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Old 2012-04-29, 03:44 AM   #1
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Default Fast Internet? (Split from Rogers Upload Thread)

Can someone explain this re-segmentation thing?

As far as I understand removing amplifiers, power supplies is EXACTLY what node splits achieve. When you bring fiber a few hundred meters from homes there is no need for that junk anymore. Not to mention the MAINTENANCE SAVINGS of building an HFC network fibre deep. 100% reduction in use of RF amplifiers. 50% reduction in electricity cost. It's a no brainer to both the bean counters and the engineers. We have already seen Rogers move to SDV in 2008 and now they are turning off analog TV channels above 28. The point of using SDV and phasing out analog TV is to reclaim and re-segment bandwidth. Rogers also has the option of upgrading their 860MHz plant to 1Ghz for an extra 140MHz of bandwidth. Cox (USA) has been 1Ghz since 2007.

What is Rogers doing that is so 'prohibitive' and different than the hundreds of other MSOs around the world, and why is it taking them so long?

Let's stop inventing excuses and investigate the real reasons Rogers DOCSIS 3 upgrade has been abnormally slow. Shaw has been largely DOCSIS 3.0 ready since 2009, which means they started their upgrades at least in 2008. Rogers launched their 50/2 tier in 2009. Here we are 3 years later and Rogers pretty much has nothing new to show for 36 months of "work".

Rogers better be able to offer at least 300/50Mbps Ultimate after years of delicate work or everyone finds out they've just thrown good money after bad. Since there is no known upgrade path to HFC after DOCSIS 3 and Bell is now like 5 years ahead of them they should have gone directly to 10G-PON.

Last edited by 000; 2012-04-29 at 04:43 AM.
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Old 2012-04-29, 09:22 AM   #2
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Because Rogers infrastructure is a mish mash of infrastructures left behind by several smaller cable companies when they were acquired by Rogers. Some of these networks that were acquired were good and others were really bad. For Rogers to improve these networks is a huge undertaking. In addition, they don't have much of an incentive. In the Ontario market, Rogers offers much faster download speeds then Bell and the vast majority of consumers don't really care about the upload speed at all.

Also the vast majority of Rogers territory is already DOCSIS 3.0 ready. There are very few spots left that are not DOCSIS 3.0 compatible. There are other issues at play that is preventing Rogers from offering faster upload in their entire territory. Cox is a different story, they have competition from Verizon Fios and FTTH in many markets, thus offering faster download and upload speeds has become more of an imperative for cox then it is for Rogers.
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Old 2012-04-29, 11:11 AM   #3
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Rogers downtown Toronto market is not fully DOCSIS 3 compatible. They are still running single channel upstream with 16QAM between Bloor St and my home. Downtown TO has always been owned by Rogers and is also "really bad". What's the explanation for that? This should be one of the easiest areas to upgrade.

The "people don't care about upload" argument doesn't hold water either. People don't use much upload because in the current environment it takes HOURS or DAYS to do anything productive with it. It's faster to Fedex your whole computer over. Medicine / remote healthcare monitoring / robotics could be the "next big thing" after social media but the technology is totally constrained by slow upload and you can definitely NOT rely on it for lifeline services. Ever drop a phone call or video conference because your sister is downloading Glee from iTunes??! Also you now have a whole segment inside the RF industry (wireless) making 1:2 and 1:3 download-upload ratio standard so it's not minority opinion anymore:

100/50Mbps (LTE UE Cat 3) - available now
150/50Mbps (LTE UE Cat 4) - coming next year
300/75Mbps (LTE UE Cat 5) - coming 2015..

Meanwhile I believe Bell is deploying G-PON in most newly constructed houses (not condos for some reason), and that has 10G-PON available as an upgrade path so the maximum potential is symmetrical 10Gbps per subscriber.

What has Rogers been doing with their cable network after 2009? Dragging their feet, no visible signs of progress in my neighbourhood, no announcements, nothing.

