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Old 2012-03-21, 02:26 AM   #1
Freelancer852
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Default Shaw Gigabit Internet

Hey all, just wondering if anyone here has any more information than what's available on the Shaw website for Gigabit Fibre Internet. It would be great of one of the Shaw reps that hang around this website could look into it and comment.

I've called the number provided on the Gigabit Fibre Internet a few times (1.888.472.2222). Every time I call it seems like no one knows what I'm talking about, they just tell me the usual information about the Digital Network Upgrade phases (1 and 2) and the Broadband packages.

I'm curious as to what the actual areas with Fibre are. I've read that the Pinebrook community in SW Calgary has access to Shaw Fibre and I was hoping to find out if there are any others. Especially since Pinebrook homes start at around a cool $1,000,000.

• What communities in the Calgary-area have access to Shaw's Gigabit Fibre Internet?
• What are the actual plans available (speeds/bandwidth/price)?
• Are there plans to upgrade any more communities in the Calgary area with Gigabit Internet? (I know this is a long shot, this information is pretty hard to come by)

Thanks in advance if one of the Shaw reps reads this!
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Old 2012-03-22, 11:52 PM   #2
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They first posted this information on their website in April 2010. Since then, it's been a plan "in the works", which nobody seems to actually have. I suspect that they put the Fibre plans on hold when they started the DNU (with plans to offer up to 250 Mbps).

From what I remember from previous inquiries, it's only available in select trial markets, only for a 6 month period, it's free during the trial period, it's symmetrical access (1 Gbps both down and up), and it's not available for purchase at any price even after the free trial period. Doesn't make sense to me, but that's as much information as I've been able to get out of Shaw through even repeat inquiries. Also, the trial markets are likely newly built homes, and it will be a long time (if ever) before they roll it out to older communities, or to anywhere east of the Alberta border.
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Old 2012-03-24, 04:39 AM   #3
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Thanks for the information!

I would kill to get a trial of that access in my area, but this community was built in 1990-1992 or so. Probably unlikely that I'll see it around here soon.

Based on the information you provided about it only being a 6 month trial, it sounds more like they don't have the capability to offer that plan all the time. I'm no industry professional but it must take quite a bit of power to run a symmetrical 1Gbps line. They were likely monitoring and logging the activity on that line fairly intensively as well, in order to make sure everything ran smoothly and to identify problems.

That's the only reason I can think of that they wouldn't offer it as a normal service for paying customers in areas capable of it.


This is kinda off-topic, but it's not a pressing question so I'll ask it here in hopes that a rep may see it in addition to the original post;
Is it possible to buy two "plans" and have two modems running into my home for Internet access? Due to the lack of Fibre in my area I could potentially be tempted to buy two BB250 plans and run them through a load-balancing router in the future...
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Old 2012-03-24, 04:06 PM   #4
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Shaw has been offering a discount on 'second' internet connections in the past year. You should call and ask as I received an offer in the mail for a second high speed connection for something like $19.95/mo. That was when I had 'Extreme' internet so I don't know if they offer it for the new 'BB' offerings or not but contacting Shaw should get you an answer. Try the 'concierge chat' through your account or even the regular one as it can be faster than waiting on the phone. I usually do both and disconnect whichever one doesn't get answered first.

Two high speed connections isn't a Gbps connection but it could potentially 'double' your speed, as you point out.
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Old 2012-03-24, 04:35 PM   #5
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I had forgotten about the second modem service. I was interested in it last year, but it was only on limited plans. I just chatted about it with a rep. Second modem is still only available on High Speed and Extreme. No broadband plans. Seems kind of useless as they don't even market those plans anymore. Hopefully they will add second modem options to the broadband packages in the future.
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Old 2012-03-28, 02:41 AM   #6
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I'd like to know which website will let you download at 1Gbps...
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Old 2012-03-28, 09:48 AM   #7
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With 802.11ac now in draft, I think we can hold the funeral for fibre to the home in western Canada.

Shaw has much bigger concerns on their plate at the moment.
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Old 2012-03-30, 01:45 AM   #8
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@ssbtech: Probably not a lot, however multiple concurrent connections or P2P downloading (like torrents) can easily see that kind of speed.
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Old 2012-04-09, 12:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssbtech View Post
I'd like to know which website will let you download at 1Gbps...
very few... but those that would... they would be amazing!
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Old 2012-04-09, 12:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by envirogeek View Post
With 802.11ac now in draft, I think we can hold the funeral for fibre to the home in western Canada.

Shaw has much bigger concerns on their plate at the moment.
This makes no sense, but I suppose you're probably new to wireless networking (and perhaps networking technology in general), so let me help you with that.

First, if wireless networks were to get faster, then we would want faster internet connections to drive them, otherwise it would be the wired connection that is your bottleneck. I would have thought this was obvious, but apparently it isn't to everyone.

