Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cellular Service On The TTC

When it comes to cellular service, I'm a bit more connected than the average guy or gal.  I pay a lot for my service, and I really notice when it's missing… like on the subway trains in Toronto.  

How about we get it into Toronto's two and bit lines?  

Putting cellular service into tunnels isn't hard.   Q.E.D, this isn't a technical hurdle as it's already been done in many of the most complicated subway systems in the world, including Seoul and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).  Also, it's not a money problem as all that has to happen is the carriers put their systems in the tunnels, then pay the TTC rent, just like they would for putting a cellular transmitter on a building. Given the TTC is always having budget issues, you'd think they'd be welcoming people throwing money at them in a rent or rev-share fashion.  

Before anyone says it's a problem with the radios and signalling, I can only point this is why we have Industry Canada (They have regulations that dictate spectrum usage and if your radios and track signalling equipment are designed to clash with cellular signals, then they will be replaced and someone's head should be on the block).  Either way, that's easily solved by the carriers paying to replace the TTC equipment as part of the bargain.

What we're supposed to be running in Toronto is a modern transit system.  When people get on a subway train, they're stepping back into an era equal to what we had before radio waves were discovered.  That's just not right in this day and age - especially when NASA has DTN talking across the solar system and we can't get signals into tunnels that run alongside the basements of some of Canada's carrier monopolies.

So what else could the hold up be, if it's not a technical hold up or a financial one?  I can only conclude it's a political holdup (in the "palm + grease" manner).