Monday, February 12, 2007

How to go internet-less for a week

For those of you wondering why I haven't been online at home, while I was working an insane amount of overtime, the overriding reason was the lack of Internet at home.

For those of you who care to hear my story of woe, here it is:

As I previously wrote in a previous blog entry, 'How much is reliable Internet worth to you?', I was previously using 3web as my Internet Service Provider (ISP). As seen from that blog entry, 3web went down a few times in the Toronto area over the last two months. Gary and I were fed up with the outages and the lack of tech support, so in mid-January (January 18, 2007 to be exact), enough was enough, we were going back to Rogers. 3web couldn't discontinue service until the end of the month so we accepted that. A few days after, 3web contacted Gary and gave him credit for the downtime, so we decided to cash in on the credit for another month (i.e. until the end of February) before ditching them.

Come February 2, 2007, 3web disconnected our Internet service despite us telling them not to. Great. Not only were we not prepared for this, we also couldn't get through to them to complain. Fine. We'll get Rogers Internet again. We tried to get connected on Rogers, and Rogers gave us the runaround, saying that our area could not support their cable Internet service (gee Rogers, then please explain how I was using 3web via your infrastructure, and previous to that Rogers themselves). I suspect they were just being dumb, because Rogers really had to wait to get authorization from 3web to take back control of our line (for lack of a better word). If Rogers didn't want our money, that was ABSOLUTELY fine with us.

Gary and I quickly did some research into other Internet Service Providers. On the forums, we both read great things about a company called TekSavvy, a Canadian company that provides DSL-based services. We decided to sign up for their Dry Loop DSL Unlimited service (dry loop = DSL without residential telephone, as we use VOIP through Vonage). The soonest they could hook up service was Thursday, which was the norm, as they had to go through Bell Canada to setup everything that was necessary.

Fast forward to Thursday, and we had no Internet. A few calls were placed to TekSavvy who couldn't figure out why we weren't up. On Saturday, we found out why. When we cancelled Bell residential telephone service a couple of years ago, they took the liberty of unhooking our phone line completely at our demarcation point. This was OK back then because we didn't need to be connected to any telephone infrastructure. However, with a DSL-based service, you needed to be hooked up to the telephone infrastructure, and unfortunately this wasn't done. If Bell made a point of coming to our house to disconnect the telephone wires, you'd think they would have known to re-connect it. Guess not.

Now, technically, playing on the wrong side of the demarcation point (i.e. Bell's side) is suppose to be prohibited, but enough was enough. I wanted Internet back. It's a good thing that I actually know how to properly hook up this type of infrastructure*, so it was essentially as good as having a Bell truck roll come out, and viola, I now have Internet.

In the end, I have these three wonderful companies to thank for my lack of Internet for a week.

  1. 3web
  2. Rogers
  3. Bell

Thanks for absolutely nothing, and enjoy collecting NONE of my money.

* For those of you wondering, I have all the tools and knowledge that any Bell/Rogers tech would have, so I can do all your cable tv, telephone, OTA HDTV antenna and satellite installs no problem. From their drop pedestal to your actual telephone/tv/whatever unit, I can take care of it.


Wayne said...

Are you able to use your inside phone jacks with Vonage? Or is that not an issue - i.e. you only have cordless phone(s) plugged into your Vonage adapter?

I have had Vonage for several years (via Rogers) and I couldn't use it with my phone wiring unless I disconnected the Bell wire at the demarc point, even though my Bell service wasn't active.

Have you got around this or is this a barrier to using dry-loop DSL and VOIP (by VOIP I mean true VOIP over your internet connection as opposed to Rogers VOIP or Bell BOIP)?

Jason Tsang said...

I have my phone line disconnected from Bell on the inside. Bell very nicely disconnected it outside my house as well, which screwed me.

I now have a separate wire feeding my dsl modem (separate from the house network). My old bell internal wiring had been repurposed for Vonage.

I am using Teksavvy's Dry Loop DSL with Vonage VOIP.

Hope that answers your questions

Jason Tsang said...

Oh yeah, Vonage VOIP goes through the internet connection provided by Teksavvy.

hippolicious said...

Jason, was searching for a new ISP using the key words "dry DSL" and i came across your blog. like looking in a mirror. i am currently with 3web and as far as i can tell their customer service is non existant. i cant even find out where to send my rented modem... sad. like you i have also been through rogers and bell as well. so, thanks to you, i will also try teksavvy, which i should have done a year ago when i had the choice between them and 3web. I`m not happy that you went through hell but im glad im not the only one getting the run around.


Jason said...


If you are still following this, let me know how it goes. I am very happy with TekSavvy so far.