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Gigabit Fever Hits Toronto: Bell Introducing Gigabit Fiber Internet Across Entire GTA

bellBell Canada will invest $1.14 billion to bring gigabit fiber to the home service to more than one million homes and apartments in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) over the next three years.

It will be the largest fiber build ever attempted in North America, and will serve every home and business in the GTA, beginning with 50,000 homes and businesses that will be upgraded to all-fiber service this summer.

“This is something that quite frankly none of us could have imagined just a few years ago,” Bell Canada president and CEO George Cope said at a press conference this morning. “This will be 20 times faster (than average Internet speeds) and it really is building for the consumer what large, large enterprise would have had just a few years ago for their corporations.”

gtaToronto will be the fastest broadband city in North, Central, and South America when Bell is finished laying 9,000 kilometers of fiber underground and on 80,000 Bell and Toronto Hydro utility poles. At least 27 Bell telephone exchanges will be fully upgraded to 100% fiber service, eliminating huge swaths of older copper wiring. At least 2,400 new jobs will be created, but Bell and Toronto city officials are convinced an all-fiber optic network will attract even more jobs and help broaden Toronto’s digital economy.

Bell’s project in Toronto will be vastly larger than AT&T U-verse with GigaPower, Comcast’s 2Gbps fiber service, and Google Fiber because:

  • It will actually exist, unlike fiber to the press release announcements of phantom fiber upgrades from Comcast and AT&T that serve only a miniscule number of customers;
  • Will not rely on “fiberhoods” and will deliver fiber service to every home and business and every neighborhood across the entire GTA.

No pricing has yet been announced but Bell promised it would be competitive with other gigabit broadband projects in North America. That likely means Toronto residents will pay between $70-100 a month for gigabit service. No details about usage caps or allowances were included in the announcement.

Bell is already upgrading some of its existing Fibe network in other cities to deliver gigabit speeds on a more limited basis in Atlantic Canada (Bell Aliant) and in select cities in Ontario and Quebec as part of a $20 billion network upgrade.

CP24 carried this morning’s press conference introducing Bell Gigabit Internet across Toronto. (19:51)

Currently there are 6 comments on this Article:

  1. JayS says:

    The scale and timeline of this announced upgrade, copper to fiber in an entire metropolitan area, is simply an indication that the cost of maintaining the old Bell – copper network, going forward, exceeds the cost of a ‘fiber to the home’ upgrade; the economics has just flipped to favor complete fiber build-outs in major metro areas.

  2. dancer says:

    When will Bell Gigabit fibe be available in Brampton, ON?

    I really want it in Brampton as soon as possible because their Internet is going to be a-lot faster and Bell is the leader in lightning speed internet and proves to be alot better than Rogers.

  3. M Wilson says:

    It’s not fiber to the home, it’s fiber to the node, which means the connection between the concentrator and your house is copper. Bell markets the technology as Gigabit Fibe. Many news outlets referred to the technology as Bell Gigabit Fiber, or assumed that the new tech was FTTH.

    Bell’s own press release was intentionally misleading as it seemed to compare Fibe to Google Fiber:

    “As with all other gigabit services, like the Google Fiber project in some US cities, service will initially be available at a maximum 940 Megabits per second and rise to a full 1000 Megabits per second or faster in 2016 as modem equipment suppliers catch up to gigabit speeds. To learn more about Gigabit Fibe, please visit Bell.ca/Fibe.”

    and later added:

    “Bell’s existing fibre network already delivers both the best television experience anywhere with Fibe TV and fast broadband Internet.”


    • Bell Fibe is fiber to the neighborhood in most cities, but there are fiber to the home builds in Ontario and Quebec in certain places. The Bell proposal for the GTA is strictly fiber to the home. The first place I’ve seen a reference to Gigabit Fibe is with the GTA upgrade.

      I doubt anyone will actually see 940Mbps performance as of right now, much less 1,000Mbps. Many speedtests cannot even accurately measure the speed if they exist outside of the home network because connections along the way may not be able to keep up with this speed capacity.

      Having the infrastructure in place will help drive upgrades to boost those speeds, though.

  4. Limboaz says:

    A billion dollars seems like a steal when you consider how big Toronto is. Meanwhile the cable ISP’s down here in the States plot how they can jack up prices (either directly or with usage based billing) without actually offering any speed upgrades. All this to try to make up for losses due to cord cutting and cord trimming… wonderful.

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