Second, if you think that ISPs will be able to serve customers with 802.11ac as a replacement of a wired connection, think again. 802.11ac uses the 5GHz
band. If you have one of those dual-radio routers (that can broadcast both 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n frequencies concurrently), then try a little exercise that I promise will be educational. Using software like inSSIDer (I have similar software called Wifi Analyzer on my Galaxy Nexus) check the range of your 5GHz radio versus your 2.4GHz radio and note how poorly 5GHz penetrates walls. It is great for short-range (same room) wireless connections, but it's a horrible frequency for large area coverage. There is no reason to believe that 802.11ac will have significantly better range than the 802.11n 5GHz radios. Sure, at any range where you can get a 5GHz signal (at a power level that CE devices are allowed), "ac" will be faster than "n", but that range is pathetically small.

So, fibre connections still count. They are reliable, they scale to speeds that are orders of magnitude higher (in the Terabit-per-second range) than what you can do with radio frequency standards, and you can support many more users before the network starts having quality-of-service problems.

Now, since Shaw today has a significant performance advantage over Telus, they don't really have the same incentive as Telus does to deploy fibre to the home. That said, once Telus does deploy FTTH then Telus would enjoy the same advantages that Shaw currently does today.
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Old 2012-04-10, 02:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audacity View Post
Second, if you think that ISPs will be able to serve customers with 802.11ac as a replacement of a wired connection, think again. 802.11ac uses the 5GHz
band.
Interesting points audacity, I think the points you make about penetration of signal are accurate today. Broadcom does have new chipsets coming and it looks like it could boil down to the number of antennas.

On a on topic side note there is still life in DOCSIS yet some would say with up to 5-Gig potential burst speed future!
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Old 2012-04-10, 04:10 PM   #12
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Audacity,

I accept all of your technical arguments, and I definitely should have made my original statement more clear. I will try to connect the dots better from my original comment.

I believe the ROI for an aggressive build out and marketing of Fibre To The Home and 1Gbps Internet to the home is not in the cards in Alberta or Britiish Columbia. There is no competitive pressure for Shaw or Telus to invest in the infrastructure required. The two players are more concerned about poaching each others customers than expanding the market. The widely distributed major customer centres, the distances involved, the lack of population density, and the physical environment would require a substantial capital investment to capture how many customers?

Shaw currently claims they can offer 250 Mbps Internet service for 110.00 per month. Where would they price 1Gbps Internet? How many customers would pay a higher price than this? Are those customers in the newer subdivisions which may have freshly laid Shaw fibre infrastructure? The neighbourhoods on the edge of town with all the new homes with 2.5 kids, multiple cars, and big mortgage debt? Jane Consumer is going to be so happy when hubby comes home and says he wants to spend 250.00 a month on faster internet for the Man Cave.

Or, are they going to market FTTH and 1Gbps to my neighbourhood? High household income levels, 40 year old houses, no back alleys. A neighbourhood where Telus is hoping every spring that they can still find a spare pair somewhere to fix up a customers water soaked line and where they can't even offer Optik TV. A neighbourhood where the fastest Internet Shaw can offer is 100 Mbps.

Shaw is in a defensive position where they must offer a mobility solution to their customer base or risk substantial losses. As Telus, Rogers and others start trumpeting 4G, 5G and a gazillion G's - Shaw will need to compete with something else bigger and better - meaningless or not. Hence, the EXO branding and the inclusion of EXO labelling for the WiFi trial. Meaningless naming, meaningless relationship to actual technology, and a way for them to differentiate from Bell, Telus and Rogers.

I understand that wired gigabit and wireless gigabit are not the same. A large number of the users on this discussion board will understand that also. But, Joe Consumer does not. The Shaw WiFi trial sites are offering 802.11n and g today, and I expect that by 2014-2015 Shaw will be marketing Gigabit wireless to their customer base.

I understand the wavelength and obstruction issues for 5GHz wireless. I'm dealing with that as I try to get off of Rogers at my cabin location. Who's to say that Shaw has to offer a physical connection internal to the home for the customer? Why couldn't Shaw leverage the WiFi infrastructure in future and start popping CPE's on the outside of residences in Calgary? Cable where it works, fibre where it works, wireless where it works...

It is now 2012. Whether one believes in the "Post PC" world or not, mobility and data everywhere is the growth pressure for internet offerings, not connecting another household. Shaw are still heavily tied to delivering data to the home. As they build out the infrastructure for Shaw WiFi and demand grows they may be able to peripherally offer FTTH as they upgrade their back hauls and pass more houses. It is my considered opinion that FTTH in Alberta and BC has a 25 year time horizon and we will only see it available as older existing infrastructure is replaced.
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Old 2012-04-10, 05:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
There is no competitive pressure for Shaw or Telus to invest in the infrastructure required.
Shaw provides the competitive pressure for Telus to get FTTH. Telus can't go much further with POTS lines (as far as bandwidth goes). As bandwidth requirements increase, and as video-over-IP becomes common place and people decide they like high bitrate (and 4k) videos, the differences between Shaw and Telus will become much more apparent than it is today.

