Opportunity for Consumers

Today is possibly my most rewarding day for 2012. Our monthly home telephone, internet and cable charges will fall by 45% per month for the next six months and 40% after that. The latter will be a saving of over $750 per year.

That’s the good news. More perplexing for shareholders and potential customers is that Bell has yet to advertise that its fiber service is available in many but not all parts of Ottawa. The actual savings to customers will depend on the features chosen by each subscriber for the home phone service and the cable channels selected. To learn what your savings might be, find out what the final cost per month including taxes will be for the first six months and then after that, as there are special discounts for the first months to attract new business. Beyond 12 months, rate changes will depend mainly on regulatory approval by the CRTC.

The CRTC appears to be moving towards a pick and pay process for customers to choose what channels they want, rather than the present regulatory requirement which forces suppliers to offer packages of channels, only some of which they watch. It is somewhat like grocery shopping where the store says that if you want bananas, biscuits and bangers you have to buy tea, turnips and toilet paper, and you throw away the latter three. It’s all done supposedly to protect Canadian content and other regulatory requirements, supported by politicians of all stripes, which has the Vision Channel showing Benny Hill and the Women’s Channel The House of Bunny.

So why has Bell not advertised (my understanding) the availability of fiber cable which removes the need for satellite dishes for its internet and cable services? When it was advertised in Toronto and Montreal, I gather there was a stampede by customers for the new service. Would that not happen in Ottawa? And why has the news media not informed the public of this service and the probable reduced costs? There seems to be management failure in both the telecom and newspaper industries, which is bad news for their shareholders as well as for the public.  If this letter is published and Bell attracts new customers, I will be sending my bill for services rendered.

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One Response to “Opportunity for Consumers”

  1. cmaule Says:

    Further inquiries reveal that the Bell FIBE service for internet and TV brings optic wiring to the street only, but not from the street to your home. That is why it is called FIBE and not FIBRE. New construction sees optic wiring into your home and is installed in new buildings. In our case the last part of the link will be copper wiring which does not give you as good a picture as fibre in the home, but is claimed to be better than existing copper cable and better than Bell’s existing satellite dish system. It is unclear from my source whether fibre will come into the home in our area eventually.

    If you decide to go with Bell, ask them to explain what is being installed now and in the future and what if any are shortcomings of their system. They are unlikely to tell you this but Rogers may when you come to cancel your contract with them. If you do cancel you will be asked to return the PVR, modem and remote controller. If you dont you will be charged. Remember Rogers requires 30 days for cancellation.

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