Northwestel Cable: It’s Getting Worse

Since January, I have felt the gradual reduction in performance of my $90-per-month “ultra” cable internet service from Northwestel, but I didn’t think it was this bad.

In just four short months, the service’s download speed rate has dropped by almost 75%. In January my download speed was a more respectable 9.19 Mb/s (northwestel cable service revisited: it’s still lame in comparison) and now, as you can see in the graphic at left, it’s a paltry 2.01 Mb/s.

Upload speeds, never a strong point of the service, have dropped by a full 25%, from .46 Mb/s to .37 Mb/s.

What’s more, since January I’ve experienced several multi-day service outages that Northwestel Cable too-often showed very little interest in rectifying. In fact, over on her blog, Horsewords, Breanna Blottner describes that she’s experiencing this situation right now (No good internet).

I’ll just revisit comparable pricing for internet services in southern Canada Shaw, to properly frame how bad the northern internet situation really is. If all I wanted was a mere 2 Mb/s download speed from Shaw, well, I couldn’t get it. Their lowest tier of service, High Speed Lite, offers just 256 kbps downloads for $19.99 per month. But remarkably, the next tier up, High Speed, is priced the same and offers a whopping jump to 7 Mb/s.

These days, I’m lucky to exceed 3 Mb/s with Northwestel and I’m being jacked for $90 each month; not to mention the additional $150+ each month I pay in data overage fees due to Northwestel ultra’s paltry 100 GB data cap.

If you jump up to the Northwestel Cable ultra price range with Shaw, you get a scorching 25 Mb/s download rate and a respectable 150 GB of data transfer per month. And I’ll bet the quality of service is head and shoulders above what we Northerners are forced to suffer at the hands of Northwestel.

Man, it’s getting so bad I feel like I should quit working to improve the high tech industry up here and just go be a miner or get a job at Wal-Mart.

3 thoughts on “Northwestel Cable: It’s Getting Worse

  1. Or go work at the Cash Store or a similar service, then you can rake other people over the coals and get paid a handsome commission for it at the same time.

    I think Northwestel likes to give us crappy internet connections so they have a convenient response to the people visiting up here. I’m sure they ask, “Why the poor speeds?” and they can respond, “Well, it’s the Yukon.” Just like our movie theatre situation. Pretty sure that multi-theatre complex is 10 years in the making now.

  2. On the one hand, we’re very lucky to have the internet service that we do up here, being as remote as we are. The caps and bandwidth excess charges are highway robbery though, and the advertised speeds are nowhere near reality. Service outages are ridiculously common as well – my entire apartment building was without any cable service just this last weekend, from Friday night to Monday noon.

    Recently there was a huge uproar in the States because Time Warner Cable wanted to start instituting bandwidth caps and excess use charges, similar to what Northwestel already has in place. They were planning to charge $1 per GB over. People were outraged, and rightly so. NWTel charges TEN TIMES that – $10 per GB – with a tiny 20GB usage limit on their most expensive cable account, yet you hardly hear a peep about it.

    It’s too bad this market is so small. We could really use some competition from Telus or Rogers, or ANYONE really.

  3. So after three days without, I finally got my internet working. I had no help from customer service. I called three times and the last time they agreed to send a technician out to my house, but it wouldn’t be for a few days. So I decided to unplug every little wire and restart every device. I took out a useless cable splitter and it did the trick. I’m happy to be back online, but I still think I’ll upgrade, at least that way when I do have internet, it’ll be a little bit faster.

Comments are closed.