This is a follow-up to an earlier post regarding how Bell’s new Fibe Entertainment Service works. Specifically, this post will discuss the overall bandwidth expectations a subscriber can expect. The Entertainment Service is a converged service. This means that television and Internet services are provided over a single VDSL line from Bell.
Our speedtests showed impressive numbers, delivering a consistent download speed of 20Mbit and an upload rate just shy of 8Mbit. Compared to a typical DSL service of 6Mbit x 800Kbit, this is a huge improvement, especially for upstream applications (like VoIP, VPNs, sending E-mail, etc.)
Typical ADSL speed test results
Bell Entertainment Service Speed and Bandwidth Test Results
Internet Speeds while watching (and recording) TV
Bell’s Entertainment Service uses a single VDSL line to provide a converged Internet and television service. Rather than dedicate a fixed amount of bandwidth for the television signal, Bell’s service uses dynamic bandwidth allocation that ensure your television signals are given preference over your Internet connection. This means that if you’re watching two hi-definition shows, Bell lower the speed of your Internet connection in order to meet the higher bandwidth demand of the HD signal.
So exactly what does this mean?
In our tests we found that our 20Mb speedtest results dropped by approximately 3Mb while we watched a single HD stream. A typical HD stream uses 5-7Mb, but since Bell already allocated 5Mb for TV, we “lose” about 2-3Mb while watching hi-def channels. A second HD stream dropped us by another 7Mbit. Bell says that when customers add additional TVs (up to 4), they add 5Mb to your VDSL service for each TV.
Don’t forget that since recording a show also uses bandwidth, these test results will also apply if the console is recording a show.
Having a 20Mbit Internet service at home hasn’t made a significant impact on our daily web surfing lives, but it’s noticeably faster when software updates are downloaded, or a visit to YouTube downloads the entire video almost immediately. Even if both televisions are in use at the same time, we get a consistent 10Mbit x 7Mbit connection… still better than a standard DSL line. If you’re looking for Hi-Def television service AND high speed Internet, you should check out Bell’s Fibe Entertainment Service at fibetv.bell.ca.
- Jun 6: A year in review. Pros and Cons of Bell’s Entertainment Service.
- Recent post: How does Bell’s Fibe IPTV Entertainment Television Service Work?
- Bell’s Fibe Service website
- Bell IPTV User Guide