Letter to the editor – broadband services

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Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to your article in the February 5 edition of the North Grenville Times entitled; “Clarification on expanded broadband services”. I live in Montague Township just 4 km east of the village of Merrickville on Heritage Dr., 1.5 km west from the Ottawa City limits.

Despite my location being so close to Ottawa and other communities, I live in one of those rural blind spots for hi-speed internet. My choices are cellular (Bell, TELUS etc., not any of the lower cost suppliers) or LOS; that means an expensive tower and hefty monthly fees, both services are still far from hi-speed and sometimes a signal just doesn’t exist. Bell has advised me that DSL is not available and there is no cable.

When I read the January announcement of Bell supplying more rural coverage, I was very interested. According to the Bell website, when I used Montague as my location (physical location), service was available. When I used Merrickville (mailing address), it said no service was available, so I called Bell. After some confirmation by the Bell customer service that the above address availability conflict did exist, I was still advised that any new service was not available to me, as there really isn’t anything new in hardware or technology.

Customer service advised me that marketing constantly put out these bulletins that simply aren’t true, and they leave it to customer service to dole out the painful truth. I do like their blunt and truthful customer service, plus I applaud the honesty. It is refreshing.

After some further investigation, I discovered that there is no new coverage of hardware (new cells) or technology (strengthening of the signal) so I am baffled that they can make such blatantly false claims. There is talk of the new 5G generation of cellular technology.

This is a poorer technology for rural areas as its coverage area actually has a smaller physical footprint than 4G or LTE, although it is considerably faster and can handle more traffic. This is great for urban areas, but the rural coverage may even get worse, while Bell’s revenue potential will grow. When I said this, the response was that 4G and LTE would still be available, except neither work well for me.

That leaves me back where I have always been. I write simply that the truth be known about Bell’s marketing ploy. It is sad, but I get used to these companies saying whatever they need to get media coverage and business.

I am tired of it!

I am copying a neighbour and local politicians. I expect my neighbour to respond and then crickets.

Regards
Ross McMurchy

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