Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How much is reliable Internet worth to you?

We use 3web as our Internet Provider. Their Gold Cable package offers speeds of 6 Mbps download, 800 Kbps upload at a cost of $29.99. Rogers on the other hand offers an identical speed package (Extreme) at a cost of $51.95.

It is known that Rogers and 3web share certain infrastructure in the Toronto area, so in theory, service levels should be identical. Given this information, it would seem to be a no-brainer that one would go with 3web and save $20 per month.

How is 3web able to offer such savings? In addition to sharing certain infrastructure, 3web also does not have as great a customer support presense compared to Rogers. It is harder to get in touch with technical support, and they are not open 24 hours. From my prespective, as long as the connection is up, I don't particularly need any other help, so again, saving $20 a month would be the logical choice.

This weekend, 3web suffered an outage that left many consumers without internet for an extended amount of time (down for up to 3 days). Based on dslreports.com forum postings here, here and here, it would seem that Rogers botched a route, and they did not (care to) take action on it for three days.

I wonder if this is a ploy by Rogers to try to convince 3web cable users to switch back. It is rather stressful to not have Internet access for 3 days. Who do we blame here? 3web or Rogers? 3web for not delivering a service that I have paid for, or Rogers for essentially screwing 3web by not fixing the issue? DSL isn't really a good choice where I live, so is it worth it for me to switch back to Rogers to pay $20 extra a month to ensure that my Internet doesn't go down for three days (something that shouldn't happen anyways)?

What do you think?

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Anonymous said...

I use 3Web too, those 3 days without internet was indeed pretty stressful, luckily I had to work those 3 days so it didn't seem too long for me. But to answer the question, there's 2 ways to look at this.

1) 3Web is 40% cheaper than Rogers, meaning, we're only paying 60% of Rogers' service. So that means if it works 60% of the time we shouldn't be complaining right? That's 18 days out of 30 days in a month. 3Web is much more reliable than that!

2) The other way to look at it, is in terms of outages. For every 24 hours (or 1 day) Rogers is down, 3Web is allowed 40 hours (lets just say 2 days). As much as I hate Rogers, I have to say Rogers internet is actually quite reliable, they're maybe down once or twice a year. I'm afraid that 3-day outage used up much of 3Web's quota of allowed outages already.

However, I doubt I'll go back to Rogers. First the download limit, then the BT throttling... oh let's not forget they'll sent you a warning letter if they detect you're downloading copyright content.

So Rogers... you can suck on this (_)_)====D

protovision said...

I would love to ditch Rogers. The service has been pretty reliable, but the caps suck, and they don't care about their customers at all.

Does 3web really have no caps, and cable service? cool, will look into.

Any other 3web cable users out there? whats it like?

protovision said...

did some research, looks like 3web is a dog with fleas, none or useless customer support, slower than advertised speeds, lots of downtime.


Jason Tsang said...

In 3web's defense, I've had nothing but great service from them (with the exception of the two outages). Speeds as advertised, no caps, no throttling.

The two outages (both within the last 6 weeks), were both the fault of Rogers.

I don't need the rest of the 'stuff' Rogers offers for an additional $20 as long as the connection is up.

FWIW, all other Cable alternatives have to put up with Rogers' follies too.

If you want to ditch Rogers and still have Rogers reliability, then I really wish you the best of luck, when you find it, let me know (chances are, it will require moving out of the Rogers service area).

Unknown said...

Jason-"no throttling"
Can anyone confirm that 3web does not have the same issues with bittorrent as Rogers (as of Feb'07 they are even able to throttle encrypted BT traffic! :( )

Because 3web runs off rogers I worry that switching will not fix my problems...

Can someone on 3web comment on their BT experience??

Thank you!

Jason Tsang said...

I never observed any throttling of BitTorrent when I was on 3web (whether I was going through the Rogers Phub or the new Cybersurf routes)..