about 200,000 customers. Keep in mind Winnipeg alone has approximately 800,000 customers mostly without fiber.
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Preta

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Valley Fiber is claiming a cost of $15 million to do 5000 customers, this is including the CO and back haul infrastructure.  Not sure why MTS costs would be so much higher.  It's also my understanding PON networks are cheaper to install and operate in the long run versus the active network Valley Fiber is deploying.  Mind you there's still the likely scenario that Valley Fibers plan is mostly unicorns.

I'm guessing the big companies are just holding out to get as much subsidy as they can.  If there is a fiber pop available at the doorstep to smaller communities thanks to the CTI program it would be much more appealing to bring improved last mile infrastructure.

Winnipeg has a population of 800k.  It has under 300k dwellings and no idea how many businesses. So the estimate of 800k wired customers is likely incorrect.
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CoryB, Champion

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Pretty sure I got the $5,000 per door number from the IESD Connecting Communities grant process. Would be great if Valley Fiber pulls off their plans but they seem to be cutting the funding short. Wouldn't be a surprise for a new comer to the field. Also somewhat Interesting they either didn't request or didn't receive federal grant money in the first round.
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Preta

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They did say they applied for funding during early discussions.  Where can I find information regarding who was rewarded grants?
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Bryan Kroeker

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I'm in Winnipeg and still only have 6mbit down and .768k up...
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Wally

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Winnipeg still isn't covered? That really doesn't say much for small community upgrades never mind rural areas. We don't have a hope with bell/mts!
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Bryan Kroeker

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Shaw hasn’t been run to our development but I know that the whole area has coax run to each home as it was a requirement, house was built in 2000/2001. Oh, and I’m alao experiencing massive packet loss as of late past my modem... fun times...