Last edited by 000; 2012-04-29 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 2012-04-29, 02:30 PM   #4
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I am one of those consumers who cares little about upload speed. I'd vote for IPV6 to the home before faster uploads ( I see 1Mbps) But I would vote for fibre to the home above both not so much for internet speed but for a cleaner and ideally less compressed HDTV signal, no SDV and more channels ( I want more science rather than more sport)

So I guess I agree but for different reasons.
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Old 2012-04-29, 03:10 PM   #5
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Rogers had to spend Billions in the last few years to get where they are today - most areas have 860 MHz, FTTN systems, circular routing, UPS, etc. Billions more would need to be spent to get FTTH, which is estimated to cost, on average, roughly $1,000 per home. I don't see that happening with Rogers revenue from cable/internet being relatively flat.

They currently have available - Ultimate with 250 down/2 up/250 cap, with the majority of their customers in the lower packages. I don't believe they will be spending additional Billions of $ for a select few customers wanting more than Ultimate.

With the removal of about 50 analogue channels in 2012, this should free up enough bandwidth for better/more HD, Internet, etc for the foreseeable future. The "free" bandwidth (neglecting the cost of tens of thousands of free DTAs and all the service requirements like CSR calls, some truck runs, etc) will free up about 250+ MHz - a very large number (6 MHz per analogue minus the digital replacement requirement). In a couple of years, they'll tackle the remaining 30 or so analogue channels for another 150 MHz or so. The analogue to digital switch is roughly equivalent to 1/2 their current infrastructure - very huge.

Quote:
Medicine / remote healthcare monitoring / robotics could be the "next big thing"
Roger is looking into these and other "commercial" applications, which they already have ongoing, however, although this may have some "spill" into the residential market, I do not see that for at least a few years and at a pretty high cost for those wanting such.

For new construction, FTTH is certainly warranted and probably implemented, but for now, outside of select areas, FTTN will be the norm and since RF-Coax offers so much more than twisted pair, the construction of FTTH is much less of an imperative for Cable than it was/is for "phone" (IPTV). Bell Fibe speeds in FTTN applications (the vast majority) are significantly lower than Rogers.
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Old 2012-04-29, 05:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Meanwhile I believe Bell is deploying G-PON in most newly constructed houses (not condos for some reason), and that has 10G-PON available as an upgrade path so the maximum potential is symmetrical 10Gbps per subscriber.
Bell is not deploying G-PON to new developments in the GTA. Their G-PON deployments is mostly outside of Rogers territory.

Maybe upload is important to you, but it clearly isn't important enough to the vast majority of consumers. Rogers knows this and that is why they've been dragging their feet on providing faster upload speeds. Right now they already have the upper hand when it come to download speeds and that's what most consumers care about.

Also Rogers is bleeding TV subscribers to Bell Fibe. The focus for them right now is to fix their Nextbox TV product and prepping for an eventual transition to IPTV which again relies more heavily on the downstream then the upstream.
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Old 2012-04-29, 08:11 PM   #7
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So to sum up the last 5 years

[x] SDV - completed 2008 - channel reclamation saves 58% bandwidth per node on average
[ ] Digital migration - Not completed (Stage 1 complete EOY 2012)
[ ] FTTC + Node Splits - Not completed (Ongoing)
[ ] Greenfield FTTH - Not completed (Ongoing)
[ ] MPEG4 - Not completed (Not even started)

So we're batting 1 for 5 here.

"Maybe upload is important to you, but it clearly isn't important enough to the vast majority of consumers. Rogers knows this"

Most people may not "want" faster upload now because they have never been able to experience the benefits of it. People didn't want touch screen phones before Apple made an iPhone either. What does that tell you? You can't use market research like some kind of rosetta stone of investing. If you can create good experiences people's opinions and behaviours change overnight.

Also market research is completely irrelevant when you the Bell/Rogers cartel basically influencing what product people want through smear campaigns and other marketing activities.

