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News tagged: TekSavvy DSL


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by Karl Bode 11:43AM Friday Jun 06 2014
Network gear manufacturer Sandvine apparently isn't a big fan of both Netflix's and YouTube's new ISP streaming performance rankings, insisting that the data collected by both is unreliable and conflicting. In a blog post, Sandvine points out that ISPs deemed "HD Verified" by Google's new ISP ranking (discussed by us here) are sometimes categorized as under-performers in Netflix's rankings, and vice-versa:
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Google is essentially saying Rogers’ customers who use YouTube are capable of regularly experiencing HD streams, while Netflix is saying Rogers’ subscribers are experiencing the worst quality of Netflix streaming in the country. At the same time Netflix is saying Bell Canada’s DSL subscribers are capable of experiencing HD streams when using Netflix, but Google is saying Bell non-Fibe (DSL) are not YouTube HD-verified and “should be able to watch YouTube videos in Standard Definition (at least 360p) with moderate load times."
I've already pointed out numerous times that Netflix's streaming rankings are made less valuable by the fact that Netflix CDN partners do better in the rankings than those who refuse to participate in the free service. Similarly I've noted Google and YouTube's new ISP rankings need some work as well, as navigation is clunky and some ISPs are listed as HD verified even in markets they don't even provide service.

With that said, it's worth noting that the lion's share of Sandvine's money comes courtesy of the nation's largest ISPs, and as such Sandvine has traditionally been reluctant to admit fault on the ISP end of the equation. The company recently proclaimed that YouTube streaming issues that have plagued most broadband users are entirely YouTube's fault, even if data tends to suggest there's plenty of blame to go around.

It also seems obvious that ranking YouTube and Netflix streaming performance would be "conflicting," given those rankings are testing entirely different content services, taking entirely different routes to the end user. Routes can be even more different now that companies like Netflix are (begrudgingly) striking direct interconnection deals with ISPs like Comcast and Verizon.
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by Karl Bode 10:33AM Wednesday May 14 2014
For most of the last decade nobody has exemplified the clumsy, ham-fisted approach to network management better than Canadian cable company Rogers. From crippling encryption and VPNs to throttling legitimate apps and games like World of Warcraft, Rogers has accounted for nearly half of all network neutrality infractions in Canada.
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by Karl Bode 09:19AM Tuesday Feb 25 2014
You might recall that Voltage Pictures has been one of the bigger copyright trolls in the United States, sending out mass "settlement-o-matic" letters to people who download their films (including The Hurt Locker and Dallas Buyers Club) via BitTorrent, threatening them with legal action unless they settle up. Last in 2012 Voltage took their show on the road to Canada, taking aim at independent ISP TekSavvy in the hopes of forcing the ISP to turn over the identities of 2,000 BitTorrent users.

Over the weekend Canadian Judge Kevin Aalto ruled that TekSavvy had to turn over those names, but Aalto added some caveats to his ruling that won't make things easy on the copyright troll:
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Aalto ordered that before Voltage can send a letter to the alleged downloaders, it must return to court to get the wording of its communications cleared by a case management judge..."Any correspondence sent by Voltage to any subscriber shall clearly state in bold type that no court has yet made a determination that such subscriber has infringed or is liable in any way for payment of damages."
Aalto also declared that Voltage has to pay TekSavvy's legal bills entirely before any data will change hands, and the data can only be used specifically for the letters. Meanwhile, Canadian law professor Michael Geist explains in a blog post how pursuing their copyright troll ambitions in Canada may not be worth the cost of the effort for Voltage.

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by Karl Bode 11:00AM Monday Feb 03 2014
Documents provided by Edward Snowden last week revealed that the Canadian government (CSEC, their NSA equivalent) has been quite illegally spying on and tracking Canadian citizens using public Wi-Fi available at Canadian airports to track movement both before and after citizens visited the airport. The specifics of how the government obtained the location data isn't made clear, but Canada's two largest airports, Toronto and Vancouver, deny providing CSEC with the data.
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by Karl Bode 08:19AM Monday Jan 27 2014
The Globe and Mail highlights how the next generation of downloadable games from Sony (at 30 to 80GB) are going to really start pushing Canadian bandwidth caps, which are considerably more restrictive than those here in the States. That's before Sony even launches Playstation Now, a gaming streaming service not unlike OnLive, or Sony's 4K video streams and downloads -- both of which may very well start eating Canadian bandwidth caps like popcorn shrimp. "The debate over Canada’s usage caps will either spark up again or the company will have to purposely degrade PlayStation Now in Canada, the same way Netflix did to its service, or both," notes the paper.

