What is DSL Internet service?
DSL (digital subscriber line) technologies, often grouped under the term DSL, connect a computer to the Internet. DSL uses existing copper pair phone line wiring in conjunction with special hardware on the switch and user ends of the line. This special hardware allows for a continuous digital connection over the phone lines.
What is Fixed Wireless Broadband service?
Fixed Wireless Broadband is a type of high-speed Internet access where connections to service providers use radio signals rather than cables. Several different forms of fixed wireless broadband are available to residential and business customers. Service provider towers are established in an area and transmit and receive signals from small antennas located at customer locations. This is primarily a line-of-sight type of service and trees and terrain that block this line-of-sight signal can limit availability and throughput. BXI’s network of broadcast towers will provide overlapping coverage footprints in many areas of the Counties, limiting gaps in availability and providing the best quality service possible.
What types of technology will be used on this project?
There are two service providers building networks to serve the target areas. Bell Aliant will be providing a wired DSL (digital subscriber line) network. Xplornet will deploy fixed wireless technology, in the 3.5 GHz licensed spectrum. Licensed spectrum allows them to offer service that is free from potential radio frequency (RF) interference from other wireless signals (e.g. other wireless Internet service providers, corporate and industrial wireless communication or monitoring systems, etc..
Will everyone within the project area be able to access the network?
DSL (digital subscriber line) is deployed to very specific addresses whereas Fixed Wireless spreads a radio signal across an area to serve multiple locations that can capture that signal. Fixed wireless does have some coverage limitations as it is a line-of-sight technology. Tall trees and deep valleys limit the signal. In many areas tree coverage exists and an antenna tower will need to be provided to reach the signal that is above or near the top of the tree line. The tower would be an expense that the customer must pay for. Therefore, a small percentage of homes or businesses may not be able to receive a fixed wireless signal due to obstructions or topography. Xplornet offers satellite broadband technology to serve those residents who are unable to access the expanded fixed wireless network once it is fully deployed.
Are there restrictions on the kind of technology eligible under this program?
A variety of technology solutions were eligible under this program such as fiber, digital subscriber line (DSL), cable and wireless networks that best serve the needs of the project area and are cost effective. The Bell HSPA Wireless (Stick) technology was reviewed but did not qualify as an acceptable technology for this program.
How fast is the service?
Fixed wireless transfer speeds can reach up to 5.0 Mbps (where available), which is up to 125 times faster than dial-up at 40 kbps. DSL (digital subscriber line) rates can exceed 7 Mbps. Actual speeds online may vary with your choice of package, technical configuration, Internet traffic, server or other factors.
Will any of the existing towers be made taller to improve coverage?
Existing towers will only be modified slightly to accommodate new antennas. Four new towers will be built on existing silos, grain elevator and water tower.
What are the open access components of the project?
The project requires that all new vertical infrastructure built allow co-location of broadcast equipment of other service providers subject to meeting Xplornet’s defined operating requirements in order to maintain a high network quality service experience for all network users. Spectrum management coordination, tower location management, rental and infrastructure costs incurred and other factors would have to be assessed and discussed with the interested party as appropriate on a location by location basis. In addition Xplornet and Bell Aliant will allow resale of their Internet service by interested Internet service providers who have customers within the planned network area. This wholesale model is subject to the service provider’s business models.