Bell Aliant extends FTTH, IPTV to Amherst, Nova Scotia

Bell Aliant (Toronto: BA-UN.TO) on Thursday placed Amherst, Nova Scotia on the growing list of areas where its FibreOP Fiber to the Home (FTTH) service is available.

Serving about 5,400 residential and business customers, Amherst is the tenth community to be connected to Bell Aliant's FTTH network this year.

FibreOP is currently available in nine Nova Scotia towns, including Halifax, Truro, New Glasgow, Annapolis Valley, Sydney, Bridgewater, Digby, Antigonish and Yarmouth. The service provider said in October that it plans to begin connecting customers in Lunenburg, a town in which Bell Aliant will deliver service to about 1,500 homes and businesses.

This latest network expansion is centered on challenging local cable operators (e.g., Eastlink and Rogers), which are increasingly luring away Bell Aliant's customers with their own DOCSIS-based data services, voice, and video.

Besides offering 250/30 Mbps speeds, the telco's IPTV video service is also competitive with local cable operators' offerings with a host of features such as Whole Home PVR and over 100 HD channels.

The service provider said it is on track to extend FTTH to about 650,000 homes and businesses in its Atlantic territory by the end of 2012.

Like U.S.-based telcos, Bell Aliant is also finding that its dedication to providing fiber-based broadband and residential IP-based services is helping soothe the ongoing burn of traditional landline voice revenue losses.  

In Q3 2012, Bell Aliant reported that broadband Internet revenue rose CAD 10 million (USD 9.9 million), or 7.9 percent with residential average revenue per customer (ARPC) up 7.1 percent year-over-year from Q3 2011. During the quarter, the telco added 16,500 new FibreOP broadband customers, ending the quarter with a total of 92,000 customers.

Likewise, Bell Aliant's IPTV revenue grew CAD 10 million (USD 9.9 million). During the quarter, the telco added 14,200 new customers with a total of 107,400 customers as of the end of September.

And while wireline voice losses are a reality that every wireline telco faces, FibreOP in the third quarter narrowed its Network Access Service (NAS) losses by 14 percent. Part of the reduction in NAS losses is attributed to retention in markets where its FibreOP FTTH service is currently available.

For more:
- see the release

Special report: Wireline telecom earnings in the third quarter

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