Ma Bells Optimax is Sub-Optimal

Om Malik has reported on Bell Canada’s quiet rollout of “fiber-based” high speed service in Montreal, and later to Toronto (Press Release, warning my damage your mind) called Sympatico Optimax, delivering 10-to-16 megabits per second for between $65 and $80 a month, with a 75 GB of bandwidth cap.

There are a few things wrong with this. Mark Evans brings up the lack of mention of IPTV. That kind of bandwidth is the minium to provide TV, plus phone plus Internet. (the PR does not mention if its 10 down and 1 up or what). Bell need IPTV to compete with Roger’s doing VOIP. So is this just an early roll out or Optimax lite?

Also the speed is very low end. It say’s “fiber-based”. What kind of fiber? (bran?) Fiber To the Curb (FTTC) Or Fiber To the House (FTTH). They are already ready to turn on (Digital subscriber line access multiplexer ) on my local- copper- loop (I’m about 200 ft away from a central office). I though DSLAN already allowed for up to 20 Mbps within a kilometer. So no fiber required there. Now if it was 100 to 160 Mps! then were talking. And the quoted price of ~$65 per month is around what I was paying for my Ultra high speed (which is 5 down and .8 up) last year anyyway. They can still be rollout Fiber to the CO, can they?

And the 75 Gig Cap? It’s that’s about 2 hours at 10Mbp?. So even for it state marketing target : “consumers with a growing appetite for digital entertainment, whether online games, music or video.” it gonna blow chunks. or just stop blowing after 2 hours. Maybe a Typo ?

minor update : Globe and Mail has a bit that goes beyond the press release : “The top speed now matches the Internet offer launched earlier this year by fierce rival Vidéotron Ltée”. They also have a table at the bottom ;
Company Maximum speed :

  • Bell Canada 16 Mbps
  • Vidéotron 16 Mbps
  • Cogeco 10 Mbps
  • EastLink 10 Mbps
  • Shaw 7 Mbps
  • SaskTel 7 Mbps
  • Manitoba Telecom 7 Mbps
  • Rogers 6 Mbps
  • Telus 2.5 Mbps

So there is a lot less than mets the eye – or the web- here.

One Reply to “Ma Bells Optimax is Sub-Optimal”

  1. Good article Ian. I think one of the biggest problems is competition. At any given postal code, there may be 3 or 4 choices and the funny thing is that there are chances that a couple of the choices take their bandwidth from a bigger fish.

    On top of that the telco’s want to control the flow of data. If they have their way, like cable TV, we will one day have to sign up & pay to get the “Google package” or “Yahoo Package”.

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