Broadband Declared A Basic Service In Canada

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While I applaud Canada for making broadband a basic service, I have no idea how they are going to do that with just $550 million. Have you seen how remote many parts of Canada are?

Broadband internet access is now considered a basic service in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the country's telecommunications regulator, said Wednesday. The decision mandates higher download speed targets and creation of a C$750 million fund to build and reinforce broadband infrastructure in rural and remote areas over five years. "These goals are ambitious, they will not be easy to achieve and they will cost money. But we have no choice," Commission Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said.
 

HockeyJon

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It doesn't have to be remote for our telecom infrastructure to suck. That's what happens when you have three telecom companies monopolizing the landscape while charging you some of the highest prices in the world for cable, internet, and cellular service.
 
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It doesn't have to be remote for our telecom infrastructure to suck. That's what happens when you have three telecom companies monopolizing the landscape while charging you some of the highest prices in the world for cable, internet, and cellular service.

Capitalism baby! Big fish eat little fish and take breaks to have sexy time with your bottom.

I can't wait to see the toothless, useless way this new status in implemented or enforced. Or perhaps the golden triad will simply dispose of the legislation altogether.
 

Ducman69

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Nothing beats capitalism when there's competition with little barrier to entry for new competitors. It creates survival of the fittest, and the best business practices expand while the least efficient die off.

But you have to question, "is this an industry where a lot of competition is even viable", and particularly in the case of remote areas of Canada, it will be difficult to reach the maple syrup herders in their igloos.

Now one solution would be to still use capitalism where they have to compete for government contracts, but for that to be viable we have to remove the ability of large businesses from directly lobbying the lawmakers that are supposed to be impartial in their decision. It'd be like asking me to buy a car on your behalf, but Ford sends over hookers and cocaine to my house and gives me a free Ford Explorer for life lease if I choose them in order to influence my decision... guess what, you're getting a Ford no matter how good the other brands offers were!
 

Exavior

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I need $100 - $120 million just to upgrade my small rural 5 town area of 14,000 houses to all fiber. So nope, no way that is anywhere near enough. At best they might be able to upgrade a good number of areas to make use of VDSL by putting DSLAMs closer to the customer, but even that isn't cheap. So what you offset by not putting in so many miles of fiber you offset with thousands per small handful of people for a DSLAM.
 
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I live in Canada, and that is a good news.
We have a "family cottage" that happens to be in a rural area. A few years ago with those federal grant they were able to pass cable around the lake to service everyone. We are paying 120$ a month for cable/internet and phone service. We used to pay 150$ for Dish+ phone no internet.

The grant is not to do it at no cost, just to allieviate some of the "first install" cost. Because after that they are getting revenues and they can support themselves.

The fun part is that our ISP/cable service is a COOP thus a non-profit organization the goal is great service at low prices (for real). For the last 2 years they are improving the service at no charge.
 

DKS

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How will we do it? With initiatives like Swift Networks. 1 Gb symmetrical internet for 3.5 million people. Not a build over but a gap filler. Again, government seed money working with private companies to bring broadband to a significant part of Ontario that is currently underserved.

http://swiftnetwork.ca/
 

DKS

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I need $100 - $120 million just to upgrade my small rural 5 town area of 14,000 houses to all fiber. So nope, no way that is anywhere near enough. At best they might be able to upgrade a good number of areas to make use of VDSL by putting DSLAMs closer to the customer, but even that isn't cheap. So what you offset by not putting in so many miles of fiber you offset with thousands per small handful of people for a DSLAM.

Read the business case for the Swift network. Yes. It's there.
 

Exavior

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Read the business case for the Swift network. Yes. It's there.

You are aware you are actually supporting my statement correct? SWIFT was given $180 million. They service 15 cities in on small part of Canada. According to their site they have a very extensive fiber network already and with this expansion to make it 100% fiber coverage it will cost them $233.81 million in greenfield expansion. So 15 cities in the western side of Ontario will cost $233.81 million and you think that $750 million will cover the entire country of Canada coast to coast US border to the north pole in fiber to every home, every hut, every city?
 

ruffbytes

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While I am a pretty libertarian/capitalist fellow, it seems to me that these types of services are some of the few things that the government ends up doing rather well.

