Fion in Winkler???

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  • Updated 11 months ago
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We live in a newer development in Winkler. There is a Fion line running 75' north of our house, what ae the chances that we could get that to our house. The "lighting" internet speed that we pay for seems more like dial up speeds most days. Can't even use our home internet for wifi anymore. Please help.
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John Harder

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Posted 1 year ago

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CoryB, Champion

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It basically comes down to what exists at your house. Chances are the Fion line, even though it is close to your house, is actually a different loop (aka phase of the development). The good news is there is federal funding in place for get from 84% of Canadians to 90% of Canadians with access to 50/10 from at least one provider. The density in Winkler would make is a good target community for those upgrades.
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John Harder

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So, can I pay to get Fion at my house? Our current Internet has become unacceptable. I need another option.
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CoryB, Champion

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You could call in and request they check your eligibility. That said if you aren't Fion enabled today it's not something easy to get changed. Best course of action is to talk to your local government (mayor?) and have them raise the issue with MTS. Your house is likely Fion ready it just needs other pieces put in place.
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Wally

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"Lightning internet speed that we pay for seems more like dial up speeds most days". Add another community to the ever growing list! It's swiftly becoming an epidemic outside Winnipeg!
(Edited)
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Andy, Employee

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John,Thank you for your post.  Can you please send your address and telephone number to community@mts.ca?  Tennile will see that I get it and I can take a quick look for you.

As for Winkler as a whole.  Unfortunately there are no immediate plans for a mass Fion migration in Winkler.  MTS is aware of slow internet speeds in Winkler, and have already committed significant investments into trying to correct the problem.  Alleviating transport congestion was the first step and the results of the upgrade are not yielding expected results.  In nearly all other communities this would generally address the problem.  However, Winkler is unique in that the community has many subscribers with very long cable lengths.  There is also a very high density of subscribers meaning that most of our equipment is either full or very near to full.  In general, neither of these issues alone cause a problem, but when you combine the two, we are seeing extremely high noise floor issues on the lines.  

To explain this simply, think about a large room with people spread throughout, but in this situation everyone wants to talk to a VIP in the middle of the room.  Unfortunately, these people cannot move, their feet are glued to the ground.  When the room is sparsely populated, people can just talk loudly and the conversation despite requiring some effort, still works.  However, when you start filling up the room, talking loudly doesn’t work anymore.  In fact, even people standing close to the VIP start to have trouble hearing the conversation properly.  Eventually, even by shouting, the conversation is extremely strained, and unfortunately this is what we’re experiencing in Winkler.

We are trying to come up with an alternative solution for Winkler.  One such alternative is to move subscribers to a completely different technology like VDSL.  This is being used in communities like Winnipeg and Brandon.  Unfortunately the reach of this technology is limited.  Less than half of the subscribers in Winkler would qualify.  However, it would be an effective fix for this problem.  By moving a significant portion of subscribers from one technology type to another we effectively lower the amount of noise on the lines (because VDSL operates on a completely different frequency band).  This isn’t ideal as we would have to change the in home equipment and perform some in home re-wiring as well which is a huge inconvenience to our subscribers.  It would also create a service availability disparity amongst our subscribers where a subset would qualify for plans like Lightning-25 or Lightning-50 while others would only qualify for Lightning.  Of course Fion is another alternative, but this has nearly the same number of cons as upgrading to VDSL while also requiring an exhorbitant capital investment.  

I will come back to this post when we finalize on a plan.
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Preta

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Hi Andy.  I have been researching internet in the Winkler/Morden area particularly from an investment stand point.  I met with some people who had invested in the fiber startup, they had presented me with a link to your post that is quite concerning when it comes to updating internet in Winkler, and most communities.  The company is basically using this post as an indicator that there is not hope for Winkler in the future when it comes to MTS upgrades.  Before I make a move on investment I would like to know if this is still the current strategy that MTS is using for the Winkler/Morden area.
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CoryB, Champion

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Some things to keep in mind

- The Connecting Canadians grant setup to help improve rural broadband speeds received 8 times the number of submissions as funds available. It is unclear if additional funding will be added. It also seems submissions with strong support from the local government (ie town of Winkler) are more likely to receive grant funding than pure independents.

