Bell Canada has announced that fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services are now available across Quebec City following an investment of CAD225 million (USD227 million) in the area. The telco’s triple-play ‘Bell Fibe’ services are being offered over FTTH connections in the region’s boroughs of Quebec, Beauport, Sillery, Ste-Foy, Cap-Rouge, Charlesbourg, L’Ancienne-Lorette, Loretteville, Sainte-Therese-de-Lisieux and Montmorency, with Levis soon to get the same. ‘Bell Fibe Internet’ offers FTTH customers in Quebec City download speeds of up to 175Mbps and upload speeds of up to 30Mbps. ‘Bell Fibe TV’ offers HD TV services, on-demand content, direct access to social media applications and the Whole Home personal video recorder (PVR), allowing users to set, manage and play back recordings – and to pause and rewind live TV – from any TV in their home. ‘Fibe Home Phone’ enables Bell customers in Quebec City to make free long-distance calls to any phone number in the province of Quebec.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Bell’s next-generation Bell Fibe service was launched in February 2010 over fibre-to-the-node (FTTN)/VDSL2-based connections in Montreal and Toronto, and its IPTV service was added to the Bell Fibe line-up in September 2010. The telco said that Quebec City was chosen for a direct fibre FTTH rollout rather than FTTN because the task could be completed economically due to the predomination of ‘aerial’ infrastructure – above-ground wiring mainly mounted on utility poles as opposed to underground ducts – covering around 85% of the city, making the cost per home passed ‘competitive with FTTN.’ FTTH in Quebec City was originally expected to be ready for commercial launch in Q4 2010, but was delayed for over a year. Meanwhile, Bell has also said it will deploy FTTH in all new urban and suburban housing developments in Ontario and Quebec ‘from the second half of 2010 onwards’. Earlier, in August 2008 it announced that it would deploy fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) facilities to all new-build condominiums and other multi-dwelling buildings throughout the Quebec-Windsor corridor.