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TekSavvy Cable page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating

Reviews:
bullet 531 reviews (386 good) (79 bad)
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Review by gyp_sy See Profile

  • Location: Mississauga,ON
  • Cost: $55 per month
  • Install: about 30 days
Good "They're one of the few ISPs out there unwilling to let our country's Internet access sink to third-world standards."
Bad "Rogers = borderline anti-competitive. Delayed POI upgrades = congestion, signup-to-service times can be over a month!"
Overall "Unlike Bell, Rogers doesn't DPI, but be prepared for a long installation wait + the Rogers runaround."
Pre Sales information:
Install Co-ordination:
Connection Reliability:
Tech Support:
Services:
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)

My Other Reviews

·Bell Sympatico
Breakdown:

---Pre-sales info: 75%, I think it'd be a good idea to inform people wishing to sign up for higher-end plans to go with a DOCSIS 3 modem. EDIT: They've actually done this now =)

---Install co-ordination: 50%. TSI gets 100%, Rogers gets 0%, but as TSI has to work with them, it'll have to be an average.

---Connection reliability: 50%. No disconnects, POI congestion on Mississauga-Wolfedale apparently alleviated, but local node congestion is still an issue. I've done some of my own testing with a neighbour on Rogers and discovered Rogers strongly prioritizes their own traffic, leaving TSI with latency issues and slower speeds (8-12mbit) in the evening.

---Tech Support: 100%. Hands down the best I've ever experienced with an ISP, and *everyone* is Canadian.

---Services: 75%, they're not easy to get a hold of. Once you get some traction with them though, they do call back & look after you.

---Value for money: 50%. If your POI isn't too congested, your local node isn't too congested, and you're OK with higher latency, sporadic packet loss, and just under half the advertised speed every night, it's the best bang for the buck in the GTA, by a long shot.

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Nov 1, 2011: I have decided to switch over to Bell Fibe 25, with a 245GB cap. I've reduced the TSI package to the 3/256 as a backup for VoIP and all other essential stuff. The sporadic dropped packets and high/spiking latency values did it for me more than the reduced speeds every night (which, on an actually unlimited package, I can live with).

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Oct 1, 2011: Friday and Saturday evening saw 10-12mbit - this is okay with me.

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Sep 29, 2011: POI upgrade complete, speeds tonight were very good; 20mbit+. The real test will be this weekend.

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Sep 26, 2011: This weekend, 3PM-3AM Fri, Sat, Sun: completely unusable. Youtube 240p unwatchable, could barely sustain 1Mbit. I'm strongly regretting not going DSL - for anyone wishing to go TekSavvy, this is the only route I could recommend at the moment.

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Sep 21, 2011: I've been in talks with TSI Martin; the credits I received from TekSavvy over the entire ordeal exactly matched my expectations (not something I get to say often about a company), and they were beyond pleasant and accommodating in setting it all up. My advice for anyone experiencing issues like mine with TSI: don't give up on them and they won't give up on you.

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I originally signed up with my own SB5100 modem - DOCSIS 2 - on the 15/1 unlimited package on Aug. 18, 2011. 7 days later, Aug. 25, 2011 (within the expected scheduling time), a Rogers technician showed up and physically installed a new line for my modem (I don't subscribe to cable TV). The modem entered Rogers' "walled garden" (a 10.69 IP and a page stating the modem had not been authorized on the Rogers network). I asked the tech about this: "when I close off on the install ticket, it'll be authorized and the modem'll get provisioned for TekSavvy". Sure enough, the modem got authorized... and then did not receive an IP. The logs: "DHCP FAILED - Discover sent, no offer received". The modem had not been provisioned.

The next two weeks were spent calling TekSavvy, waiting 24-48 hours per event for a response from Rogers as per the agreement TekSavvy has with them, repeatedly going through the same troubleshooting steps, all without tangible improvements. My signal levels were and remain well within acceptable parameters (40dB SNR and +8dBmV on downstream, ~43dBmV on upstream), the modem was kept online throughout the two weeks. Rogers claimed the modem was offline, claimed signal issues, stalled as much as possible, sent replies just before weekends for extra delays... absolutely horrible - and nothing new with Rogers. There are reasons I've moved all services I subscribe to away from that company across the years, and this is a big one.

