[nSLUG] Re Aliant vs Eastlink. and static IPs

Jim Haliburton jim at on-site.ns.ca
Tue Oct 16 08:02:29 ADT 2007

Good Day All:

The speed and IP issue is problematic for many people.  At one time 
Aliant using DSL supplied 5 mbits down and about 750-1000kbits up.  Then 
to increase their footprint they lowered that speed to 2.5 or 3.  I do 
not know what it is now because they are just too contrary to deal with 
so I strongly urge my clients to use any other service but Aliant.  As 
the distance from the phone Central Office increases the speed must drop. 
 Then they offered those in close to the CO, Aliant ultra where they 
charged you extra for the speed that you used to get.  Currently almost 
all connections with Aliant are PPPoE.  Even Static IPs!  If you 
absolutely insist you can in some areas get non-PPPoE service with static 
IPs.  The use of PPPoE generally means that the connection will time out 
with inactivity and will reconnect with a new IP when activity resumes.  
Their service agreement used to specifically prohibit the use of keep-
alives.  They even used the example of having your e-mail client check 
for mail every 5 minutes as being a violation of their terms of service.  
Bizzare barely describes them.

Eastlink uses cable aka broadband.  With DOCSIS there was a 42mb stream 
to each frequency on the wire.  The modems can be throttled to sell the 
service at various levels.  In Metro currently a static IP package gets 
you 10mbit down 1 mbit up and 5 IPs for about $150.00 while for about 
$200.00 you get 15 mb down and 1.5mb up.  This is all packaging and price 
points.  The hardware is in place to do it and I can get down loads at 
over 900k bytes per second.  A new version of Firefox for Windows takes 
about 6 seconds to download for 5.7mb

Only when a large number of installs is taking place in a geographic 
area, does the IP get re-provisioned.  I have one client whose IP has 
changed once a week for the last couple of weeks.  They are in the south 
end of Halifax Peninsula.  Lots of moves and changes and installs with 
the influx of students.  We receive backup data via ftp each nite and we 
have had to open new IP ranges 3 times in the last 3 weeks.

Some clients have had the same IP for 6 to 8 months at a time.

If in a given service area you have a choice between Aliant and Eastlink, 
 I have found that those with Eastlink have better service and a lot 
fewer headaches.  Dealing with accounts and billing at Aliant is a 
struggle that goes beyond belief.  In one case they cancelled a high 
speed service.  The account was current, the client was a long term 
client and they had no explanation.  Took hours on the phone.  They also 
do not let the Business and Residential sides talk to each other or have 
access to the others account information.  So in this case the client had 
a home and a business service at the same location and it was almost 
beyond their ability to fix things.  Another client gets a warning e-mail 
about their web space going over limit of size.  They give a number to 
call and the people at that number can do nothing to change your account 
and they say there is nothing needs to be done.  The e-mails arrive 
saying we are billing you extra etc, but the client never sees a change 
in their bill.

At least at Eastlink the Business people can also look at your other 
services and can figure out the problem.  At Aliant you may talk to 
someone in Newfoundland or New Brunswick, who has no idea of the 
geography of Nova Scotia.  So you say Burnside Industrial Park and they 
can't find it on their list of served locations! 

Another time Aliant disconnected a client because someone using their 
username was trying to login to their PPPoE account.  They did not 
succeed, but Aliant disconnected the clients service.  When the client 
called about no service Aliant blamed everything on the router, the 
version of Windows, the bill not being paid etc. Once I changed the 
router and brought in a system known to work and confronted them they 
said they would investigate.  The next day they discovered the account 
had been disabled.  To say the client was upset was an understatement.  
Aliant did re-imburse the client for my time.  But the aggravation 

I know people who have had similar complaints about Eastlink so it as the 
saying goes "it depends".  As a long term client and the fact some of the 
techs know my name and business name, they may treat my calls with a 
little difference as I generally understand their system.  And I usually 
have my homework done on the client side before I call.

Ramble ramble ramble .

So Eastlink tends to be faster and consistantly so.  The distance from 
the head end has less or no impact on speed unlike the impact of the 
distance form a DSL CO.  Eastlink has a permanent connection with no 
login required.  The service is via the MAC addresss of the modem.  
Aliant is PPPoE and requires a username and password.  Sometime the DSL 
modem you get also has a router, a 4 port switch,  and wireless access 
point built in.  This device also can be configured to auto connect with 
username and password.  They don't give you those directions, they have 
to be downloaded from the manufacturers website.

Hope this makes the chocie easier.


Jim Haliburton

James A. Haliburton
On-Site Computer Services of Halifax
Suite 100, 25 Walton Drive
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada     B3N 1X6
Office/ Cell           : (902)499-5250
Home/After Hours : (902)477-8342
e-mail      : jim at on-site.ns.ca

Please avoid sending me MS Office attachments.   For an explanation see 

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