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Start Communications page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

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Review by Tristan See Profile

  • Location: Nepean,ON
  • Cost: $65 per month
  • Install: about 4 days
Good "Consistent high speed, consistent good service, consistent high approval rating, real referral credits"
Bad "24h to 120h delay to provision customer-owned modem if previous ISP doesn't release modem on-time. Not Start's fault!"
Overall "Best ISP I've had to date. Highly recommended. Better than Rogers, Bell and Teksavvy"
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

Saving hundreds of dollars per year, receiving higher quality of service, and being treated with respect - these pro "features" are not available from incumbents service providers.

Signed on for Start's VOIP home phone service last week. Looking forward to saving more money. Total time in the phone queue waiting for a customer service professional: less than 1 minute.

Here's a quick cost comparison and 6-month dslreports.com / broadbandreports.com rating of Bell, Rogers, Teksavvy and Start high-speed internet, for what I figure is the most popular speed tier. (Note, prices are after any promotions expire - the regular price, not including rental fees, installation fees, administration fees, not part of a bundle, etc.)

Bell Canada: 50/10/175 $94.95 Rating: 59%
Rogers Communications: 60/10/320 $84.99 Rating: 62%
Teksavvy: 60/10/300 $69.95 Rating: 80%
Start Communications: 60/10/300 $65.00 Rating: 97%

Why would anyone want to pay for the highest service with the lowest monthly bandwidth caps, and the lowest overall rating?

I know where I want to be.... the lowest price with decent speed and the highest overall rating.

Note the ISP ratings appears to correspond nicely with the price, monthly cap and speed.

Been with Start for over a year, and the service is still going strong, reliable and fast, with much less downtime than I ever had with Rogers and Teksavvy. Great value, and great service.

Rogers latest tv ads say "only ISP certified for consistent speeds". Yeah, right. Just before I left Rogers, my speeds were all over the place. My jump from Rogers to Teksavvy, and finally to Start Communications gave increasing amounts of consistency. Start has been the most consistent.

My Start internet service is still humming along. It's simply fantastic. This is the internet my previous ISP's were unable to deliver.

Our 45/4 connection continues to deliver decent speeds. Speedtest.net testing hits 45/3.82 minimum, and I've hit over 100 down with speedboost. Start's performance is better than I expected. It has been more reliable than Rogers, and more reliable than Teksavvy.

Trust me, the $5 more it costs with Start is worth every penny.

I have had consistent, fast service, with almost no problems. The one thing I definitely notice in switching to Start was that they don't play the blame card as much as other ISP's. My previous ISP seemed to always be blaming Rogers for something. I do not regret my switch to Start, and highly recommend Start to anyone wanting fast, consistent internet, from a company which consistently receives top marks by customers.

Even with Teksavvy offering the same speed tier for $5 less than Start (in June/July for Ottawa), I would not return to Teksavvy. I would gladly pay more. Start Communications is an internet service provider that matches the level of end-to-end service quality I give my own customers.

Downstream and upstream speeds have been fairly consistent. The service hasn't had any real issues. I think we had a power fluctuation which caused my modem to barf, so I will watch to see if it happens again. It has only ever done this once, so if it doesn't happen again, it's an anomaly.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with Start Communications.

So far, my connection appears stable, and speeds have been reasonably consistent. Each time I have tested my speed, I've hit no less than 44Mbps down, and 3.89Mbps up, except on my furthest wireless machine, which tops out around 40Mbps down (limitations of wireless technology and distance covered).

I'm pretty happy with the speeds. The before-connection questions I asked led to a smooth and problem-free reconfiguration of my mail server.

I'm still evaluating, and cannot comment on connection reliability until I have a few more weeks under the belt.

Thank you Start for making the jump to aggregated POI's, offering fast speeds at reasonable prices, and not making me wait 30-45 minutes in a phone queue.

Shortly after 10am today, my connection came roaring to life. Initial speed test:
>45Mbit down (w/ speedboost)
3.89Mbit up

Will be testing the connection over the next few weeks, then will update my ratings accordingly.