So to break down their bandwidth allocation for 860MHz
- 72MHz 8 channel Downstream for modems
- 37MHz subdiv'd 4 channel Upstream for Modems (24MHz), 1 channel Upstream for PacketCable (6MHz), 1 channel Upstream for STBs (6MHz)

We still have 751MHz left!!!

You can fit 100 SDV channels on 600MHz. Why hasn't Rogers started using MPEG4? They can squeeze 75% more channels in each 6MHz.

Why is there so much fuss about "recovery costs" for the digital migration. Did everyone forget about the digital recovery fee and inflated STB rental/purchase prices? For every guy that gets a new plasma and HD STB rental installed Rogers are collecting $16.13/month. That's $194 per YEAR. Plenty to work with. We are after all talking about the most profitable MSO in the world here. On top of that they charge $50 per truck roll for every new outlet install (lots of people previously using 1 outlet and splitters with analog). Unless you luck out with a promotion applied to your account.

Anyway, I don't see a bandwidth problem. I see an organisational efficiency problem. Rogers digital migration is moving way slower than anywhere else in the world. Almost every other MSO has got at LEAST their main markets up and running respectable speeds on DOCSIS 3. 66% of Rogers market is in the GTA and we haven't seen any materially new services activated in 3 years. Once they turn off 40 analog channels they don't need more bandwidth. They'll HAVE enough to do 8x4 (why else loan out these new Cisco modems?). They just need to use that bandwidth properly. If 8x4 DOCSIS3 can run 304/108Mbps, Ultimate should use all of that. And higher speeds would be applied proportionately to each lower tier. Bell internet customers would rush out of their service contracts for that.

Modern HFC with deep fibre nodes is essentially the same as FTTN. A node is going to be a few hundred meters from your house. No amplifiers required. As of 2008, Rogers node density was 350 subscribers on average. Comcast had an average node density of 250 with their setup in 2009. These numbers can be reduced way further, by building fibre deeper into the network you can serve 32 subs with 304/108Mbps reliably. 32:1 or 16:1 sub ratios are standard for G-PON FTTH so this can be re-purposed extremely easily in the future.

http://www.rogers.com/cms/investor_r...gers_Cable.pdf

Internet is an area Rogers need to improve, 52% of homes passed by Rogers don't have cable internet. CAGR is 7%, I wouldn't call that relatively flat-it's still growing. But it could grow faster.

Last edited by 000; 2012-04-29 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 2012-04-29, 09:09 PM   #8
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" People didn't want touch screen phones before Apple made an iPhone either. What does that tell you? You can't use market research like some kind of rosetta stone of investing. If you can create good experiences people's opinions and behaviours change overnight."

Having worked for both Apple and Rogers in the past, the culture is very different at the two companies. Pre-iPhone, Apple was sort of in a desperate state to get its brand to be as recognizable as it is today. Apple will rely on their gut and do something ballsy and market the crap out of it to make sure everyone wants to buy it. In addition, they really had no choice but to create a revolutionary product to generate more revenue and opportunities to bridge to mac sales. With Apple having only a 3% marketshare in the computer operating system world, Apple wouldn't be as financially viable today without the iPhone.

Unlike Apple, Rogers has always enjoyed the dominant position in the marketplace. The leaders at Rogers just do not have the same personality as Steve Jobs or Johnny Ive. The leaders at Rogers are fairly conservative and traditionalist. Rogers won't do anything until they start losing money, then they'll rely on a focus group to guide them in the "right" direction.

Lastly, Apple has a lot of money in the bank to work with if they want to try something innovative. Although Rogers does generate a lot of profit, they are very house poor compared to Apple and they are very cost conscious when it comes to new projects and really cannot afford to take the same kind of risks that Apple can.


