Bell extends Fibe network to Quebec City

Canada’s digital network service wars continue to heat up with BCE Inc.’s rollout of its Fibe service to Quebec City today.

Bell Canada invested $225 millionin making the fibre to the home (FTTH)broadband network technology available in Quebec’s provincial capital.The company is promoting the fibre optic service as providing “thefastest Internet access” in Canada, which Bell claims reaches speeds ofup to 175 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 30 Mbps. Bell is including ahome wireless network with the service for free.

The TV portion of the Fibe service includes on demand content access,HD image quality, a built-in PVR feature and direct TV accessto socialmedia applications like Facebook and Twitter. Fibe customers can alsomake free long distance calls to any phone number in the province ofQuebec.

Competitor Rogers Communications Inc.unveiled upgrades to its owncable-based high-speed offerings just a few weeks ago, includingadditions to its TV and on-demand menus and a new NetBox 2.0 featurethat – as with Fibe — lets users access Web-based social media siteslike Facebook on their TV. Users can also watch live TV from 22channels on a Wi-Fi connected tablet within their home.

Fibe signed up 27,726 new subscribers in the fourth quarter of lastyear, up 20.4 per cent from the same period a year earlier, accordingto BCE’s year-end and Q4 financial results posted on Feb. 9.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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