Well, we knew it was coming, although not for long due to Bell’s incompetence and the shitty way they are handling this “discontinuation of service”. I was going to title this post “Bell, you suck“, but that title has been used way too often. (even in some variations by me, see here, and here.)
We’ve had the Portable internet or Unplugged service for quite some time now. They’ve renamed it a few times over the years since Rogers bought up the Inukshuk internet service as part of the Microcell buy out, which ended up becoming a joint venture with Bell back in 2005. It has never been great as far as speeds go, but at least it was available. That is, up until now. About a month back I found out purely by accident that the service was being discontinued at the end of March. The story behind the shutting down seems different depending who you talk to, but in the end, it wasn’t making enough money is probably the real reason despite all the talk of the CRTC wanting that particular bandwidth back, or that the equipment was dated and in need of replacement, major repair, etc.
It seems this particular internet service has been in the process of being discontinued for some time now, depending upon your area. I think the intention was to cancel the service once a reasonable replacement was in place. Sadly, for those like me, that still hasn’t happened. We are one of the lucky few not included in the government promises to bring high-speed to rural communities, seems we are too close to the city, and yet not far enough away to get coverage from the rural providers.
The worst part of the whole ordeal is the fact Bell really dropped the ball repeatedly in letting its customers know. I found out while talking to a Bell tech about my slow internet, that the service was actually being discontinued. I immediately got in touch with Bell internet customer service, and was informed that letters had been sent out to let people know, but strangely many people did not receive them. WTF? I was informed again later during another phone call that yes, in fact letters had been sent out a couple of times because there was an issue the first time. But still, again, many people never got informed. In this day and age how is it possible to screw up sending a letter to customers? They would never miss making sure you get your bill, so why not just add it in there.
I got in touch with all the major players, Bell and Rogers, and long list of ISPs that I had never heard of or had little knowledge of. Xplornet, Execulink, ISP Canada, Teksavvy, Canada Online, Falcon Internet, Allcore, and Terago to name just a few. None of which could get a signal to my house, with the exception of Terago and they are just way too expensive to be considered a residential provider. Wind mobile is available, but at a data cap of 10 gig per month, after which they throttle the speed down to 256kbs it is not a viable solution for a household internet service. Especially one with teenagers that enjoy instagram, youtube, Facebook and netflix way too much. 10 gig would last about a weekend.
As it stands, we are awaiting our new turbo hub modem from Bell to start up our overpriced and data limited mobile internet service, since it is the only service anyone is offering that can reach my house. I can physically see the city limits from my property, close enough I can read the population sign, but not close enough that any landline services have been upgraded in my area. So for now, we are struggling by with our cell phones, trying to limit our data usage, and will be sitting in coffee shops and burger joints to do our updating of apps and OSes until such time that the powers that be finally bring real high-speed internet to ALL of the rural customers, and not just some.