Interventions Phase 2: Intervenor 554

Document Name: 2015-134.226941.2520149.Interventions Phase 2(1$0k501!).html

After years of being in relatively isolated northern Manitoba without access to Internet services other than dial-up (at a premium price), MST-Allstream FINALLY started to provide allegedly "high-speed DSL" to community customers in northern Manitoba. For the priviledge of eliminating our Un-Limited Dial-Up service and Second Phone line to run it on (at a cost of about $70/month), we made the change to DSL for about $60/month, and were able to achieve between 2 and 3 Mb/s access speeds outside of peak usage times.That didn't last.In recent years, service has substantially degraded so that on any given day or time of day, speeds range between 0.5 Mb/s and 1.6 Mb/s. After over a year of data collection, speed tests, and numerous complaints to MTS-Allstream about paying premium prices for sub-standard service provision, their eventual response was to reduce **** Lake DSL Subscribers monthly invoices by $10/month. We feel so very privileged. (That was sarcasm, in case you missed it)What we do desire are actual service improvements. That just doesn't appear to be happening.It is now 2016. It is well over 30 years since the first analog cellular networks (1G analog cellular) have been developed, and many northern communities in Canada are still located in excess of 250kms from the nearest cellular signal. We are supposed to be a fully developed industrialized nation, yet basic cellular service is more widely available in much of the Developing World.Believe it or not, I am a cellular subscriber, because while I am located 250kms away from a cell signal at home and work, I do have need of broadband cellular on the numerous occasions per year that I need to head south to "the rest of the country". I find it relevant to point out the following examples of market vs. service availability:Between **** Lake and **** House Junction (a 250km distance where the first cellular signal is sporadically available), along MB Provincial Road 391 are three communities with populations in excess of 1350 people and no cellular service whatsoever. In the 350km distance between **** and **** Rapids, MB, along MB Provincial Trunk highway 6, there is one community of 500 people, yet full cellular service is available along the entire route.Long has the lack of availability of cellular service been a safety risk to northern travelers, particularly combined with the fact that it is entirely possible to be "alone in the wilderness" without encountering another soul for anywhere between 30 minutes and 8 hours or more. At what point do fatalities justify the expense of having even basic communication capabilities available to people in northern Canada? How many lives need be lost before the infrastructure investment is justifiable? Once again, I'll remind this body that it is now 2016, and and many communities and regions of Canada aren't just under-served... They aren't being served at all in some respects.Thank you for your time.James **** - Private CitizenLynn ****, MB