[nSLUG] Nova Scotia internet services

Ian Campbell ian at slu.ms
Mon Aug 13 23:30:25 ADT 2007


On Mon, Aug 13, 2007 at 08:36:55PM -0500, John Leidel wrote:

> What is the best internet service provider in the HRM area in respect to
> the following :: 
>   - performance/$$
>   - reliability
>   - general service
>   - connectivity [ie, do they block specific ports deliberately]

... hijacking this thread for a moment, are there any options for
residential high speed in/around Halifax other than Aliant and
Eastlink?

> Just as a comparison.. in Dallas, we have AT&T/SouthwesternBell aDSL
> running at 3.0Mbps up/512kbps down for ~$32.00 US a month.  
> 
> Now, in some areas, we have fibre to the premises running at ~15Mbps for
> $40 US a month [residential service]...  Just depends on whether they've
> already removed the `last copper mile` in your neighborhood.  

Last I heard, Aliant was trialling FTTH around here, but that it
wasn't available many places, and that the speed was comparable to
Eastlink's ultraturbosuperomgwtf(tm)(r)(c) high speed service... which
is good, but not terribly exciting for fibre.

Don't know what the price was.

> I assume you'll get better deals if you go with a television/phone/etc
> package.  I plan on getting at least cable/or satellite equivalent.  

You do. I seem to recall saving a fair amount bundling a cell with
Aliant's DSL. Their TV service seems pretty okay too.

> I've seen providers like Eastlink and Aliant...but I'm not sure of the
> pros/cons...

There are the same pros and cons that apply to all cable/dsl
providers.

DSL:
====
- Lower overall speed, but assuming the bandwidth exists, it's yours
  and yours alone.
- PPPoE. Hate.
- Need to be near a CO, otherwise service can be pretty bad.

Aliant's high speed service is 5mbit/something... might be 5/384 or
5/512. Unsure about FTTH.

Cable:
======
- Significantly higher speed, but shared service means you're affected
  by the usage of your neighbours.
- Just plain old DHCP, plug it in and go.

Eastlink's high speed service is 10/1.

Cost for both is/was around $50/mo, without bundling.

More specifically to Halifax and Aliant/Eastlink... my general rule
has been DSL when living in densely populated (think condos) or
student areas, and Cable when living anywhere else. Eastlink has been
good to me in the north end, I regularly get full speed, and there
have been no significant outages.

Aliant's service is great when it works, but if you have any issues at
all, technical support is like pulling teeth. Two years ago I spent a
month and a half trying to get them to fix a damaged line that caused
my dsl to drop every time it rained. They've also randomly
reprovisioned me at the lower speed three times; after going 4 rounds
with technical support the last time I cancelled the service.

I read reports online that Eastlink's support is equally bad if not
worse, but I haven't had to call them yet. Hopefully everyone is
wrong, haha.
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