Waterfront Toronto unveils new high-speed network, no thanks to Bell or Rogers

Waterfront Toronto unveils new high-speed network, no thanks to Bell or Rogers

Someday super high-speed Internet may live here (Image: Artist rendering courtesy of Waterfront Toronto)

In its latest effort to sell new developments in the old industrial heart of the city, Waterfront Toronto unveiled its latest pitch to the Netflix-and-iCloud generation: a high-speed broadband network multiple times faster than what’s currently available from Rogers and Bell, and at the same price.

From the National Post:

To be available in the under-construction communities of East Bayfront and West Donlands, the network will offer residents Internet speeds of up 100 megabits per second — 20 times the Toronto average.

“You’ve got a big sandbox to play in now, whereas historically you had enough to get by,” says Joe Deklic, a vice president with Cisco Systems Canada. The network could be “easily adapted” to offer speeds up to 10 gigabits per second. At that rate, downloading a full-length movie would take less than a second.

While the Waterfront Toronto service will cost $60 a month—a guaranteed price for 10 years—the highest tier that Bell provides is its Fibe 25 package (which both costs more and runs at a quarter the speed). Waterfront Toronto admits that it’ll be selling this service at a loss and recouping the difference in other ways, but the big reason they’re able to offer higher speeds is technology. Waterfront T.O. will be using fibre optic cable instead of the antiquated phone and cable lines on which Bell’s and Rogers’s networks are built.

Of course, all that depends on whether Waterfront’s network actually materializes. South of the border it’s distressingly common to see big telecom go to the powers that be to stop governments and utilities from building new networks. Rogers already opposed Toronto Hydro’s bid to construct a Wi-Fi network in the city, so we’ll be watching to see if the big ISPs go to the province or the feds to try to stop this project too.

New waterfront communities to get ultra high-speed Internet [National Post]
Ultra-high-speed broadband for a wired waterfront [Globe and Mail]
A speed-wired waterfront [Toronto Star]
Hume: Waterfront unveils the future while city remains stuck in the past [Toronto Star]