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CRTC will not take action at Bear’s Pass.


The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission said it will not take action against Bell regarding phone service at Bear’s Pass because no one there has filed a written complaint.

Martha Wilson, the CRTC commissioner for Ontario, said last Friday that all complaints regarding telecommunications are logged in their computer system—and there were none from Bear’s Pass residents.

“In order for the CRTC to do something, we would have to have something in writing,” Wilson said.

But the Times has obtained a confirmation letter sent to Bear’s Pass resident Jerry Korman from the CRTC.

The letter—dated Nov. 16, 1998 and signed by CRTC client services manager Jennifer Wilson—states, “This will confirm that the [CRTC] has received a report from Bell Canada regarding the concerns outlined in your letter of July 27, 1998.”

The Times faxed Martha Wilson two copies of the original Korman letter and the confirmation letter last Friday. There was no response and she did not return several subsequent calls.

“I’m just surprised because there are filing numbers and response numbers from Jennifer Wilson at the CRTC and she seemed aware that the problem was in Bear’s Pass,” Korman argued.

“I’m puzzled that the CRTC at a different level is saying that they were not aware [there was a problem at Bear’s Pass] or that they can’t find this filing.

“It is rather unusual,” he noted.

As for the service, Korman told the Times last week he had seen modest improvements. This week, he said any gains were lost.

“It went right back downhill again. There’s a hum on the line and even on a local call, where it should be good, strong voice quality, you’re fading in and out,” he claimed.

Korman also lost his Voyageur Net Internet service when transport links went down after a fire at a Bell facility in Toronto last Friday. He said he was forced to make four trips to International Falls to complete business transactions on the Internet.

“These are supposed to be isolated systems so something that happens to one part of the system should have no affect whatsoever on the other part,” charged Korman, a systems network consultant.

“What scares me is that this was a relatively minor incident, really, and it brought down [Bell’s] whole network,” he stressed.

Kami Leatherdale, who also lives at Bear’s Pass, still is not satisfied with her Internet service, either.

“The other day I connected at 4800 bps but then today I got on at 19,600 so it’s variable. I don’t think Bell has really got the problem solved yet,” she remarked.

“It seems like [Bell] fixed the other problems we were having,” she added. “I haven’t heard [the buzzing] lately and the dial tone thing [seems fixed].”

Bell was unavailable for comment by press time.

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