So, unless Telus wants to live life as a low-end "web browsing and low bitrate video only" ISP they have incentive to improve. Indeed, Telus already is deploying fiber to the home for all their new installations (at least, that is what their press releases claim).


Quote:
Shaw currently claims they can offer 250 Mbps Internet service for 110.00 per month. Where would they price 1Gbps Internet? How many customers would pay a higher price than this?
I would, especially if it offers symmetrical upload/download speeds.

Quote:
Or, are they going to market FTTH and 1Gbps to my neighbourhood? High household income levels, 40 year old houses, no back alleys. A neighbourhood where Telus is hoping every spring that they can still find a spare pair somewhere to fix up a customers water soaked line and where they can't even offer Optik TV. A neighbourhood where the fastest Internet Shaw can offer is 100 Mbps.
I can understand Telus' lack of incentive to do some serious digging when it would just fix a couple twisted pairs and not result in a switch to fibre for those customers. I'm sure there will be a order of deployment, and these things take time. My point is that as users start to get faster connections, "killer apps" come out that leverage the higher level of connectivity. Steaming video and P2P are examples of services that just didn't make sense until broadband came along. I believe "cloud services" will start to pop up and demonstrate new products, and one or two of them will turn out to be "must have" products that previously were not possible before 100+mbps connections were commonplace.

Quote:
I understand that wired gigabit and wireless gigabit are not the same. A large number of the users on this discussion board will understand that also. But, Joe Consumer does not. The Shaw WiFi trial sites are offering 802.11n and g today, and I expect that by 2014-2015 Shaw will be marketing Gigabit wireless to their customer base.
Well, maybe you're aware of some technology other than 802.11ac that will provide this service. Maybe LTE Advanced would be an option, but if people thought the price of bandwidth was high for their ISP at home... just wait to see what wireless companies will charge when try to replace their wired ISP with a wireless ISP and and have a Netflix habit.

I have a LTE iPad 3, and when I try it out in downtown Edmonton the speeds are impressive. They are impressive today partly because of how few users are using LTE devices right now. Once everyone upgrades to a LTE phone, I'm sure the service levels will significantly fall because of the fundamental problems of using radio waves to serve up bandwidth to a lot of wireless devices.

We would all get high rates of packet loss that would remind us of what busy Ethernet networks used to be like when all we had were hubs and not switches.

Finally, there are fundamental problems with wireless networking which wired networks just don't need to deal with. If your neighbour starts using a baby monitor, that could ruin the throughput of your wireless network, and there is very little you can do about it. In other words, there are many quality-of-service problems with wireless networks that will be difficult to solve on a ongoing basis.
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Old 2012-04-10, 06:38 PM   #14
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I agree that at some point Telus will have to upgrade their internet bandwidth to the home. I don't think they will make a significant investment until they believe they are closer to parity with Shaw in their overall market offerings. At the moment we could, for arguments sake, say that in the battle for the BC/Alberta quadruple play customer Shaw owns the Internet, Telus owns mobility, and its a saw off in phone and TV.

Telus will likely increase investment in FTTH when they feel they are far enough ahead in mobility and poaching enough TV customers. Both will be investing in FTTx as it is a necessary enabler for all of their offerings.

Verizon currently offers FiOS Internet 150/35 Mbps for 199.99 without home phone. I think you'll be waiting a while for anyone to offer asymmetrical speeds, I'm not even sure you can subscribe to asymmetrical FTTH anywhere in the world today. I would probably pay 250.00 per month for real 1Gbps as well. But how many of us are there as potential customers in Canada?

For some users a fixed wireless installation or even a cellular internet data package may be all they need. The bill I get for my usage on Rogers cellular at the cabin is of the "bend over and cough" magnitude, for part time use. The latency is horrible because Rogers backhauls all the way to farging TO from south of Edmonton. And trying to get any kind of performance on a long weekend is ridiculous, I can barely get 2G sometimes.

But, for someone like my 75 year old mother, who can get by with an iPad and a pay as you go data package to check her Email, why would she pay for a fixed location service from Shaw starting at 45.00/month?

We will need to see a new demand driver like your cloud example or some technology/service that does not yet exist push the need for FTTH before it becomes a broadly distributed reality. What I see right now is a very fragmented internet service/data market, with mobile data as the demand driver.
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Old 2012-04-11, 12:32 PM   #15
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Personally I think cost is a big thing not talked about much so far in FTTH developments. Greenfield sites are pretty easy to do with negiotations with the builder. Brownfield not so much. In my opinion a city like Edmonton or Calgary to convert all Brownfield homes we easily cost over a $billion. If you look at the set aside a company like Telus has done for say 2011 there was $1.5b -ish for a whole provonce. So the financial cost to convert Brownfield for a whole province is very expensive and what do you get in return? Honestly imo will only see in newly built homes for the forseeable future.


Quote:
Shaw currently claims they can offer 250 Mbps Internet service for 110.00 per month. Where would they price 1Gbps Internet? How many customers would pay a higher price than this?
1Gpbs is currently the same price $110.00/month
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