The length of time I had to wait for the connection to come online will certainly deter my friends from switching. I was lucky, I tethered to my cellphone, so I didn't lose any time, other than knocking my email server offline.

Corrected my primary and alternate numbers. In the event of connection problems, they will attempt to call my cellphone first.

Customers owning their own modems and switching providers, in conjunction with iISP's such as Teksavvy which hold on to the modem registration right up to the last possible minute are a leading cause of delays, and is something Start is trying to resolve.

Best possible way for customers to handle this: terminate your old ISP on one day, and start your new ISP on the next day.

Wife retrieved our voicemails from our VOIP this morning. Turns out two different employees from Start have been trying to inform us that our service should now be online. Obvious fail, since VOIP not working. Ensure the primary number is actually a number someone can contact you at when the connection is not working. They didn't once try calling my alternate number. One of them mentioned emails they are sending me are bouncing back, which makes sense under the circumstances - my email server is still waiting for the connection to start working.

Have to call Start back at 10am (when they open) to get them looking into things. This will add another 24-48hrs. Let's see, start date: 2/7/2013, today is 2/10/2013. 4 days without service.

I am reducing the points awarded for install co-ordination.

As of 12pm today, the modem has not been provisioned.

The modem was unprovisioned from Teksavvy sometime after 2am on February 8th 2013, which is actually the day after my cancelation date.

Had to call Start back to get the provisioning request resubmitted on 2/8/2013, and I believe I was told it could take up to 24hrs (maybe I misheard and the rep said 48hrs?).

During a later call, was told it could take longer. Apparently, customer-owned modems are more problematic to provision, and can take additional time. I was not originally informed of this, but have since been brought up-to-speed. In addition, Teksavvy can take longer to release a modem, as per their terms of service (must go check for myself).

I usually tell people to be prepared for it to take up to 7 days, so we're still in the ballpark. Not happy about the delay, but right now, I'm focusing on getting back online.

It's important to note, I can only review the install co-ordination at this time, which is why the rating appears low.

CRTC has ruled, CNOC members do not get the new speed tiers Rogers is offering, so long as they are using the disaggregated POI model. Disaggregated model is being phased out, and service will end November 15th 2013. Start has the faster speed tiers, because they use the aggregated POI model.

Just received my first invoice showing my prepayment for first months service, so my account shows a credit for $67.74. It also shows a $25 credit for a referral I made. So far, I am satisfied with Start, and my service hasn't even officially begun. If the 6 month rating for Start holds true, my satisfaction will reach new heights.

My previous iISP had a referral program too, but I never saw a single credit. Instead, I was going to have to gather the information of everyone who signed up to them on account of my recommendation. A task that was going to prove to be time consuming, and might prove difficult for at least one friend, as I had to kick him to the curb for being an insensitive dick. The lack of referral credit is not what caused me to drop my previous iISP.

Is it February 7th yet? No? Damn.

Signed up with Start Communications last week. Provision date is Feb 7th 2013. Switching from Teksavvy to Start.

I ordered the Pro Cable Internet package, 45Mbps download, 4Mbps upload, 350GB/mo cap. My old service was maxed out at 28Mbps/1Mbps/300GB.

Made the switch for several reasons:

1. No install fee since I already had active cable high-speed internet service.
2. Access to Roger's new speed tiers with higher upstream speeds up to 4Mbps. This is due to Start's aggregated POI with Rogers. Some other iISP's haven't made the switch to aggregated POI's, are still on non-aggregated POI's, thus don't have access to higher speeds.
3. Reasonable price.
4. 97% rating, seems fairly consistent, iISP seems attentive.

Will update this review as I evaluate the service.

Click for full size

member for 8.4 years, 1615 visits, last login: 18 days ago
updated 202 days ago




Start Problems from the Start

Just emailed Start this message:
"Help !!
Got cable package installed and it is awful.
Got 20Mbps package and can't stream a movie (whether through Wifi or connected directly to modem) without buffering every few seconds.
Tried different movies on different sites.
Tried different wireless routers and tried connected directly to modem.
Download speeds ridiculously slow through Wifi and connected directly to modem.
Tried different files through torrent, through direct download.
No matter what time of day or night.
Really need fixed right away.
Otherwise, unfortunately makes no sense continuing with service at this rate, because not getting to do anything I use internet for."

