CRTC Blog #3 – Okay Bell - Let's see what you got!

Today was my second full day listening to the #CRTC hearings in Ottawa. The conversation started with the Canadian Hearing Society. It was a similar conversation to the previous day about how Canadians with disabilities are becoming more and more reliant on technology and it is imperative that they have access to sufficient broadband service.

I’m going to skip the next 3 presentations because they were also talking about disadvantaged groups and broadband. I am in no way saying that their presentation wasn’t important because it was - but the meat and potatoes of today was Bell!

Bell did a great job engaging in conversation (much better than the other big one… read yesterday’s blog here). However there were so many points that they made that are going to keep Canada in the stone ages…

First of all, their biggest argument is that 5up/1down (upload/download) is sufficient for all Canadians… Now I know that there are places across our country where this level of service would be fantastic compared to what they have now… but in the grand scheme of things and in regards to Canada’s digital future… this is not sufficient. Think about how much technology has developed in the past couple of years alone. Video streaming is becoming more and more popular as people begin to #cutcable and I can promise you 5up/1down is not enough.

Twitter was awesome today when this point was brought up. My favourite tweet was: “Ask the Bell representatives what level of service they have… I guarantee it’s more than 5/1.” At Axia our minimum service is 25Mbps and even then we offer our customers 50Mbps and 100Mbps – let the consumer choose how much speed they want… don’t make a standard for them.

Where they messed up a little bit was when the commission started asking about the areas where they offer Gbps service. Why would they offer Gbps service when they say 5Mbps/1Mbps is enough… The commission gotcha! Their argument was the “need vs. want” debate. Where there currently is no service, sure those people are going to be all for the 5/1, and where there is already service why not offer those individuals more speed. The subtext here is rural vs. urban. Sure it is easy to offer urbanites more speed because the infrastructure is already there – where there is only copper infrastructure running to the rural areas – 5/1 is the fastest they can get. Not once did the conversation about infrastructure come up. Axia believes that in order to advance into the future copper needs to be turned off!

This is incredibly important. Copper is not efficient anymore. Our technology has surpassed it. But the big Telco’s don’t want to give it up. Why would they - that would cost money! They are not thinking in terms of the needs of the end user.

My friends! That is where Axia is different. We truly care about you. We want you to have the best service that is available and for it to support everything you want out of the internet! That is FIBRE! This shouldn’t even be up for debate anymore…. #turnoffthecopper – can we make that go viral??

Okay – I’m tired of talking about Bell.

Art Price, Axia’s CEO, flew in today and I just got back to the hotel after having dinner with him.

We had a fantastic conversation about his presentation tomorrow. We’re bringing a different conversation to the table. The points we need to drive home are:

  1. Fibre should be the new basic infrastructure

  2. Copper should be turned off over the next 5 years, it is no longer efficiant to advance us into the future of technology

  3. Companies should only operate fibre networks on an open access basis (this is the opposite of what Bell thinks.) This means that companies can offer its services over the fibre network to end-users. Providing Canadians the ultimate choice.

  4. Companies should only sell broadband and internet services, leaving it up to the global market to compete for end-users based on value-added services

We have some other major points to get across so I encourage you to watch Art speak for yourself. It is going to be a great conversation.

I anticipate Art speaking around 10amEST so 8am to all our friends back home in Alberta. Watch it live here: http://www.cpac.ca/

As always, I would love to hear what you think. Follow the conversation on FB and Twitter.

Get ready CRTC – Axia is ready for you!

Night,

Weston

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