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Thursday, 3 November 2011

Well, gotta love Cogeco Cable

I was going to post a new BF3 video tonight, but that's unfortunately out of the question thanks to the folks over at Cogeco who really dropped the bomb. I'm writing this from my Netbook while using the wireless at the library at the University since Cogeco (my ISP) has allowed my internet to decrease in speed from a steady 30mbps down to a measly 0.5mbps. It literally is impossible to do anything internet related at my home right now.

Now, before I really get into my rant, I have worked in customer service for an ISP so I always take the most polite approach when speaking to an individual in the industry, but today I had enough. I lost it, so many requests through e-mail and phone for troubleshooting and repair have gone unanswered, or answered with utter bullshit. I understand that things happen, equipment wears out etc...but for a couple weeks now my internet has been slow, increasingly slower as the days have gone by, and intermittent as well. I have VOIP with my ISP as well so my home phoneline has been out as well and my digital cable has been pixelating non-stop and on-demand is a crapshoot on whether or not it's actually going to work or not.

My family pays $60 a month just for the internet portion alone, 30mbps downstream and a pint sized 1.5mbps upstream. With those download speeds, I can clear my 175gb cap in less than a week. This is the part that get's me going the most, it's ridiculous. Yes, I am a heavy internet user, I am not the average user, I download alot, I game alot, almost everything I do is cloud based, so yeah, most people may not have to deal with this, but I get nasty letters from Cogeco on a monthly basis threatening to shut me down if I don't slow down, not to mention the ultimate kick in the pants, the massive overage charges I am subject to on a regular basis. All the major ISP's have similar packages in regards to speed, and most are similar in cap size, although some are more abysmal than other's ****cough....Rogers...cough*****.

Compared to the rest of the developed world, Canadian's are some of the biggest sucker's when it comes to internet costs, considering we have one of the most solid internet backbone's and one of the most ultra developed infrastructures in the known world, this is pathetic, if you don't believe me, take a look at this wonderful chart below, courtesy of Gizmodo.

The chart to the right was designed in 2009 and since then the disparity in price has only grown. Now of course there are going to be alot of naysayers and people who claim that other's like me are just whining and should shut up and accept it. But unfortunately, in this day and age, gouging and price fixing like this should not be allowed to continue (and yes, price fixing, just like gas prices, are actually a violation of The Criminal Code of Canada, look it up). The argument in favour of these bandwidth caps, speed throttling and overage charges is that it relieves network congestion, well, that is just not true, and as the recent hearings on Usage Based Billing have shown us, these tactics are purely for monetary gain and nothing out (a representative from Roger's admitted to this when question by the CRTC).

They are businesses, and we do live in a free market economy, but when the internet, like fuel, became a necessity, not a luxury, these ISP's gained a monopoly over our lives and we need to fight for our right to have free and fair access to the services we rely upon and pay so much money for. After all, if you went to an all you can eat buffet and were told there is a $5 charge for every plate after the first one, wouldn't you cry foul as well?

We need to step up and do our part to end the neoliberal influence on our lives. Check out and join the fight against Big Telecom alongside the country's largest advocacy group!

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