Having roads, electricity, water, and sewage helps with economic development. Internet access should be helpful as well.

I doubt they are going to get this done for $550M.

I live in a rural area and I have wireless internet to a tower a couple miles away. The tower has a fiber drop. It has been down about two days a year and works pretty well. Perhaps it will be easier than digging a trench to everyone's house?
 

InorganicMatter

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But you have to question, "is this an industry where a lot of competition is even viable", and particularly in the case of remote areas of Canada, it will be difficult to reach the maple syrup herders in their igloos.

The problem you are describing is the natural monopoly. And yes, this problem exists with many utilities.
 

pxc

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Yeah, I think most people aren't going to click the article to understand that the goal is to give everyone in Canada the *ability to purchase 50/10 broadband* if they want it. There are no price ceilings, so it's not like this is some big giveaway to the masses. It may be expensive in some areas, but in theory it should be available.

Compared to the dumb pork bills in the US where money is arbitrarily allocated and often wasted to bring garbage level internet to very few people, that seems to have a far better goal and lower price tag.
 

bigdogchris

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Declaring it a basic service may also eventually have more to do with controlling price due to limited customer choice than it does providing the service, similar to utility monopoly in the US.
 

pxc

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Declaring it a basic service may also eventually have more to do with controlling price due to limited customer choice than it does providing the service, similar to utility monopoly in the US.
Given that it's a 10-15 year plan and explicitly excludes price caps, isn't that an odd conclusion? Last I saw, phone service isn't exactly price controlled which is why so many businesses go with VOIP and home phone users generally have ridiculous bills for basic service.
 

Unexploded

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Haven't had a chance to read it yet, but at this point, I'd consider it a success if it just does away with data caps.
 

Exavior

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Given that it's a 10-15 year plan and explicitly excludes price caps, isn't that an odd conclusion? Last I saw, phone service isn't exactly price controlled which is why so many businesses go with VOIP and home phone users generally have ridiculous bills for basic service.

that isn't true. Phone service is price controlled for ILECs just not CLECs. That is why it seems your local telephone company is fucking you over compared to prices for VOIP services or Comcast. Your local telephone company is forced to charge certain rates, the rest aren't.
 
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Nothing beats capitalism when there's competition with little barrier to entry for new competitors. It creates survival of the fittest, and the best business practices expand while the least efficient die off.

But you have to question, "is this an industry where a lot of competition is even viable", and particularly in the case of remote areas of Canada, it will be difficult to reach the maple syrup herders in their igloos.

Established companies tend to create barriers to new market entrants. Of course that's why we regulate (or try to regulate) certain aspects of the market, it's all about that finding that difficult point where regulation becomes prohibitive and not going that far.

And you're absolutely right, there are parts of Canada where the only way that broadband will reach them is with subsidies. I don't have a problem with that, since it's no coincidence that the major growth markets in the world invested enormously in broadband infrastructure over the last 20 years.

Also: Only the Legendary Aquatic Bacon-Herds of the Arctic live in igloos. Maple Miners live in hollowed out moose carcasses.
 

B00nie

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They're probably going to do what they did here: Set up LTE for now and upgrade it to 5G later.

I have been 100% wireless for 2 years now. I have two full speed LTE modems hooked to a load balancer and I would never go back to DSL.
I live in non-urban area so I have no real chance to hook to a fibreoptic line. They quoted 2500 bucks to pull the fibre to my house.
 
D

Deleted member 93354

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While I applaud Canada for making broadband a basic service, I have no idea how they are going to do that with just $550 million. Have you seen how remote many parts of Canada are?

Broadband internet access is now considered a basic service in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the country's telecommunications regulator, said Wednesday. The decision mandates higher download speed targets and creation of a C$750 million fund to build and reinforce broadband infrastructure in rural and remote areas over five years. "These goals are ambitious, they will not be easy to achieve and they will cost money. But we have no choice," Commission Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said.

Well line of site towers in remote areas are more of a viability than line to every house. (Similar to cell tower service) That idea doesn't work as well in the city. While it's a big step up over dial up, DSL variants, it's still woefully short of hard lines.
 

bman212121

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While I am a pretty libertarian/capitalist fellow, it seems to me that these types of services are some of the few things that the government ends up doing rather well.