Interesting to note: within this interval, TekSavvy cut 4/5s of the list of approved modems on their website, with most of the ones remaining being DOCSIS 3. They also added "Cable new connection – min 7 calendar days ahead, max 30 calendar days ahead" - this replaced the "5-7 business days" present when I signed up.

After two weeks and endless responses of "we've escalated" and "management is involved", Rogers' solution was... to send another tech to my home! The guy spoke very poor english, and was completely uninterested in signal levels, modem logs, or any relevant information. After one glance at the modem lights and seeing the Online light of the SB5100 blinking, he concluded "modem is faulty". Of course the Online light is blinking, the modem isn't getting any DHCP packet from the Rogers side! He was unwilling to accept or even consider any other alternative, and quickly left the premises with "modem is defective" as parting words. Unacceptable, unprofessional, Rogers.

With three weeks of no service approaching, TekSavvy shipped me a DCM475 DOCSIS 3 modem a day or two after this event. The modem was not authorized/provisioned when I plugged it in. I was to find out this was because of an oversight on TekSavvy's part; one I was not too mad about, as a discussion with one of their more experienced tech support guys (hi Chris) ensured Rogers received all the information needed: the modem was provisioned in less than 24 hours, an absolute record for Rogers! I now had service, on September 16, 2011 - just short of a month after placing the initial order.

Conclusions/observations: It is my belief that Rogers will roadblock or severely delay any DOCSIS 2 modem signups on fast plans. DOCSIS 2 bonds to a single downstream channel, whereas DOCSIS 3 bonds up to 8 (Rogers currently offers 4). As I understand it, a DOCSIS 2 downstream channel can handle up to 38Mbit: two TekSavvy/TPIA users torrenting on 15Mbit plans and DOCSIS 2 modems + a couple of regular Rogers customers streaming video is enough to take out the entire neighbourhood node for DOCSIS 2 users. It's not difficult to see why they would try to prevent this. I don't know whether signing up with a DOCSIS 3 modem would've resulted in a quicker set-up time, but I am inclined to believe so. The manager I was in talks with on the TekSavvy side throughout the latter part of this ordeal admitted to modem swaps commonly solving problems with Rogers, and strongly sided with me on my SB5100 not being defective.

One thing to note: TekSavvy POIs within the Rogers network are severely congested. I am on Mississauga-Wolfedale; last night (September 18, 2011) I was unable to stream even 480p content or pass 4mbit on a single connection thread. Even access to TorIX displayed the same behaviour, and I was able to hit 21-22Mbit if I used something multithreaded (eg. 10 concurrent FTP transfers). This is all consistent with congestion at the POI level. It's a known issue, and it was supposed to be resolved a week ago (other POIs are experiencing the same, if not worse). In my opinion this displays poor capacity planning on TekSavvy's part: considering they're a (if not the only) sane choice for ISPs in Canada, considering Canadians are switching to them in droves, and considering Rogers is known to stall/delay and display borderline anti-competitive behaviour, they should've had these upgrades in much earlier. They got hit with both the back-to-school signups *and* Rogers conveniently upgrading their packages to higher speeds - the forums are chock-full of complaints. It's of course a matter of time, but just something to be aware of. Once they fix it, I'll probably come back and up the numbers on 'service' and 'connection reliability' - tonight (Monday Sep 19, 2011) I'm seeing just over 2mbit on single threads..

In short: TekSavvy as a company is great. Their outbound peering is good, their technicians are good (once you get a hold of them), their plans are fantastic and decently priced, and they do stay true to their promises (I've always received callbacks, never had to hound them for anything). However, be prepared for serious delays and severely obstructionist behaviour from Rogers whenever their response or service is needed. This is what happens when all residential distribution lines are privately owned: welcome to Corporate Canada.

member for 4.3 years, 65 visits, last login: 1.8 years ago
updated 2.9 years ago

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