Canada joins the 21st century !

This is more of an FYI.

Yesterday, the CRTC released a big decision on broadband. In 2011, the
same process resulted in CRTC to not declare the Internet as "basic
service" and to set speed goals to 1990s 5/1.

Yesterday, the CRTC declared the Internet to be a basic service (which
enables additional regulatory powers) and set speed goals to 50/10.

Note that this is not a definition of broadband as the FCC had done, it
one of many criteria that will be weighted when proposal to get funding
is received. But hopefully, it means the end of deployment of DSL.

Also, as a result of declaring it a basic service, the CRTC enables
powers to force ISPs to contrtibute to a fund that will be used to
subsidize deplooyment in rural areas.

It plans to collect $100 million/year, increasing by $25m each year to
top at $200m which will then be distributed to companies who deploy
internet to unserved areas.

By setting the speed standard to 50/10, it basically marks any territory
not served by cableco as underserved since telco's copper can't reliably
deliver those speeds.

Nothing happens for now because a "follow up" process is needed to
decide how the funding mechanism will work (what portions of a companies
revenues are counted to calculated its mandated contribution to fund)
and how the process of bidding for subsidies will work. That could take
1 to 2 years.

Also in the decision is the phasing out of the equivalent programme for
POTS which saw telephone deployed everywhere. The difference is that the
POTS program had an "obligation to serve" whereas the internet doesn't.

Some rural areas in the US are seeing either VDSL2 or bonded DSL deployments which do push the capabilities available via copper to the home deployments. Having operated cable, DSL, and fiber networks, I can say that cable and DSL have managed to stay relevant a lot longer than I expected.

I also think it's a bit disingenuous to say that cable provider meets the 50/10 standard and DSL provider doesn't when a hypothetical cable plant might provide 1Gbps x 72Mbps of last mile bandwidth shared between 100+ subscribers and DSL plant might provide 20Mbps x 1.5Mbps dedicated to each subscriber circuit. In this example, the worst case for the cable plant is 10Mx768K per subscriber (note, this doesn't meet the specified goal) & the DSL plant is 20Mx1.5M per subscriber (twice the speed, but also doesn't meet the specified goal). In other words, sometimes the cable subscribers might experience faster speeds than DSL subscribers, sometimes they might experience slower speeds. The DSL subscribers would see consistent speeds.

If a provider's deployment model provides "up to" the specified 50/10M, but subscribers see lower than these rates, then I would argue that the provider hasn't met the goal. While a cable provider could engineer their plant to dedicate 50/10 bandwidth per subscriber, this is not done today and will not be done in the near future because it isn't profitable (whether its necessary is another discussion). This seems to be profitable in FTTH and vDSL2 deployments because providers are exceeding these goals today in the US.

Both cable and DSL technologies have managed to stay relevant longer than I expected because each seem to have pros, including the ability to utilize an existing infrastructure. I don't see either technology dying immediately, and can imagine that vendors may yet be able to eek out more performance from the existing infrastructure, but I do see more future potential using fiber to the premises infrastructure.

The government getting involved with the Internet rarely goes well. The FCC is a shining example of how to usually do it wrong.

Awesome, some maybe in 5 years we'll see the speeds we should have seen 20
years earlier! Can't wait!

I agree. To hell with 'government'. What has it done for you lately, anyway?

Canada should just have Comcast (or is it "Xfinity"?) provided nation-wide Internet service as a for-profit monopoly.

Problem solved!

- John

It would certainly suck to be an ISP in Canada and be forced to fund your competitors. Or does Canada not have any small privately run ISPs like we do in the US?


We not only have smaller ISPs, but also a wholesale framework where ISPs
can purchase access to last mile from the incumbents (telco and cable).

The current plan (which will be defined in a subsequent proceeding)
calls for any ISPs with more than 10 million in revenues to contribute
to the fund, the amount being a percentage of their revenues.

The percentage will be adjusted annually to cause contributions to the
fund to total the desired amount ($100 million on year 1, increasing by
$25m until iut reaches $200).

And yeah, this means ISPs contribute money which will be used by a
competitor to deploy in rural areas.

Of course, since we're talking about billions to get all Canadians
connected, this is peanuts.

In the US there are thousands of independent ISPs. I assume Canada at least has hundreds of them. There are plenty of ways of utilize independents to improve access versus throwing cash into a fan.

Not to mention the ridiculousness of a 50/10 requirement.

Thousands of ISPs that collectively add up to a pimple on a horse's ass. In practice you have two dominant landline providers in each market, the ILEC and the cable company. A duopoly with a competitive fringe. Whereas other countries like South Korea and France have achieved much higher broadband penetration rates using other approaches.

Canada should just have Comcast (or is it "Xfinity"?) provided nation-wide Internet service as a for-profit monopoly.

Just as long as we have *someone* to Telus whom to chose.

Fake competition. Lack of innovation competition. Lack of diversity.

As I said, there are plenty of ways to utilize independents to accomplish reasonable goals.


Joe Loiacono


We have customers with 150/30 Mbps service on DSL and next year we will get 300 Mbps. We are just renting access, it is the ILEC that decided to make a large roll out with vectoring, pair bonding and VDSL2 annex 35b.

I would say that the majority around here can get at least 50/10 from DSL. There is of course also large areas were you can not. In many cases these areas can be "fixed" by adding another DSLAM closer to the users.

We are actually primary a FTTH provider. I just want to point out that you need to be aware of what DSL can do if someone decides to invest in it. It can do 50/10. It will never be able to do the 1000/1000 FTTH that we are selling at $44 USD/month. Cable might be able to compete with that too however. The same ILEC also owns most of the cable network and they are rolling out DOCSIS 3.1 with plans to sell 1000 Mbps next year.



Most of the areas without sufficient speed can be addressed with fixed wireless, but usually the regulators become as much of a hindrance as a help. LOS customers are no problem via 5 GHz, but they've drug their feet in allocating useful rules for 3600 and under 700 MHz.