"Why is there so much fuss about "recovery costs" for the digital migration. Is everyone on the digital suddenly not paying a $2.99 digital services fee? For every guy that gets a new plasma and HD STB installed Rogers are collecting $16.13/month. That's $194 per YEAR. Plenty to work with. We are after all talking about the most profitable MSO in the world here. On top of that they charge $50 per truck roll for every new outlet install (lots of people previously using 1 outlet and splitters with analog). Unless you luck out with a promotion applied to your account."

Digital adapter only customers do not pay the digital service fee and extra outlet install fees are actually being waived for customers who are getting outlets installed for the purposes of adding a digital adapter. Also not every customer who buys a flat screen runs out to get an HD terminal. You'd be surprised at how many people don't even know what HD is. Most people who buy a flat panel TV, but it either to replace a broken tube television and is happy with SD picture quality or they've simply bought a flat screen as a status symbol and don't understand the technology behind it one bit.

Also there is a huge cost associated with with the digital migration and probably not enough new revenue streams to recoup the money as fast as many would think. The digital adapters need to be provided to customers free of charge. In addition, they need to pay for shipping costs to have adapters shipped out to customers who are unable or unwilling to visit a retail store. Rogers has also waived all install fees for those installing extra outlets for the purposes of getting a digital adapter and is also waiving truck roll fees for those who don't feel comfortable installing their own adapters. Retail stores are being inundated with traffic as most customers are being referred to retail stores to pick up their adapters, thus leading to less opportunities for retail staff to sell. They've also increased shipments of adapters to retail stores which requires more delivery trucks on the road and thus more cost then a business as usual scenario.

"Anyway, I don't see a bandwidth problem. I see an organisational efficiency problem"

Definitely a bit of both. Like I said earlier, the culture at Rogers is to react to the competition not to be ahead of the competition for the sake of being ahead. Rogers is not going to roll out upstream speed increases any faster unless customers like you start switching to Bell. Rogers already knows that a sizeable chunk of their internet customers are bell defectors that are upset about their previous download speed so they have no incentive to increase either their upload or download speed to compete with bell as Rogers is already superior in the most important aspect to customers. They also know that those who cancel Rogers internet do so because they move to TPIA providers that provide the same speed or move to Bell in order to get Fibe TV, hence the rush to market this NextBox crap instead of focusing on higher upstream speeds for their Internet business. It's also important to understand that customers sign up to a particular provider because of value not because of the fastest speed. Rogers can offer 304 down and 108 up and its not going to steal the market away because most people do not need that speed, they'll likely only grab a small niche market away from Bell, they'll never be able to lock Bell out of the market. Keep in mind that Rogers already offers more speed and bandwidth allowance for the same amount of money compared to Bell, yet Bell still has a sizeable Internet customer base. Basically don't expect a huge leap of innovation from Rogers unless Nadir is replaced and Rogers receives a huge injection of cash.
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Old 2012-04-30, 04:41 PM   #9
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I am a Rogers Ultimate customer (75Mbps down, 2 Mbps up) who definitely wants faster upload speeds. The main reason is to be able to properly Placeshift my video - I would like to be able to watch HD video anywhere on a PC or mobile device that is streamed from my home media server. 2Mbps, which is the fastest upload speed offered by Rogers and costs $100/month, does not cut it for this use, espeically for HD video.

@000 - I don't consider it a bad thing for Rogers to have not yet implemented MPEG4. I want that to be absolutely the last step. Many years ago I purchased cable boxes from Rogers (I think I own about 8 boxes - SA8300, SA3250HDs, SA4250HDs, SA3200s). What happens when Rogers switches to MPEG4 which makes my cable boxes useless? Do I have to buy new boxes? Or will Rogers replace my boxes with a box of similar capabilities? Do they even have a decent SD box that is the counterpart of the SA3200?

What is the benefit for me if they go to HD? More HD channels? A wee bit less recompression on current HD channels? What is there today that I care about that isn't already in HD? I would prefer if they blew away all SD channels that have an HD version and give everyone a box that can tune the HD channels and downrez to SD. Why waste bandwidth with additional SD channels(s) if the channel is available in HD.
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Old 2012-04-30, 09:54 PM   #10
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afaik Rogers are repurposing 3250/4250HD as SD boxes. They are the exact same thing, just relabelled 3290/4290. The DVI/HDMI/5-RCA component outputs still work and you can watch content in HD if your channel line up includes that. But neither of them support MPEG-4.

