Considering Bell Canada’s Fibe TV/Phone/Internet in Montreal? Read this first!

So, last week we had a Bell Canada sales rep going from door to door in our neighborhood, selling their now available Fibe TV/Internet (fiber to the home, or the phone post, at least). Service sounded like a solid deal, which we had looked into before it was available in our neighborhood, so we decided to switch phone/TV/Internet to that, from our long time cable provider, with whom we have all three services.

Today was install day, and it started pretty poorly straight away: I was originally told they’d simply highjack our coax box outside. Not so: in fact, what they do is run better RJ45 cable to their own phone box, then also run new RJ45 cables inside to a central location where the modem is to be, if your phone cabling is older (note: that’s two nastily installed cables running through your walls, not inside them, if you’re keeping count and let their tech at it). Once that’s done, they then run yet another cable (now coax) from the modem, which they split and then run more cables to where you plan on having TVs, ignoring/bypassing the existing coax TV plugs in your house (likely more poorly installed cables running through and along your walls, if you’re not paying attention to what they’re doing).

Yeah… I don’t think so. I put a stop to that, thought how to minimize cable runs and especially holes in my indoors/outdoors walls, and had a clean solution implying having only one new cable going through my basement, then having the rest connect cleanly to my existing phone/TV/ethernet infrastructures.

So we did that, including me running cables while crawling in my semi-basement so it would be done properly.

Then, right before the tech was on his way to start undoing my coax cable connections to highjack them for the new TV service, I asked him to first plug their new modem in and test. Fail: the modem would not connect nor sync with the central (no TV/net/phone). Time at which the tech decides to finally mention “well, I hesitated with the install because I think you’re a bit far from the central”. What?!?

The tech got on the phone for quite a while, and came back saying that the connection distance limit from the neighborhood relay (latter to the phone pole for my house) is 800 meters. They had just calculated the distance from our house and we are 900+ meters away, which basically had a zero chance of succeeding…

Now they tell us… There goes two and a half hours of my life wasted. Thanks Bell…

Needless to say, I sent him on his way by the time he started trying to downsell me on their lower offerings. Seriously? How dumb do you think I am?

So if you were thinking about switching to Bell’s supposed fiber-to-the-home in Montreal (Plateau Mont-Royal, in my case), my advice is… don’t. Or at least have them make sure they can provide the service they sold you on in the first place…

I’ll choose to see the upside: we have not been a Bell Canada customer for now over half a decade. What we just got was a fresh reminder of why that is the case, and proof it’s unlikely to change any time soon.

Simply ridiculous…

Royal Canadian MintChip Challenge: Evolution of Currency

From The MintChip Challenge | MintChip Developer Resources:

The Royal Canadian MintChip Challenge invites software developers to create innovative digital payment applications using MintChip, a development phase technology available only to challenge participants. Developers and the public are also encouraged to share ideas for how a digital currency can be used. Winners will receive approximately $50,000 in gold bullion from the Mint as well as promotional exposure. Prizes will be awarded for the apps that best demonstrate the potential value of the MintChip technology and have the greatest potential impact on digital payment technology. Submitted apps can run on Windows, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, or desktop and mobile browsers.

More on MintChip:

MintChip – The Evolution of Currency

Today’s digital economy is changing faster than ever, and currency has to change too. It is, introducing MintChip, from the Royal Canadian Mint – the evolution of currency.

MintChip brings all the benefits of cash into the digital age. Instant, private and secure, MintChip value can be stored and moved quickly and easily over email, software applications, or by physically tapping devices together.