Canadian operator Bell said it has launched its full fiber-optic network connecting Toronto homes and businesses with fast internet technology, and improved television and media services. The fiber project in Canada's most populated city is part of Bell's initiative to expand its broadband fiber footprint. Providing internet access speeds of up to 1 Gbps with symmetrical upload and downloads using its fiber to the premises (FTTP), Bell says speeds will increase to a minimum of 5 Gbps by 2019, and to over 40 Gbps in the future.
Bell began the $1.5 billion project to deliver 1-Gbps fiber to the home (FTTH) and premises to residents and business in 2015 (see "Bell Canada targets Toronto for gigabit FTTH"). The company worked with the city of Toronto and Toronto Hydro to use installation techniques and new heavy equipment for efficiently rolling out the network with minimal disruption to residents and businesses. This build includes over 10,000 km of new fiber installed on nearly 90,000 Bell and Toronto Hydro poles and underground through more than 10,000 manhole access points, and technology upgrades to 27 Bell central offices in Toronto.
According to Bell, the gigabit fiber internet service enabled by its FTTP will allowcustomers to download a 10 Mb photo in a tenth of a second, 3 Gb high-definition movie in 24 seconds, or upload a 500 Mb business plan to the cloud in 4 seconds. Fully symmetrical speeds are available at all FTTP internet speed tiers, from 25 and 50 Mbps, to 500 Mbps and 1 Gb, where top upload speed is 940 Mbps. According to Bell, uploads will reach 1 Gb when commercial modem technology catches up to fiber network capabilities in 2019.
Bell delivers fast internet access to the entire home with its new fiber-enabled Whole Home Wi-Fi service, says the company. It also provides the Fibe TV service, which features wireless Whole Home 4K PVR, the Fibe TV app for full mobile control, Restart for starting back up shows in progress or shows aired in the past 30 hours, and Trending for highlights of the country's top TV shows. Bell also offers Alt TV for viewing television on multiple screens, while eliminating the need for a TV set-top box or installation.
This fiber launch follows Bell's announcements of the launch of the Montréal fiber project in 2017, and plans for direct fiber connection expansion across the GTA/905 region around Toronto last month (see "Bell targets CAN$854 million for FTTP in Montréal"). Bell says it currently invests over $4 billion in Canada's next-generation network infrastructure annually to provide fiber connections to home and business, and the country's network of 28 data hosting and cloud computing centers.
"Toronto is a city always planning for the future and this is the kind of major technology infrastructure investment we need to ensure our status as a world-class Smart City," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "This investment in rolling out the latest network connections to both homes and businesses throughout Toronto is a great example of business leadership supporting a diverse and innovative economic future for our city."
Bell's fiber-optic network stretches to over 240,000 km, and across the Atlantic provinces of Québec, Ontario, and Manitoba. The company delivers fiber to the neighborhood to over 9.2 million homes and business, FTTP connections to more than 3.7 million locations, and anticipates that the total will increase to 4.5 million by the end of 2018.
Bell lists St. John's, Gander, Summerside, Charlottetown, Halifax, Sydney, Moncton and Fredericton in Atlantic Canada, Québec City, Trois-Rivières, Saint-Jérôme and Gatineau in Québec, Cornwall, Kingston, Toronto, North Bay and Sudbury in Ontario, and Steinbach and The Pas in Manitoba as existing all-fiber cities.
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