Having roads, electricity, water, and sewage helps with economic development. Internet access should be helpful as well.

I doubt they are going to get this done for $550M.

I live in a rural area and I have wireless internet to a tower a couple miles away. The tower has a fiber drop. It has been down about two days a year and works pretty well. Perhaps it will be easier than digging a trench to everyone's house?

Yes the overall cost is going to be much higher than $550M. It could be many billions to actually make it happen. But let's say I'm an investor and need to secure funds to make this happen. If my cost to wire an area is 500M, but I can get subsidies to pay 10% of the costs (50M out of the 550M), that would certainly help grease the wheels a bit. If it was going to take 10 years to break even, a subsidy would knock a full year off of my time to recoup.

I'm not sure why some people expect to get this and have it be cheap. It's not going to be the case. The economies of scale are not there to make it cheap. But at the same time having it available is a huge step in the right direction. Once the initial ground work is laid out, expansion should prove to be cheaper than it was before, so small towns are able to grow and then the per subscriber cost would go down. If it didn't happen and internet was considered a requirement for modern society (you can decide), that area is only going to shrink and eventually fail because everyone will be forced to leave to go elsewhere.
 

bman212121

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They're probably going to do what they did here: Set up LTE for now and upgrade it to 5G later.

I have been 100% wireless for 2 years now. I have two full speed LTE modems hooked to a load balancer and I would never go back to DSL.
I live in non-urban area so I have no real chance to hook to a fibreoptic line. They quoted 2500 bucks to pull the fibre to my house.

You absolutely have the ability to have fiber pulled to your house. You just choose not to because you feel it costs too much currently. There is a big difference between can not and will not. A lot of people in Canada might not have fiber within 100s of miles so it would cost more than they make in a lifetime to make it available. For you fiber is definitely viable. $40 a month over 5 years and you will have paid for the initial hookup costs. If you're paying $100 a month to get 2 LTE connections, but that fiber is only $70 a month, it's a whopping $10 a month more to get fiber.
 

PanzeR-

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50mbps minimum. As some one who lives in the great north and can only get 10mbps, I'm excited.
 
D

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While I applaud Canada for making broadband a basic service, I have no idea how they are going to do that with just $550 million. Have you seen how remote many parts of Canada are?

Broadband internet access is now considered a basic service in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the country's telecommunications regulator, said Wednesday. The decision mandates higher download speed targets and creation of a C$750 million fund to build and reinforce broadband infrastructure in rural and remote areas over five years. "These goals are ambitious, they will not be easy to achieve and they will cost money. But we have no choice," Commission Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said.

They can get internet via an antenna. This way you only provide the hub with direct connection and the rest relies on an antenna to connect. That is how we connect rural areas here. Speeds aren't bad at all, you can get up to 20mbps. The only downside is that latency is pretty bad, but that only affects games, pretty much.
 

jardows

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So, being able to download movies and watch cute cat videos is now a "basic service?" My, how far we've come.
 
D

Deleted member 93354

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50mbps minimum. As some one who lives in the great north and can only get 10mbps, I'm excited.
I don't get the need for people to have anything greater than 10 mbps unless you are streaming 4K. I can stream two 1080p programs in my house, talk on the phone and apply updates with no pauses on 25mbps. Do I really need more?
 

B00nie

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You absolutely have the ability to have fiber pulled to your house. You just choose not to because you feel it costs too much currently. There is a big difference between can not and will not. A lot of people in Canada might not have fiber within 100s of miles so it would cost more than they make in a lifetime to make it available. For you fiber is definitely viable. $40 a month over 5 years and you will have paid for the initial hookup costs. If you're paying $100 a month to get 2 LTE connections, but that fiber is only $70 a month, it's a whopping $10 a month more to get fiber.

I'm not paying a cent for the LTE. I have unlimited capless LTE for 20 bucks a month per connection and both are paid by my company. So yes, I'm not going to pay 2500 bucks for a fiber.
 

bman212121

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I'm not paying a cent for the LTE. I have unlimited capless LTE for 20 bucks a month per connection and both are paid by my company. So yes, I'm not going to pay 2500 bucks for a fiber.

