Interventions Phase 2: Intervenor 556

Document Name: 2015-134.226934.2520157.Interventions Phase 2(1$0kd01!).html

As a “rural” Canadian, I applaud the efforts of the CRTC to identify the issues regarding high-speed Internet access for all businesses and residents. Perhaps an item that could be given more scrutiny is the definition of “high-speed Internet” sold by telecommunication providers. In the mid-1990s, Internet access from home and small businesses was almost exclusively dial-up. The limitation on speed was the customers’ modem and not reflective of the ISP’s capability. Cable broadband and then phone line DSL came along, were dubbed “high-speed”, and there has been no real change to that common definition since. Some wireless solutions (line of sight and satellite) have provided speeds greater than dial-up and therefore call themselves high-speed (or semi-high, mid level, etc). Phone data speeds and throughput have increased as well and that industry describes the Internet speed by the technology used (LTE, for example) and that doesn’t map to land or other wireless Internet speeds. This easily quantifiable product (being Internet access for residential and small business use) is actually advertised, sold and billed based on adjectives and not numbers. Here in Poplar **** / Coldstream Ontario, DSL was introduced some years ago and well followed Bell’s definition of “up to 5Mbps” for a download speed. After years of oversaturation, we don’t know the download speed because the web sites for download speeds timeout before the little program loads. As a fallback, I do know that the latency of a “ping” to my default gateway can be as long as 1700ms. An industry standard could be considered 5-20ms. We are still billed for a product that is “up to 5Mbps” and indeed, at 3am, those speeds are realistic. I believe it is time for a common description of Internet services made available to residential and small business customers in Canada that reflect real-world Internet usage. These descriptions would be adopted by all service providers and would allow consumers to make an apples-to-apples comparison of products and promises. Consumers would also have realistic expectations of what the service would be able to sustain before entering into a contract.As an example, for residential customers, this categorization would only look at the Internet speeds available from 6-9am and 4-11pm weekdays and all weekends because that’s when residential Internet is used. Business rates could be 7am-6pm weekdays. An ISP would post the charges they will make for speeds at different levels. If you sign up for that “up to 5Mpbs” package but the product only delivers 1Mpbs, then the ISP could only charge at that rate. After so many years of lame answers and no improvement, the residents of Poplar **** / Coldstream are certain that Bell has no intention of upgrading the system as, being the only game in town, our community has become a highly profitable segment for them. We don’t think that they should profit from oversaturation and then inaction. A system as I have described would reduce their revenue to a fair-for-the-service level and yet present them with a business case to upgrade the service. The simplicity of this “language” would also benefit competition, as service providers can point out real differences between their products and the competition’s products. It is the enhancement of that competition that will actually make high-speed Internet available to more, for less.Thank you again for your survey and making commenting on such a complex matter such an easy thing to do. I look forward to reviewing the results of this effort.