A conversation earlier today about Northwestel’s recent minor adjustments to their internet services plans (read about them in the Yukon News story, Telco selectively increases rates and bandwidth) got me playing with numbers. I was trying to get a sense of the value of Northwestel’s internet services in Whitehorse compared to other Canadian jurisdictions. I’ve established Shaw’s services in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, as my benchmark for these exercises. Dawson Creek is just outside of Northwestel’s jurisdiction, being about 400 km south of Fort Nelson, and is comparable in size to Whitehorse (actually, it has about half the population of Whitehorse).
My goal was to summarize the value of the internet services in Whitehorse compared to a similar Canadian jurisdiction outside of Northwestel’s service area. It’s easy to say things like, “Dawson Creek residents pay just $75 a month for 400 GB of data and download speeds of 50 Mbps, and we pay $130 for 90 GB of data and download speeds of 25 Mbps”. But what does that mean? What does it look like?
From my view, there are essentially two components to any internet service: data transfers allowable and the speeds at which you’re able to transfer that data. So I decided to just illustrate these two aspects of service against cost, on a 1:1 basis, then compare Northwestel in Whitehorse to Shaw in Dawson Creek. Here’s data (click on the image for a larger view):
Across both grids, everything is 1:1, so you can directly compare Shaw’s costs and data allowances against Northwestel’s. To me, this directly addresses the question of value between the two services.
Next, there’s speeds:
Again, across both charts, it’s a 1:1 ratio.
I don’t know about you, but I get a remarkable sense of a lack of value in Northwestel’s service offerings compared to Shaw’s. And it’s not a moderate difference. It’s significant.