Bell Aliant has announced the expansion of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network to additional locations in northern Ontario, having previously covered only one market in the province, Sudbury (the largest settlement in the telco’s Ontario telecoms service footprint) alongside its core Atlantic Canada provinces. Yesterday, the telco announced it is investing CAD7 million (USD6.8 million) to expand its ‘FibreOP’ FTTH service to Timmins, the largest market in group subsidiary NorthernTel’s northern Ontario telecoms footprint, where the direct fibre access service will cover approximately 15,000 premises and will be branded ‘NorthernTel FibreOP’, according to a press release. Karen Sheriff, CEO of Bell Aliant, noted that the extensive aerial infrastructure in Timmins makes the location ideal (i.e. cheaper to roll out) for FTTH technology. The latest announcement follows two other launches in northern Ontario in the last couple of months, Aliant having expanded FTTH to North Bay (around 20,000 premises to be covered, costing around CAD13 million) and Sault Ste. Marie (approximately 24,000 premises, investing CAD15 million). Through its strategic partnership with Bell Canada, FibreOP products in North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie are marketed under the Bell brand, including FTTH services sold as ‘Bell FibreOP’. Meanwhile, FTTH coverage in the greater Sudbury area has reached more than 33,000 premises. FibreOP passed 679,000 premises in around 40 communities in Atlantic Canada and northern Ontario by the end of March 2013, while Aliant’s goal is to reach 800,000 FTTH premises passed by the end of 2013.
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