Well, at least it SOUNDS like fiber to the home...
Confirming rumors in our forums
, Bell Canada has introduced their new fiber to the node service and new IPTV platform. Dubbed "Fibe" (apparently to make you forget it's copper-based and not last mile fiber), the service is being offered in four flavors: Fibe 6/1Mbps, Fibe 12/1Mbps, Fibe 18/1 Mbps and Fibe 25/7 Mbps. How much does the service cost? It's hard to tell, given our users are getting different prices
depending on where they live (which is dictated of course by local competition, or a lack thereof).
Digging into the product details
a bit, you'll note that each Fibe tier has low caps for a "next generation" broadband offering. Bell Canada has a long history with low caps and throttling (and with making sure competitors have no choice but to cap and throttle too
). The 6, 8, 12 and 24 Mbps tiers come with 25, 50, 75 and 75 GB monthly caps, respectively. Prices for each service are $5 higher if you don't bundle Bell's new ITPV or satellite TV service.
As with all selective network upgrades, not all Bell customers should expect to see the new service. Only customers who already have fiber pushed deep into their neighborhoods can expect to get the faster VDSL2+ speeds. Users in neighborhoods deemed worthy are getting this letter
advertising TV services.
Back to that Fibe name again. There's already a significant number of phone and cable companies, Bell included, that want all the marketing benefits of last mile fiber without actually installing any
. These companies frequently try to confuse customers as to the difference between core and last mile fiber by advertising DSL or coaxial based service as "fiber service
Bell's taking this practice one step further by actually trying to make the product name sound
like fiber (clearly riffing off of Verizon FiOS, which actually is). Like AT&T here in the States, Bell's made the decision to please investors by taking the cheaper fiber to the node route -- but that decision only delays the inevitable need to deliver fiber all the way. That's especially true as cable carriers are quickly pushing the upper limits of the speed marketing battle to 50 and 100 Mbps with DOCSIS 3.0.