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A network
at the
forefront
of innovation

Bell’s purpose is to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world. Our networks and our team members that run them are the foundation that makes it all possible.

See how our team of over 19,000 network and field technicians are constantly finding new and innovative ways to make these networks even better. From how they are built, tested, monitored and maintained to how they evolve with new innovations, our team takes pride in providing Canadians with the best network technology in the world.

How our award-winning networks work

Both of our networks are built with fibre, bringing the best experiences to our customers.

Fibre-optic cables are made of hundreds of thin strands of glass – or fibers – each about one-tenth the size of a human hair. These cables are installed in a sophisticated network of paths that can be overhead, underground or underwater, depending on location.

Unlike traditional copper cables, fibre cables use light instead of electricity to transmit data, making them faster and more reliable. With a fibre connection your data literally moves at the speed of light and you get consistently fast upload and download speeds.

  • Data centres
  • Central offices
  • Fibre distribution
  • Fibre-to-the-home
  • Fibre-to-the-
    neighbourhood
STEP 1
Data centres

Often referred to as the brains of the network, these centres contain key network infrastructure, like servers, encryption, and authentication. They provide connectivity to central offices, sending and receiving data over large fibre trunk lines.

STEP 2
Central offices

These offices send and receive information from the data centres, which is then distributed to homes, businesses and neighbourhoods in the area via our fibre cables. Bell has Canada's largest fibre-optic network – covering more than 240,000 total kilometres.

STEP 3
Fibre distribution

Bell offers two fast, fibre-powered Internet technologies. Depending on where you live, fibre is either brought right to your neighbourhood or, in a growing number of areas, straight to your home.

STEP 4
Fibre-to-the-home

Fibre is connected directly to each home, no additional copper cable required. With fibre straight to your home you get the fastest Internet technology.

STEP 5
Fibre-to-the-
neighbourhood

Fibre is connected to a central unit in the neighbourhood, then individual copper cables are used to connect to each home.

Our journey from
copper to fibre

For years, copper wires were the backbone of our networks. With the introduction of fibre technology, Bell took a leadership role in building out fibre networks to bring Canadians the fastest and most reliable network technology. Our initiative to replace copper cables with fibre ones requires an investment of billions of dollars, but the paybacks are substantial – customers will enjoy better connectivity and the environment will be better for it.

Comparing copper and fibre
Fibre Copper
Faster data
transmission
Data is translated into light pulses, then sent along a fibre within the cable. Once they reach their destination, the light pulses are converted into webpages, emails, television show streams, video calls, and more. Data is translated into electric pulses, then travels along the copper cables. Once they arrive at the receiving end, the electric pulses are converted back into the original data form.
Faster speeds Customers can get the fastest speeds with Bell pure fibre Internet. Future fibre upgrades will deliver even faster speeds to more Canadians. Customers can get speeds of up to 100 Mbps with copper-based Internet services.
Reliable
technology
Fibre cables aren’t affected by electromagnetic interference because they use light to transmit data, not electricity. Fibre is also more durable and less impacted by environmental issues, such as water or extreme temperatures. Because they are electrical conductors, copper cables can be affected by electrical interference and environmental factors, causing deterioration over time.

What we do to keep them working

Bell’s dedicated team of 19,000 network and field technicians are continuously monitoring, upgrading, repairing and optimizing our network, all with the shared goal of providing Canadians with the absolute best experience. We work with a variety of stakeholders – including power partners, city services, government officials and internal teams – to keep systems up and running.

Our efforts are divided into two main areas:
  • Real-time, end-to-end, 24/7 service monitoring across each layer of our networks
  • Continually deploying the latest software enhancements to provide the best performance, security and reliability
  • Lab testing all network upgrades to avoid negative impacts to our customers
    For example, we are currently running lab tests in climate chambers, similar to what power companies use, to ensure our cables can stand up to both high and low temperatures prior to installation. This is becoming increasingly important given climate changes.
  • Proactively repositioning our wireless antennas throughout the day to provide the best wireless coverage and support
  • Continuously improving our resources and processes to ensure we always use state of the art equipment and the most up to date technology
Érik Lagacé
Bell Field Services Advanced
Technician
Joined in 2010

How we respond when issues arise

There are different types of network outages that we can experience as a company, from storm or weather-related issues to equipment breaks. Our response is based on the unique needs of the event, but we always have the same goal in mind – getting our customers reconnected as quickly as possible while taking into account the health and safety of both our customers and our team.

  • Power
  • Cables
  • Connectivity
  • Equipment
NETWORK IMPACT
Power

Severe storms, like tornadoes and hurricanes, can result in power outages for an extended period of time. Our fibre network needs electricity to provide connectivity, so without it, there is no Internet. To ensure we can keep the network online, data centres and central offices are equipped with backup generators that are triggered in the event of an outage. Generators have a limited amount of power, so in the event of a long outage, teams have to replace or refuel generators (once it is safe to do so) until full power is restored.

NETWORK IMPACT
Cables

Third-party construction can cut or damage underground fibre cables during excavation. As a result, technicians need to remove and replace the damaged cables, then splice each individual fibre together to re-establish a connection to the network.

NETWORK IMPACT
Connectivity

Storms, construction and wildlife can also damage the poles and overhead cables that bring power and connectivity to homes, businesses and neighbourhoods. Once power has been restored, technicians must manually restore on-site connectivity by repairing wires and resetting modems.

NETWORK IMPACT
Equipment

Storms, third-party construction and even wildlife can disrupt network distribution by damaging poles, cables and other equipment. Once it is safe, network technicians have to remove and replace damaged equipment to restore network connectivity.

Weather-
related events

These can include hurricanes, tornadoes, snow or ice storms and extreme weather conditions.

Third-party disruptions

These can include cable cuts during construction, and power outages.

Equipment and system failures

These can include heating and cooling issues, normal wear and tear, and electrical component failures.

Weather-
related events

These can include hurricanes, tornadoes, snow or ice storms and extreme weather conditions.

Third-party disruptions

These can include cable cuts during construction, and power outages.

Equipment and system failures

These can include heating and cooling issues, normal wear and tear, and electrical component failures.

Repair in action

Ottawa storm clean-up

See what it took to get services back up and running in Ottawa after a severe summer storm in 2022.

Fiona storm clean-up

See the damage from Hurricane Fiona and meet some of the team members that responded to get communities back up and running.

Learn more about our networks

Canada’s most awarded 5G network

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The fastest upload speeds with the fastest Internet technology

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See the current state of the Bell network in your area.