The Wild Wild Web

I don’t think I understood all the hullabaloo over net neutrality until I had to get an Internet connection at my new apartment. Now granted its an unusual space. Hundred year old factories turned loft apartments aren’t your everyday install, but its led me to some interesting places…

First Bell tells me I can’t get DSL here. Initially I accepted that and took their second option which turns out to be wireless transmission from their central office over on Atwater. Well the signal is crappy and inconsistent, move the receiver a millimetre and it loses the signal, not to mention I have to put it in the window upstairs which is incredibly inconvenient. Even without touching it the bandwidth wobbles around wildly and I’ve had two outtages within the first week. Great job Bell.

Enter Videotron. The installer showed up today then couldn’t find the cable box. Now in all fairness I understand that this building is kind of hodge podge, but, you’d think that after the first half dozen installs that Videotron might set things up properly, or at least have comments on file attached to the address explaining what’s going on. After wandering around with the installer for an hour he finally left without having done anything.

Then I start the research, and this is where I really start to see the shady undertones of the whole thing, that is on top of the total incompetence of the major players.

I can’t get Limewire or SoulSeek to work on my Internet connection, because Bell/Sympatico blocks them. A bit of research reveals that pretty much all the major players are “shaping” or “throttling” Internet traffic with impunity deciding what you can and can’t do and how much you can do it. Self imposed data police. Great.

Of course it gets even better. In the spirit of competition Bell and Rogers and their ilk are obligated to let independents play on their systems as well. Unfortunately they’re continuing to shape and throttle the accounts of users under their competitors – which kind of eliminates the point of competition and creates a… dare I say it… a duopoly cartel that can use its muscle to keep anyone else from getting a foot in the door.

And it gets better. People switching from say Bell to an independent ISP frequently find their speed drastically reduced, even though their Internet is coming from the exact same infrastructure. That’s right Bell “accidentally” changes your circuit to a slower setting. Oops.

The more I read the more disgusted I get.

So I’m cancelling both Bell and Videotron and going with Teksavy. Sure its coming from Bell copper, but at least they only get part of the money.

Oh, did I mention that it took Bell over two weeks to get my Internet to me in the first place? Bra-fucking-vo.

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