Toronto Star: TekSavvy customers are offline - and they say the blame lies with big telecom

Image from Tsahi Levent-Levi on Flickr

Have you heard about the challenges facing some customers of one of Canada's most popular indie Internet Service Provider Teksavvy? TekSavvy, a leading independent service provider with a customer-base of 235,000 subscribers nationwide, uses some infrastructure controlled by big telecom companies like Rogers to deliver service. According to TekSavvy, the fact that many of their customers are currently offline is not acceptable - but it is also not an error of functionality on their end.

Although the company has not named the incumbent in question, TekSavvy's CEO has clearly stated the company's belief that extended service outages are due to Big Telecom. The problem is further compounded by the fact TekSavvy's claims that the telecom giant in question is not giving the company proper explanations for why the outages are occurring or expected time frames for when the issues can be fixed.

This failure to respond to TekSavvy has left the company unable to promptly address the concerns of affected customers. What is also interesting is the fact that many TekSavvy customers who contacted Rogers with their concerns were told that the big telecom company could match what TekSavvy was offering them - and provide them with priority service. This situation puts on display the clear reality that big telecom giants like Rogers have the means and incentive to restrict Canadians from using independent providers -- they are telecom gatekeepers.

What does this mean for both the wired market in Canada? It means we need - and we deserve - open networks. It's time to break up Big Telecom and support innovation and quality service. Tell your MP to stand up for telecom choice and affordability in Canada by sending them a copy of our crowd-sourced roadmap for the future of our wireless market.

Article by Ellen Roseman for The Toronto Star:

Robert Attrell spent 16 days unplugged this summer — and he’s not happy about it.

“I am trying to start a media business and I require Internet to do my work, as well as in my daily life,” he says.

“I was forced to use my phone’s Internet during the outage, which ended up costing me about $60.”

Attrell deals with TekSavvy Solutions, based in Chatham, Ont. One of Canada’s largest independent Internet providers, it’s known for offering unlimited bandwidth with no restrictive contracts.

“Our price is our price,” says spokeswoman Tina Furlan. “We don’t charge overages and customers aren’t surprised by excessive charges on their monthly bill.”
But TekSavvy’s reputation is taking a hit in the busy back-to-school period as it scrambles to keep up with requests for service.

Some people who use TekSavvy’s high-speed cable Internet service, offered through the Rogers network, have been offline for a few days, a few weeks, even as long as a month at a time.

Read more at The Toronto Star

Topics: Cell Phones

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