Ellen Roseman Blog

Are you getting the Internet speed you pay for?

I got lots of feedback to a recent column about Rogers not delivering the speeds that Internet customers were paying for.

This happens to some people when they upgrade to a more expensive service.

Congestion occurs if you have lots of heavy Internet users in your area or outdated equipment. Service providers use this as an excuse to get out of delivering the high speeds you expect.

But if the network isn’t adequate to handle the demand, that’s a concern for users. The problem has been around for a long time, judging by this CBC Marketplace report, but it’s no better four years later.

There’s also the issue of throttling and “traffic shaping,” which should be carried out according to the rules. The Canadian Gamers Organization just learned that its complaint about Rogers unduly restricting access to online services will go to the CRTC’s enforcement division for further action. (See Open Media’s report.)

David T. lives in Waterloo, Ont. He feels trapped dealing with Rogers Internet because there’s no real competition. Bell offers slower DSL service, so there’s not much room for poor network management.

He contacted his local TV stations about the slow speeds, but found they had no interest in covering the story. Then, he realized they’re owned by Rogers and Bell.

It’s newsworthy, in his view, because many people in the Kitchener-Waterloo area are posting comments at Rogers’ own website and at DSL Reports.

Here’s what he said in a series of emails:

I thought if I could get local media to report on this issue — Rogers Extreme Plus and Ultimate subscribers getting 1 Mbps after 5 pm, every night for two weeks — people might just fight for better service and more competition.

There’s no agency that deals with extremely slow speeds or failure to deliver speeds. I feel the media are my only option.

This is getting surreal. It’s like this big elephant in the room that Rogers oversells bandwidth in crowded areas and does nothing for months.

If people were getting 2 per cent of their electricity, gas or water at night, they would not be quiet about it.

Rogers is so horrible and time-wasting to deal with, most people just don’t bother.

I guess there is nothing a cable internet subscriber can do to get even 20 per cent of his or her advertised speed at night from Rogers. Hell, I’d take a reliable 10 per cent at this point.

People don’t seem to grasp that if you’re on an uncongested node, your service is great, but if you are on a congested node like mine where they oversold, you’re screwed.

It should be regulated, much like a bank that must have a set reserve amount for all its loans and leverages. Rogers should be required to upgrade, then go on an adding blitz.

I referred David T. to Rogers a few times. He finally says his Internet speed is back to normal. Here are some other complaints I’ve received below. Please chime in with your own experiences.