Little bit frustrated right now just because I had high expectations of internet service but will keep updated re: how / if Start fixes issues. Want to give them a chance. Maybe they can simply fix and make me happy.



Start Problems from the Start

Update: 20-something minutes to download Roboscan free antivirus (approx 140MB) from official Roboscan site. Doubly frustrated.

London, ON

Re: Start Problems from the Start

Sorry to hear you have problems but I'm not sure why you would scream this from the top of every mountain as per your identical post on dslr, Facebook and reviews without so much as contacting us for support first? Not really fair is it to be posting negative reviews without giving us a chance to address your problem? We ended up calling you after having to ask for your number on Facebook and I see from the notes that you are getting full speeds without your router in the mix but nonetheless are trying to assist you with your router speed problems. You don't need to try and blanket shame us into helping, we are happy to be helpful and you just need to call or email us when you need support. 



Re: Start Problems from the Start


To above post, not sure what screaming from top of every mountain and blanket shame means. But last time I checked internet was open forum for exercising freely and openly thoughts and opinions. Being honest and open, so hope you don't have a prob re being honest and open. Or with being highly frustrated re: circumstances. And did speak to tech before posting. Don't appreciate the "blanket shame us" etc comments (as a customer or otherwise) because its implying that that was my intention which is not at all the case.

However, back to issue update, spoke to Start tech agent yesterday (and don't want to give name because I'm always mindful of privacy) and we dealt with issue for almost 2 hours on the phone. And I came out of conversation thinking that that was possibly the best customer service I ever received (that I can recall at this point). Tech agent was so helpful in trying to sort out issue and whatever problem came up, trying to figure it out. Also, he kept saying thank you for your patience all the time which I really appreciated. And it really helped ease the frustration I was feeling re the issue. And, at the end of it, I was able to stream a movie last night. So I'll try it again over the week etc and see if it continues to be good. Bottom line: what that tech agent did (his superb customer service) really smoothed things over for me and made me a much happier customer.


I have issues with them too & although I will say that I do like their internet speed a lot, I don't know if it justifys me staying with them or going elsewhere, but.... I am fed up with the terrible Customer Sercvice from Billing!!!! Tech is okay cant really complain there, but for a business with 10- people they certainily have no idea what is going on with my account half the time!

No one has a clue what is going on in Billing, billed 2 times for the same service :S, Yet they justify it, it ridiculas. Kinda pissess me off

Nepean, ON
·Start Communicat..

Re: Start Problems from the Start

You are posting in the wrong place dude. This is my review. Sounds like you either need to post your own review, or seek help in the forums or through Start's tech support.

There's no sense complaining about it here. I can't help you.

Sorry to hear you're frustrated. I'm sure with a bit of work dealing with the right people, your connection will get diagnosed and brought ship shape.


·Cogeco Cable
Anyone that uses the name anonymous and then changes to a different user is highly suspect. And, if you have been mouthing off on other forums about the same thing and not calling Start or responding to their attempts to help you, then maybe Start is not for you. Have you tried iKtel? www.iktel.ca



Re: Start

Re: SicknTired – I’d understand your frustration. To give my fair opinion, if Start can sort out (the obviously important) issue of billing, then they do have pros to them. So you may want to consider that and weigh options. I read reviews on DSL Reports and Canadian ISP forums on all / most companies and that helped me a lot because I felt people were fair and honest (good or bad). Actually, that’s how I found out about Start in the first place. Do hope your issue gets resolved.

