Interventions Phase 2: Intervenor 442

Document Name: 2015-134.226794.2519027.Interventions Phase 2(1hz_z01!).html

This is my perspective as we run a business and live approximately 40 km from Winnipeg. Our only option for internet service is a line of sight provider. MTS does not offer broadband service to our location. Sadly, we currently only have one alternative for a line of sight provider! There are no other towers/services in our area where we have a line of sight. As it is, our internet service is much less superior to the broadband service that MTS offers for the majority of citizens in Manitoba. Our internet is much less reliable (goes down on a regular basis) and much more expensive (we pay $70/month for much lower speed (<=3 Mbps down/<=1 up) and much less data (50 GB/month). (MTS lowest package for $56 offers 25 Mbps down/2 up and unlimited data). We are unable to stream video due to speed and data restrictions and often have to pay overage charges for data even without live streaming. Our line of sight provide is not very reliable. We often face internet outages and the technical support service is mediocre at best.We run a farm business. High speed internet is a necessity to run our business. It is as necessary as telephone service. We cannot be without a provider. From the residential perspective, internet is necessary for our children to do their school homework now and when they go to university. Internet service is not a luxury or optional service, it is a necessity. Dial up internet is not adequate now and in the future.If our current line of sight internet is no longer offered in our area, we would like to see MTS forced to provide broadband service in our area (before we lose a line of sight provider). I believe SaskTel provides broadband service in rural areas, so why not MTS? Especially if it only in the areas near urban centres who will have no other alternative. I have contacted MTS on several occasions regarding the availability of broadband internet service in our area and they always respond that they will never provide that service in our area.Another implication of not having high speed internet in the future is the impact on television. Satellite tv is our only choice to have television. When ‘free’ tv went digital, we no longer receive any ‘free’ tv signals as, once again, we do not have a line of sight to any digital television towers. If the satellite tv providers make changes that will raise our rates or incorporate live streaming options within the rates, we will again be affected if we don’t have access to high speed (preferably broadband) internet.Another disadvantage we face is our lack of cell service. Cell service in our area is very poor and varies greatly. In our yard and house, we get no cell service. It is ridiculous that we would have to purchase a cell booster in order to get even minimal cell service in our house that we already pay for. The lack of cell service also eliminates this option for getting internet service.Now and in the future, reliable high speed internet service and cell service are as necessary as a telephone line. All Canadians should be guaranteed the availability of these services.