Moving to MPEG-4 is about as expensive as ordering DTA50's for everybody's old analog TV. For that reason the switch to MPEG-4 should have happened yesterday. DTA50 do not support MPEG-4 and probably never will. If Rogers moved to MPEG-4 now they would blow lots of cash just by throwing out "just delivered" DTA50's and starting all over again.

The "FTTH" IPTV network should be built with MPEG-4, if that means separate headend infrastructure they should do it. New and upgraded areas will be put on this next-gen platform. Eventually everyone will get switched over, but it's a long process, probably like 15 or 20 years time.

I was just mentioning MPEG-4 because all the talk about Rogers starving for bandwidth.

Roger has plenty of bandwidth RIGHT now, the 37MHz allocated to upstream is enough to run return paths for STBs, PacketCable, and 4 channel-bonded upstream @ 103Mbps without re-farming anything. They just need to reduce node sizes. 350 users per node overpopulated in 2008 and it's overpopulated now. That is not a DOCSIS 3 'recommended configuration' network. They need to half that, and half it again, half it every 2-3 years until they get to 16 users per node. At that point all the groundwork is done and it costs them practically next to nothing to transition to GPON FTTH. Through a fibre deep strategy and SDV they are pretty much gauranteed to free up more than 50% of bandwidth for whatever application they want.

Last edited by 000; 2012-04-30 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 2012-04-30, 11:16 PM   #11
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afaik Rogers are repurposing 3250/4250HD as SD boxes. They are the exact same thing, just relabelled 3290/4290. The DVI/HDMI/5-RCA component outputs still work and you can watch content in HD if your channel line up includes that. But neither of them support MPEG-4.
Do they sell these repurposed boxes? And why just sell them as SD boxes - they are just as "HD" as the newer boxes, are they not? The only issue is no MPEG-4 and no HDMI for the 3250. But that is fine for me as I fine that the 3250 works better with firewire for channels changes for my HTPC and in this application I only need a component output.

If it going to take that long to switch over then maybe they will never even get to MPEG-4. Perhaps we will be on MPEG-10 by then

My other worry is that some day down the line they will disable the component outputs which will pretty much kill my HTPC solution unless something like the HD Fury works to decrypt the HDMI.
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Old 2012-05-01, 02:47 AM   #12
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I'm not sure if they sell them but I'm renting a refurb 4290 that I picked up from the Eaton Centre in the last 6 months. They also have regular refurb 3200 SD boxes kicking around so getting the HD version is random/luck. I am also interested in a 2nd box myself, maybe it's worth a try to speak with a store manager and see if they can "reserve" a unit. They will likely auto-decline the favour if demand for them gets out of hand though.
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Old 2012-05-01, 02:58 AM   #13
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Doesn't the IR blaster that comes with the HD PVR work for you? I gave up on my HTPC because all the useful channels got 5C'd and analog quality is too degraded for the effort I'm taking. It's just easier to stream stuff. But now I don't even watch television that much. My grandma has her specialty foreign channels and my sister mass-downloads seasons of shows clogging up the tubes. When an Ultimate internet connection is maxed out there is NO room left for browsing, Skype, or anything b/c the upload is completely saturated. This alone is a reason they should offer packages with higher upload.
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Old 2012-05-06, 02:25 PM   #14
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Presented without comment: http://www.bell.ca/Bell_Internet/Internet_access

Let's see how long Rogers "do nothing" strategy works
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Old 2012-05-06, 09:36 PM   #15
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Are these services new? The last time I looked at Bell their Fibe 25/7 was the best they had. But 50Mbps or 175 Mbps in both directions is pretty fan-fracking-tastic.
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