- There was a ruling on Teksavvy v Bell in Ontario that, in my understanding, essentially said Bell needed to allow other ISPs reasonable wholesale access to their fiber to the home network. This would allow a competitor such as Teksavvy to sell broadband services to end customers using Bell's lines. The same ruling will likely be used as precedence for others providers and other companies wanting wholesale access.

- The go to market strategy for Bell MTS, or any company, can shift quickly. While their public position four months ago may have been that upgrades were not planned for Winkler that could change at anytime.

There are some of the reasons that community owned broadband networks make sense. They aren't out there to make a return for their investors but to provide a service to residents and recover the costs. Running on a not for profit model also helps protect against another competitor coming in and trying to undercut their market price. Also with an ownership stake in the community network it helps build a sense of customer loyalty that is hard for others to beat.

If I had to make a personal investment in the telecom market I would not be betting against Bell MTS is a significant way.



Edit: For clarity I do not invest in any company in the telecom sector and I do not work for any either.

(Edited)
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Preta

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A lot of details have been made clear about this startup.  It is definitely for profit.  It is not community run or managed.  There are two primary shareholders who own 100% of the company.  They are just selling pref shares to finance their hugely risky deployment while guaranteeing 5% annual return with 3 year payout option, the guys running it are definitely in it to make money, you can tell as soon as you ask a bit of a harder question. They are scared of the risk themselves, as they haven't invested themselves what they expect the minimum investment to be from others.  

But if they are right and they make it work.  I want in, in a bit of a catch 22 myself.  Would love to make a few extra % on my money, but can't decide.  Probably a sign I should let it be.

And my napkin map shows they would need minimum 50% subscription rate within 2 years to make the financing work.  Which won't happen if MTS does upgrade the town.
(Edited)
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CoryB, Champion

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My concern would be the full payback in three years. I am not an expert on this but from there high level plan year three is likely still in the build out stage of their network suggesting they are still burning capital. Where would the funds for this payout come from, a second level of the pyarmid, err funding round?

Also anytime someone pitching an investment opportunity as very little of their own equity invested it is worth considering why.

If each residence costs $1,000 to hookup and the revenue is $5/ month after costs the payback period is just under 17 years. If you double the revenue you have a payback period of approximately 9 years. That is based on 100% market uptake which won't happen and also doesn't account for costs like building the operational centre or the uplink out the community. The uplink is estimated around $5 million.

The math makes wiring up these smaller communities very financially difficult which is why the established players aren't rushing to do it. It is not that the established players are blind to the demand or okay with leaving money on the table. A possible payback in 20 years? Will the tech even still be reveleant? The hated DSL tech in rural areas is about 10 years old now.

All this makes the CRTC target of 50/10 to every Canadian by 2031 very interesting. It could be big players essentially abandon any services in rural areas rather than undertake fiscally unviable upgrades to broadband services. Imagine Bell MTS spinning off all their rural services to "Rural MB Telecom" and then that company becoming insolvent. Who is the federal government going to chase to force them to provide service in those remote and rural areas?
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Preta

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Thanks for your input Cory.  That's great information.  I have decided to let this one go.  I have found great information on how the ISP business works looking into this possible venture, but it's not for me.

The idea of a mass insolvency is kinda scary!

I have come to discover how some rural communities are handling their internet requirements.  The community of Hamiota appears to be onto a good approach for rural communities who have a demand for better internet service.  Municipally run for it's citizens, with reliable financing goals, and easy upgrade path to 10gbps service for it's last mile in their request thanks to a WDM-PON network deployment, with unbiased consulting backing it.

Everyone getting full gigabit no hassles or high fees associated. I'm sure with common usage per user it allows for speeds higher than most commercial internet services allow an end user to use.

http://www.hamiota.com/RFP%20Hamiota%20FIBER%20v1.1.pdf
http://www.hamiota.com/Fibre%20presentation%20November%2029th.pdf

I'll stick to a more relaxed portfolio.
(Edited)