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by Bill Neilson 04:29PM Wednesday Dec 04 2013
Rogers Communications has had quite a 2013. From ruining the credit score of a man that never had Rogers TV or Internet service to having another one of their large-scale outages, Rogers was apparently hoping to end 2013 with a bang.
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by Karl Bode 04:24PM Thursday Oct 10 2013
Last month independent Canadian ISP TekSavvy all-but accused Rogers Communications of intentionally bumbling customer install and repair orders, creating a massive backlog of issues in order to help drive their competitors out of business. When I spoke to Rogers the company denied blame, instead blaming TekSavvy for missing necessary support forecasts and somehow "overwhelming" Rogers third party support resources.
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by Karl Bode 02:24PM Monday Sep 16 2013
As I noted last week, indie Canadian ISP TekSavvy has been struggling with prolonged disconnections for many of their users, something the company says is because of changes at Canadian incumbent Rogers. To hear TekSavvy tell it, the company suddenly and inexplicably found their install and repair trouble tickets being ignored by Rogers; months of this contributing to a backlog of support issues that have caused massive headaches for the company and customers alike.
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by Karl Bode 04:41PM Friday Sep 13 2013
Indie Canadian ISP TekSavvy isn't having a very good summer, and it appears Canadian incumbent Rogers is to thank for much of it. You'll probably recall that over the last few years independent Canadian ISP has built quite a name for itself for being a more consumer-friendly sort of ISP.
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by Karl Bode 02:31PM Thursday Aug 29 2013
If you've watched any of them do business for more than a few minutes, it has been amusing to watch Canadian incumbents Bell, Telus and Rogers kick, scream and cry about Verizon's possible entry into the Canadian market. Their Fair for Canada TV and radio campaign has employees reading scripted statements proclaiming that Verizon will steal Canadian jobs and generally make Canadian wireless service (already some of the most expensive anywhere) worse.
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by Karl Bode 02:35PM Monday Aug 26 2013
Canadian incumbents Telus, Bell and Rogers have recently fired up attack campaigns attempting to keep Verizon Wireless from entering their market. The campaign uses incumbent employees reading from scripts to insist that Canadian telcos simply want a "level playing field" and that Verizon will kill jobs.
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by Karl Bode 02:25PM Wednesday Aug 14 2013
As we've noted repeatedly, ISPs are so hungry to cash in on caps and overages, they're rushing toward implementing meters without making sure they work. Canadian cable operator Cogeco has been the absolute worst on this front, implementing metered usage charges back in 2009 -- and four years later still often struggling to measure usage correctly.
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by Karl Bode 09:02AM Wednesday Aug 14 2013
Back in May our users uncovered a Canadian scam being run by several individuals who were pretending to be entirely fake ISPs in order to collect customer cash and private user information. Using ISP names like "Cable Gator" and "Go Cable Solutions," the scammers promise users broadband service they can't get, demand $100 down payments and personal data including SIN and driver's license numbers, then skirt off with the cash.
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by Karl Bode 12:29PM Friday Aug 09 2013
It has been incredibly amusing to watch Canadian incumbents Bell, Telus and Rogers, no strangers to abusive and predatory anti-competitive behavior at every opportunity, kick, scream and cry about Verizon's possible entry into the Canadian market. Now that the predators are having to fight a real predator and the possibility of real competition, they're doing what any good, anti-competitive incumbent would do: engage in propaganda, disinformation and astroturfing to confuse the public.
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by Karl Bode 02:39PM Friday Jul 26 2013
With the recent news that Verizon might be eyeing an entry into the Canadian wireless market, last week Canadian incumbent Telus began crying like a spoiled child about the remote possibility that the Canadian market could see some additional competition. Telus, a company that like U.S.
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by Karl Bode 12:33PM Friday Jul 19 2013
As we noted yesterday, Verizon Wireless is putting out feelers and exploring the option of an expansion into Canada, specifically in the form of buying up one of the nation's struggling smaller carriers. Not too surprisingly, incumbent operators there don't want this to happen.
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by Karl Bode 03:26PM Thursday Feb 21 2013
Fear that Canadian regulators were going to do their job has resulted in a welcome -- though likely brief -- return to unlimited broadband in Canada. Our friends to the north are well-known for some of the most predatory and punitive broadband caps and overages anywhere, courtesy of uncompetitive broadband markets and regulatory capture.
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by Karl Bode 12:19PM Thursday Feb 14 2013
As we recently noted, Voltage Pictures is trying to get TekSavvy to hand over the identities of thousands of BitTorrent users in order to send them "copyright-violation-o-matic" letters scaring those users into settling for copyright infringement. These mass-lawsuit efforts have stood on legally unsound ground here in the States, relying on often unreliable IP address evidence.
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by Karl Bode 08:33AM Monday Feb 11 2013
Two things you'll often hear defenders of usage caps on fixed line networks say is that the caps will scale with time as the network improves, and that the caps allow carriers to avoid having to raise rates because heavier users are now "paying their fair share." Except the lack of competition that allows low caps and high overages to exist in the first place is the exact same thing that allows a carrier to not only continue raising rates, but also to squeeze the cap ever tighter once it's in place.

Canadian ISP Telus this is providing the latest clear example of this.
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by Karl Bode 12:31PM Thursday Feb 07 2013
It has been about half a decade now that I've been pointing out that most of the meters used by ISPs to track and bill consumers for usage aren't accurate. Customers of Canadian cable operator Cogeco have long complained the company's meter is inaccurate when users can load it at all, and every so often the meter simply goes mad -- like last Spring when the meter was horribly confused by leap year.
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47 comments


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