Just when I thought that this file was closed, I received another, nasty-toned, email from SaskTel president Ron Styles, which I am reproducing in full. My comments are interspersed.
As you are aware from my previous response, as well as your conversations with other SaskTel representatives, I can only speak for SaskTel’s cellular data and high speed Internet alternatives, not for networks belonging to other providers.
Here, he’s referring to my comments about satellite service offered by Xplorenet. He is just being ignorant because he is the one who referred to Xplorenet as being SaskTel’s ‘partner’ and, in fact, the service is offered on the SaskTel website. I firmly believe at this point that SaskTel is getting some sort of kickback from Xplorenet.
St. Victor’s valley location creates geographic line-of-sight interference with the local towers at Willow Bunch (at a distance of 19 km), Assiniboia (at a distance of 25 km), as well as the tower at Scout Lake (at a distance of 10 km). The primary purpose of the tower at Scout Lake is to provide coverage along Highway #2, and providing cellular service to St Victor’s was an additional benefit.
Again, I have evidence that coverage along highway #2 is provided by both the Rockglen and Assiniboia towers and that there is absolutely no benefit to that area to have the tower up there. So I continue to maintain that there is something shady going on here.
St. Victor is unable to receive SaskTel’s Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) high speed Internet because the service is a distance sensitive technology. SaskTel Basic High Speed Internet Service can only be provided to a maximum distance of four kilometers from the distribution point in the local Central Office (CO). This distance is not measured “as the crow flies”; rather, it is calculated as the length the cable travels as it loops from the distribution point to individual customers.
In order for St. Victor to be provisioned for DSL Internet service or the installation of a new cellular tower, fiber would need to be ploughed from the closest viable network point to St. Victor. Cabling and facilities, as well as further equipment, would need to be installed and maintained requiring a significant capital investment on the part of SaskTel. Unfortunately, SaskTel has determined that there is no positive business case to provide St. Victor with either of these services.
We have landline telephone service connected to the outside world that occasionally needs repair. Why not replace worn sections of cable, as needed, with whatever type of cable is necessary to provide DSL until we’re connected? I know this wouldn’t happen overnight, but if you’re already working on a section, why not upgrade it?
SaskTel wireless is aware that a number of communities do not have access to SaskTel cellular service. SaskTel appreciates that you have found a creative solution to the geographic limitations of cellular service to St. Victor. However, SaskTel does not reimburse customers for the purchase of third party hardware and will not be reimbursing the costs for your recently purchased commercial grade booster. I also need to advise that if the commercial booster interferes with the network, we may need to ask you to make changes to or shut down the booster.
Yup, he just threatened on record to cut off my service if they don’t like how I use it! My booster meets all the codes for possible interference. There is no way I could threaten SaskTel operations. But I can just see SaskTel shutting me down if I continue to up the usage on my unlimited plan.
Regarding your concerns of communications for local emergency services, you may not be aware that it is the Ministry of Government Relations who coordinates the Provincial Public Safety Answering System (PPSAS), not SaskTel. The PPSAS operates on a different system than SaskTel’s cellular network.
PPSAS is designed to meet the specific needs of public safety and public service agencies such as fire departments, police services, emergency medical services, emergency preparedness, volunteer search and rescue groups, provincial government emergency response or enforcement agencies and other related groups. I would encourage you to contact the PPSTN at 1-888-953-3693.
The man really does think I’m an idiot! Of course I know this. He completely missed the point that the average tourist on the street isn’t on this network and has no way to contact emergency services!
Thank you again for taking the time to share your concerns.
He’s so funny!
President and CEO