Bell Canada (NYSE: BCE) has turned on its "Bell Fibe" branded Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network, delivering a suite of triple play voice and video services throughout the Quebec City area.
Leveraging its CAD 225 million (USD 227 million) in the city, the FTTH-based broadband services are being offered in the region's Quebec, Beauport, Sillery, Ste-Foy, Cap-Rouge, Charlesbourg, L'Ancienne-Lorette, Loretteville, Sainte-Therese-de-Lisieux and Montmorency boroughs. Bell plans to also bring the service to Levis at a later date.
The service was originally supposed to be available in Q4 2010, but ended up getting delayed by more than a year.
Eligible customers will be able to get connections with download speeds of up to 175 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 30 Mbps. Over the FTTH connection, users can also get "Bell Fibe TV" with whole home personal video recorder (PVR) capabilities and 'Fibe Home Phone' with free long-distance calls to any phone number in the province of Quebec.
Like AT&T (NYSE: T), Bell's initial fiber-based broadband drive for Fibe was done over a hybrid copper/fiber Fiber to the Node (FTTN) architecture using VDSL2 in Montreal and Toronto.
However, the service provider said it chose FTTH for Quebec area because it could leverage its existing aerial pole infrastructure versus underground duct to cover about 85 percent of the city, a factor that makes the cost per home passed with FTTH "competitive with FTTN."
In other areas such as Ontario and Quebec, Bell will focus on bringing FTTH into Greenfield, or new urban or suburban housing developments. This is in line with its earlier announced plan to deploy Fiber to the Building (FTTB) facilities into new condominiums and other multi-dwelling unit (MDU) buildings throughout the Quebec-Windsor corridor.
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