So get them to roll the 2,500 into a contract for fiber connection and have your company pay for that! ;)
 

velusip

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I suppose business operates on subsidy these days, so why not? :/
 

Makaveli@BETA

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I live in Canada, and that is a good news.
We have a "family cottage" that happens to be in a rural area. A few years ago with those federal grant they were able to pass cable around the lake to service everyone. We are paying 120$ a month for cable/internet and phone service. We used to pay 150$ for Dish+ phone no internet.

The grant is not to do it at no cost, just to allieviate some of the "first install" cost. Because after that they are getting revenues and they can support themselves.

The fun part is that our ISP/cable service is a COOP thus a non-profit organization the goal is great service at low prices (for real). For the last 2 years they are improving the service at no charge.

I never understood the need for TV at the cottage. Internet access sure, but generally you go to the cottage to get away from the city, all the gadgets and to get outdoors.

Or go to the cottage to stay indoors watching tv?

guess its just me though.
 

doz

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I never understood the need for TV at the cottage. Internet access sure, but generally you go to the cottage to get away from the city, all the gadgets and to get outdoors.

Or go to the cottage to stay indoors watching tv?

guess its just me though.
Why do you need internet if you are getting away???
 

Draax

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I hate .... HATE ... the excuse for poor internet, here in the great white north, is that it is due to the size of our country. 75-80% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the border. The big telecoms are flat out colluding to keep prices way too high. I am lucky enough to have Fibe TTH, where I live, so I am ok with the speeds ... the cost on the other hand is stupid. 300$+ for Internet, mobile phone, and TV is just too much.

I never understood the need for TV at the cottage. Internet access sure, but generally you go to the cottage to get away from the city, all the gadgets and to get outdoors.

Or go to the cottage to stay indoors watching tv?

guess its just me though.

I could see a need for TV, if your cottage is WAAAAAAY up north. My grandparents cottage was an hour north of Sudbury, Ontario. The blackflies at times, mosquitos at others, make it near impossible to go outside for any length of time. Local news and weather can also be important ... although I guess the radio could cover this.
 

DKS

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You are aware you are actually supporting my statement correct? SWIFT was given $180 million. They service 15 cities in on small part of Canada. According to their site they have a very extensive fiber network already and with this expansion to make it 100% fiber coverage it will cost them $233.81 million in greenfield expansion. So 15 cities in the western side of Ontario will cost $233.81 million and you think that $750 million will cover the entire country of Canada coast to coast US border to the north pole in fiber to every home, every hut, every city?

No, it is you are making inappropriate assumptions. Swift is one area of the country, where I happen to live. They actually own nothing. The build out is yet to come. The business case for their build out is there. Other parts of the country will have their own business cases. To assume the plans and funding for A will work in B is nonsensical. The point is to fill in the gaps. You may be surprised that there is already extensive internet connection into northern Ontario settlements, for example, because of the telehealth network. Again, capacity gets added and gaps filled. But under a different costing than, for example, the SWIFT initiative.
 

DKS

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Given that it's a 10-15 year plan and explicitly excludes price caps, isn't that an odd conclusion? Last I saw, phone service isn't exactly price controlled which is why so many businesses go with VOIP and home phone users generally have ridiculous bills for basic service.
Wire line phone service price for the large telcos is regulated by the CRTC. Internet, VOIP and mobile phones are not.
 

DKS

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that isn't true. Phone service is price controlled for ILECs just not CLECs. That is why it seems your local telephone company is fucking you over compared to prices for VOIP services or Comcast. Your local telephone company is forced to charge certain rates, the rest aren't.
VOIP isn't regulated in Canada. Neither is internet. Nor cellular service.
 

doz

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Have to watch the Jays, the Raptors and the CFL. And send selfies of the beach.
Wow...

Jays........

Wow...

I thought a vacation was to get away from shit? :D
 

Ragenrok

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It's funny, I don't know why but the isp's in Canada are really stepping it up last year or so (atleast in my area lol). We went from $60/month for 25/7.5 from both shaw and Telus to one day telus knocking on my door offering me fiber into my house. They now supply me 150/150 for $75 a month which is awesome (no contract or rental fee's and not a promo price), I actually feel like im getting some value for my money for once lol
 
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