Re: WiMax – “Anyone that uses the name anonymous and then changes to a different user is highly suspect. And, if you have been mouthing off on other forums about the same thing and not calling Start or responding to their attempts to help you, then maybe Start is not for you. Have you tried iKtel? www.iktel.ca”
>>>> Is Wi your first name, and is Max your last? And what’s your phone number and email address? Just to connect the dots, what makes “WiMax” any less anonymous than the username “Anonymous” or any other username?
>>>> And are you sure I didn’t try calling Start before posting or respond to Start’s attempts to help? Are you really sure about that? Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t. But you have no clue, right?
>>>> Also, do you know what the other forums are? Could it have been a private facebook message to Start Communications vs a wall post? Or could it have been front page news in the Toronto Star? Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't. But you have no clue, right?
>>>> And re: “mouthing off”, seriously now … have you seen your ikTel Networks “book / novel” review lately? The one that has 6 updates to the post including … and I quote … “This company gets nothing right.” … “Yet another failed promise.” … “UPDATE 29Jan13” … “UPDATE 28Sep12” … “UPDATE 26Sep12 9am” … “UPDATE 25Sep12” … “UPDATE 26Aug12” … “UPDATE 10Mar12” …

So come on now, be fair.

In any event, would just like to request for all to stop posting to this. This is my last post here. Just because Tristan indicated this is his post and he is quite right. Didn’t mean to post here initially. A mistake. New at posting / open forums.


·Start Communicat..
·Bell Fibe

Unrealistic expectations

Just wondering why, in your review, you criticize the delay that was caused by using the modem you were bringing from TekSavvy, but then mention that it was TekSavvy who does not release the modem MAC until the last possible moment.

You also mentioned that the delay you endured would deter your friends from switching. Why would this very isolated (based on the 97%+ approval rate of this ISP) deter a switch?

Nepean, ON
·Start Communicat..

Re: Unrealistic expectations

Hi Coaxguy.

I told Teksavvy to push the request through, to not leave it, but the CSR didn't seem to understand. As a result, the modem remained locked to an account longer than it was supposed to, possibly into late Feb 8th or early Feb 9th. When Start tried to get Rogers to provision the modem I own on Feb 7th, they couldn't. Considering requests take time, and the defacto response is 24 to 48hrs, timing is kinda important. Same-day turned into next day, turned into the next day, turned into the next day.

My friends are not as patient as I. Not all my friends would be deterred however, but some certainly will.

I have compiled a nice little doc my friends, family and associates can have to explain the process (for cable), including potential delays. I always tell people, do the switch-over at a time when you don't need the internet for about a week.

Let's face it, you and I check dslreports.com, but not everyone will. I do tell people Start has a 97% rating. My friends whom followed my progress on facebook, and noticed I wasn't posting as much as I usually do, will stop and think if they want the delays or potential frustration. Sure, it took longer than it should have. I have tried to explain why, and that it should happen same-day usually, and that the gains are worth the pains. In the end, some people will choose to steer clear, when someone they know experiences delays.

Start is trying to work this out because it's an ongoing concern for them. They are genuinely interested in providing a smooth transition for everyone who want to switch providers

So far, I think Start has done a great job, and my rating for install coordination and pre-sales information reflects the fact that they are still working out the kinks, and still have room to improve.

I think customers need to be better armed with more information.


·Start Communicat..
·Bell Fibe

Re: Unrealistic expectations

I can totally see your point. I know my house hold relies on the internet heavily for work, entertainment and communications, so I can see your frustration with the 4+ day absence.

In the long run after reading your reply I can understand the rating now. Hope it's smooth sailing here on out. I've got 2 family members and a buddy switched over and it's been perfect for them in terms of line quality and reliability.


Nepean, ON

Re: Unrealistic expectations

So far, very happy with the speeds. Watched Netflix Super-HD stream yesterday with not so much as a single hiccup.

Orleans, ON

Start is doing what others can not

Extremely helpful service from the customer service representatives. The CSR was able to explain and discuss very technical aspects of the service in question and was able to still provide the down to Earth service that made me come away from the call with the only decision I could make; go with Start.

It seems that Start expands after they have figured out the pros/cons and worked out any relationships with Rogers/Bell. This shows and it also happens that I'm paying the same that I was for 28/1 cable - heavily congested for 25/10 and just about no congestion.