Bell to replace problem part

Bell said it’s determined a piece of technology used in the phone system at Bears Pass no longer is compatible with other equipment and will be replaced, hopefully by Christmas.
Robert Lindstrom, regional manager of network operations for Bell, said the equipment is part of the same switch that was installed just over a year ago–around the same time problems began to show up.
“It was different equipment at one end of it. One particular component [causing the problems],” he explained. “It’s the only piece that’s different from other locations.
“We’re going to replace the equipment that’s giving us [problems] and make it the same as the other systems,” he added. “All we’re going to do [at Bears Pass] is make that system the same as other systems that we have functioning [with the Internet].
Lindstrom said it’s not that the equipment is not working properly; it’s that it does not communicate properly with the other equipment.
“We want to get that piece of equipment out of there, and put in something that is compatible and that we know works,” he stressed.
But Lindstrom also defended Bell’s original selection of that particular equipment, and claimed this situation was unique.
“It is a proven piece of equipment, this piece of equipment works 100 percent. [Many] customers had used it before. It’s not a problem for Internet services.
“But with all the different equipment that’s now in place [at the Bears Pass] scenario, it doesn’t function,” he noted.
Lindstrom wouldn’t guarantee the work would be done by Thanksgiving but said, “I definitely hope it’s sooner than Christmas.”
“We definitely have to proceed and get this resolved for the Bears Pass customers,” he pledged.
Bob MacDonald, a long-time Bears Pass resident, was kicked off his Internet Service Provider five times yesterday. The highest rate he can connect at is 21.6 bps and because of that, he has downgraded to Sunset Communication’s most basic package.
“I think that’s a long time to be waiting. We’re paying our bills on time up here and we’re expecting some service,” he argued.
“That’s better than not getting it fixed at all [but] I’m having a tough believing [Bell] and we don’t know. They could tell us they are making the part on the moon and we wouldn’t know,” he charged.
Lindstrom said the time-frame depends on how quickly the manufacturer can supply the replacement part because the funding already is in place. He said once the equipment was on site, it would take “only a couple of weeks.”
In related news, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) admitted it did receive a letter from Bears Pass resident Jerry Korman.
Originally, it said no complaints were on file but this was because Bears Pass has no postal service. Residents there have Fort Frances as their official address.
“There are no complaints on file from any residents of Bears Pass. Jerry Korman is the only guy and his letter was addressed as Fort Frances,” explained Ontario CRTC Commissioner Martha Wilson.
“The people in our correspondence division are sitting in an office in Hull [Que.] and they know an awful lot about communications but not a lot about the postal service,” she added.
Wilson stressed residents can’t expect action without filing complaints.
“If they’re having problems and they don’t feel satisfied by the response they are getting from the telephone company, they have an option to come to us and say, ‘This is a problem!’” Wilson remarked.
“[But] it would be contrary to natural justice for me to say, ‘Yes we will act,’” she admitted. “I can’t just go shooting off my mouth about what we can do to rectify certain situations.”
Wilson compared her position to that of a judge and would not take sides.
“I’m a commissioner. I’m the court of last resort,” she stated.