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Thread: end of rural wireless high speed Internet service in Saskatchewan?

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    end of rural wireless high speed Internet service in Saskatchewan?

    Have to admit that this one took me a bit by surprise. A couple of questions:

    * are we talking about the BBQ grill-style antenna service? does this affect everyone in the province who currently receives this service, or only for certain areas?
    * what spectrum, and what transmission technology, is associated with that service?
    * what has been the average service experience with that service (i.e. upload and download speeds, as well as latency)? what have been the costs associated with that?
    * are there data caps on that service (i.e. is it limited to 10 GB, as the 4G cellular service is)?
    * sounds like Sasktel is returning only part of that spectrum -- which part? are there different bands at play?
    * SaskTel has indicated that the "remaining portion of our spectrum" will be used for the development of a "new rural LTE Network" -- will this supplant, or be rolled into, the existing 3G/4G service, or become something entirely new? will it be for a combined voice/data service, or dedicated to a data/Internet-only service?
    * will SaskTel re-bid for the spectrum that it is vacating?
    * in the meantime, does this mean that there will be a big shift towards 3G/4G service for Internet services in rural areas, resulting in greater loads on individual towers?

    Have to chuckle about the reference by SaskTel to Xplornet as "an excellent alternative". Hello? I hardly doubt that sat Internet service is anywhere competitive -- at service or price levels -- to the BBQ grill antenna service. Does anyone hear a Gandalf 9600 baud modem making its funny noises in the background?

    Finally, SaskTel spokesperson Darcee MacFarlane was quoted in the CTV story as saying, "Of the 8000 customers impacted by this [i.e. the end of rural wireless Internet service], 7000 can migrate to that service [i.e. Xplornet]". Does that mean that 7/8 of current subscribers are eligible to downgrade their service? Or that 1/8 of current subscribers cannot receive satellite?

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    Quote Originally Posted by appromedia View Post
    Have to admit that this one took me a bit by surprise. A couple of questions:

    * are we talking about the BBQ grill-style antenna service? does this affect everyone in the province who currently receives this service, or only for certain areas?
    Yes
    * what spectrum, and what transmission technology, is associated with that service?
    2.5GHz.
    * what has been the average service experience with that service (i.e. upload and download speeds, as well as latency)? what have been the costs associated with that?
    * are there data caps on that service (i.e. is it limited to 10 GB, as the 4G cellular service is)?
    Don't think there was
    * sounds like Sasktel is returning only part of that spectrum -- which part? are there different bands at play?
    I think most of your answers are here: Industry Canada. I haven't done the digging into these documents to get a solid answer.
    * SaskTel has indicated that the "remaining portion of our spectrum" will be used for the development of a "new rural LTE Network" -- will this supplant, or be rolled into, the existing 3G/4G service, or become something entirely new? will it be for a combined voice/data service, or dedicated to a data/Internet-only service?
    Best guess is that it will be a separate network since it's TDD-LTE, not FDD like the mobile type of LTE is. I'm sure they'll try to deliver voice and internet if the idea is to replace the old copper facilities. Maybe even MAX, too?
    * will SaskTel re-bid for the spectrum that it is vacating?
    * in the meantime, does this mean that there will be a big shift towards 3G/4G service for Internet services in rural areas, resulting in greater loads on individual towers?
    I've heard a LOT of people don't want satellite service at any cost. Will people be buying multiple 3G data accounts? I've heard of it happening. Just swap to the next SIM after you hit 10Gig

    Have to chuckle about the reference by SaskTel to Xplornet as "an excellent alternative". Hello? I hardly doubt that sat Internet service is anywhere competitive -- at service or price levels -- to the BBQ grill antenna service. Does anyone hear a Gandalf 9600 baud modem making its funny noises in the background?

    Finally, SaskTel spokesperson Darcee MacFarlane was quoted in the CTV story as saying, "Of the 8000 customers impacted by this [i.e. the end of rural wireless Internet service], 7000 can migrate to that service [i.e. Xplornet]". Does that mean that 7/8 of current subscribers are eligible to downgrade their service? Or that 1/8 of current subscribers cannot receive satellite?
    My real question is... The people of rural Saskatchewan are demanding better broadband service. Why aren't we seeing people in the rural areas creating their own infrastructure?

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    Is that how the infrastructure was put in the cities?

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    Industry Canada just gave Sasktel a one year extension on the spectrum.

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    See how things are progressing in the UK regarding their soon-to-be-announced plans to implement a "superfast broadband network" for rural areas in that country:

    http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news...vernment-95392

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    Just an FYI sasktel owns the fiber backbone to rural areas and they can bassically charge whatever they want. When this was announced I attempted to neogitate a copper lease and fiber contract bassically was shot down and the fiber connection would consume 3/4 of all potential profits. Heres an example of just bandiwdth costs not including ip address blocks or wireless hardware and core network devices required to operate a WISP since they refuse copper lease.
    50 mbps Dedicated Internet 5 year contract
    Monthly Rental 3690.00 Service Connection Charge 0.00

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    Interesting, myself and a friend where looking to secure a 100 Mbps copper link in a rural community 280 km east of Regina. We told SaskTel we where setting up an internet based businesses. Thinking of doing WiFi bridge shots with 5 to 6 others to share the cost and maybe provide a town wide mesh network. In the city this 100 Mbps service was around $900 when the SaskTel person called he asked if we where sitting down. The price in the rural $ 9800 a month with a 3 or 5 year minimum contract. That's the end of that idea. We figured it would be nice to have a 10mbps symmetrical connections to ourselves as we currently only get 3 Mbps down and 256k up. Now if we still want to do a mesh network we need multiple DSL modems and do load balancing ourselves, as SaskTel will also not offer nic teaming.
    what's a person to do. We looked at air fiber from ubiquity in a licensed band but still can't find a fast connection near by.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using HowardForums

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    So, what is to be done? From a business-case perspective, what is the threshold for number of local subscribers to make a $9,800 monthly fibre lease work? And what is SaskTel's justification for not offering copper leases in rural areas?

    I had posted previously seeking fibre maps (dark and active) for the province of Saskatchewan. Is it possible to obtain this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by appromedia View Post
    So, what is to be done? From a business-case perspective, what is the threshold for number of local subscribers to make a $9,800 monthly fibre lease work? And what is SaskTel's justification for not offering copper leases in rural areas?

    I had posted previously seeking fibre maps (dark and active) for the province of Saskatchewan. Is it possible to obtain this?
    You may have read about the LTE-TDD partnership that SaskTel struck with Huawei (ZTE) during a recent trip to China. Since the WBBI spectrum was supposed to be returned and SaskTel would not have the spectrum, the service simply had to end. Luckily as mentioned above, Industry Canada granted SaskTel another year for the use of said spectrum.

    The LTE-TDD was to allow the development of a new LTE-based wireless broadband solution. I can't speak to this as there may be other applications, but I believe the reasoning for this was to come up with a quick-to-market replacement for the WBBI due to a lack of "replacement" service for the rural subscribers.

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    I suspect those who have WBBI service from Sasktel will get the same letter again suggesting you go to with the crappy low cap satellite service.

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