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Canadian adventures


Nothing interesting but a lesson in life perhaps. Would expect a lot more from Canada and any so called first world country.

Living in a big city suburb, Toronto suburb, definitely not rural. Phone service is down on several streets for 5 days and counting. Internet (DSL) is sporadic at best. Somehow internet, presumably because it uses 1 pair of wires not 2 is not 100% affected even though the phone company rep cites the issue as 'water soaked cable, trying to find location of the soaked cable'  :huh: Makes very little sense and the downtime length is down right ridiculous.

In that sense I have been blessed growing up in a country where it doesn't take too much effort to put cables in the ground by people who know very well how to do just that. Sure, it is more expensive and cumbersome when repairs are needed, but the thing is that the amount of times a repair is needed, drops to near zero. Especially in geologically stable places.

Another advantage is that in a lot of situations you can plan to do maintenance on telecom cables or gas/water pipes when for example the electricity company opens the street/sidewalk to do an upgrade. If more than one type of company does work this way, they can divide the costs of opening and closing the street/sidewalk back up. That is enough of a cost saver for any company to actively search for such partnering deals where they can.

In the end, companies have more ROI putting cables into the ground, customers enjoy a much more stable services provided over these cables and, in most cases, do not have to worry long about circumventing dangerous situations that can be introduced when streets/sidewalks are opened up.

Distribution of services through cables going through the air? Last resort for people living or working in locations directly above bedrock, but for a lot of places (in 1st world countries as well) it sounds like lazyness to me. Most consider the Netherlands to be a first world country and in all my time living there (spread over different cities in the southern part and 33 years) is that you will have power, gas, water, cable and telephone services available, as long as you pay your monthly bills and do not pull any main switch yourself in your residence. Snow, ice, storms, heat...all of that doesn't affect availability.

Here in Paraguay all cables go through the air and reliability just isn't there. Transformers on poles that blow out seemingly at random, car/truck accidents, trees storms so strong that power cables (with separators in between them!) still manage to touch each other, heavy is almost like companies "providing" their services through the 'cable in air' method settle for saying "at least we tried" to their customers. A sign of weakness anywhere in the world, if you would ask me (and I know you didn't).

Internet here in the capital of PY, in a highly commercial part where electricity and connectivity is paramount for most businesses/shops, is spotty at best when it rains. Which it is doing right now. So in that sense, we (rgdot and Shades) are kindred spirits.

The Toronto example reminds me of when I was assigned to work in Manila (Philippines) on a mobile network telco project (developing and implementing a distributed call data recording and billing system). Episodic temporary district power outages (brownouts) and copper-cable telecomms failures were commonplace. Sometimes, newly-laid copper cable was pulled out by thieves to be sold as bulk scrap. What one might expect of a third-world economy.

Embarrassingly, whilst I was over there, there were reports of CBD power outages in Auckland in my home country (NZ). The outages were directly attributed to the grid network operator having allowed potential supply bottlenecks to occur, which overloaded certain nodes at peak times during business hours. The nodes then burned out. This was because they had wanted to put off the expenditure necessary to ameliorate the well-understood risks, despite the engineers warning management several times about the predictable likely outcomes. It was a disgraceful decision to allow such risks. I think a few heads rolled over that, so it won't be likely to recur within living memory.

For telecomms service availability, NZ has always been very good, but the NZ government Dept. of Commerce is funding network providers to implement an optical fibre network with an incentive payment - something like NZ$1,000 per connection, I gather, and for a limited time. The network providers are thus working flat out to install fibre for free, and there is an additional bonus in that (so I am told) fibre networks cost less to operate and maintain, and are less at risk from environmental factors. The consumers are thus getting a faster/higher bandwidth service in double-quick time, at no extra cost (and sometimes at less less cost) to their ISP contract.

Maybe Toronto could learn from that...

Maybe Toronto could learn from that...
-IainB (May 19, 2018, 01:02 PM)
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Oh yeah?


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