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Access Communications page on DSLReports
Six Month Rating Unavailable
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Reviews:
bullet 11 reviews (6 good) (2 bad)
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Review by dikbozo See Profile

  • Location: Regina,SK
  • Cost: $27 per month (12 month contract)
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Tech support is 24/7 and very knowledgeable."
Bad "Sales support is too interested in upselling."
Overall "Good for those who know or can determine their own needs. The tech savvy prefer this to local telco."
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I have been using the 5 Mbps down/1 up package since it was introduced locally, I honestly don't remember how long ago this was. The price as now bundled is substantially discounted from $45 to $25. The data caps that are referred to in their literature are implemented through traffic shaping rather than by monetary penalties as yet. Go over the cap and suffer slowdowns. My cap is set at 100GB /month and I go over it very regularly. I do imagine the 20+ years as a customer does matter here as Access was originally set up as a non-profit co-operative rather than a strictly for-profit commercial entity. I have spoken to people in Saskatoon that have the alternatives of Shaw or SaskTel and am happy I don't have those problems.

Ordering was pretty painless, as I recall the January day back in 2001. The tech showed up on time, listened carefully to my request and went about his job in a friendly efficient manner. He was clean, well dressed and careful and respectful as regards the extra long line I needed at the time. He was clear about potential problems due to this extra length, several of which did occur though 3-5 years later.

I don't recall the exact brand or model of the modem installed but it worked as advertised giving me my 1 Mbps down/1 up (at the time what was offered) connection. There was a speed bemp up to 1.5 down a year or so later that was given at no additional cost. The jump up to 5 Mbps did require a modem swap that I ultimately took in to them as the service tech would have taken 2 weeks due to demand at the time. The current state as regards speed changes requires no modem swaps and is accomplished at the central office. The current tiers are quite reasonable, going from 1.25 Mbps/128k (yes they really do) tothrough 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 50 and a top of 100Mbps. The upload speeds do indeed suck with nothing above 5 Mbps. This is a Canada wide problem apparently.

The reliability of the ISP on this case is very high. Putting aside the electrical disruptions over the past 13+ years, I would suggest my personal down time would be measurable in numbers of hours but not into the 20s. Most technical glitches I have run into have been resolved over the phone, including an intermittent router that was not in the brief of tech support. I have had 2 modems die on me, the exchange process on these was utterly painless.



member for 9.7 years, 61 visits, last login: 16 days ago
lodged 27 days ago

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Review by nash211 See Profile

  • Location: Melville,SK
  • Cost: $140 per month
  • Install: about 7 days
Good "Tv and internet"
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Tv channels are good but some are SD driven, those are still not the best. Internet reliable, fast, they do have a cap but has not effected me as of yet.

member for 5.2 years, 41 visits, last login: 1.5 years ago
lodged 1.5 years ago

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Review by Gwellin See Profile

  • Location: Regina,SK
  • Cost: $46 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "No overage fees, at this time"
Bad "Available speeds are lagging behind other parts of the country"
Overall "Better than the big national ISPs"
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With the recent Usage Based Billing farce in Canada, I wanted to detail exactly how Access Communications functions at this time; hopefully never moving to UBB.

They have a cap, though works on a point system instead of direct usage. If you reach 100 points, which roughly translates to 100 Gigs of bandwidth, within a 30 day period you will be automatically reduced to 256Kbps/128Kbps speeds during "peak" times. There are no fees for going over, just this little slap on the wrist.

The system is somewhat forgiving however, if you time large downloads properly. The point values break down to the following:
Peak (3:00pm to 1:00am): 1GB Down = 1 point — 1GB Up = 2 points
Middle (8:00am to 3:00pm): 1GB Down = 0.75 points — 1GB Up = 1.5 points
Off-Peak (1:00am to 8:00am): 1GB Down = 0 points — 1GB Up = 0 points

In other words, if you use a bandwidth limiter or your own discretion to keep high usage to the 7 hour overnight period, you will be much less likely to reach the cap.

While this system might eventually change, it is not anything to complain about when compared to the overage costs of such providers as Bell, Rogers and Telus (the two former not even available in this province).

What I will complain about is the current maximum speed package of 10Mbps Down and 1Mbps Up. Said package is not really worth the extra $10 monthly rate over the 5/1 plan, as the upload speeds and points cap remains the same. I'm hoping for a DOCSIS 3.0 update in the future, though they have not made any announcements.

member for 9.8 years, 2679 visits, last login: 2.3 years ago
updated 3.2 years ago

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Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: S4P1W
  • Cost: $45 per month
Good "Excellent Tech Support"
Bad "Cannot provide the speed they promise in my area"
Overall "Mediocre"
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Service is great when it works. My area is over subscribed that they are
unable to keep up with the demand. I was paying for downloads of 10 mbps but
could very rarely come even close to this speed. I often get only 5 mbps.
This company needs to do some more investing in equipment in my area to meet
the demand. I found that if I change my service plan to the 5 mbps package
that I can usually get this speed 99% of the time. I would prefer the 10
mbps package but they cannot provide it. They are more than willing to
update the config file on my cable modem and to bill me for the higher
package but the higher speeds are not achievable.

ultimately it would be nice if they put some more money into their network
but I find that the 5 mbps package works for me most of the time.

I would also be nice if they could offer high speeds like some of the other
ISP's in Canada do. 50 mbps or 100 mbps are available in Ontario and Quebec
and other eastern provinces.

-

(review was emailed from domain gmail.com)
lodged 4.2 years ago

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Review by Sizzors See Profile

  • Location: Regina,SK
  • Cost: $74 per month
Good "Service department is friendly and fast to help."
Bad "Painful pings, slow performance"
Overall "Unacceptable"
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On a three month promotion with extreme high speed. An advertised upload of 5 Mp/s and a down load of 1 mp/s. Costs $74.00 per month! My experience had been far from acceptable. WEB pages that are as slow as dial up. On line gaming with pings bouncing around 99 - 129 - 88 - 460 - 530 - 98 - 999 Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Unable to game with those pings! Every time too much congestion but only between 5PM and 11PM. Installing a new switch in a couple of weeks, will double capacity. I have heard this twice now.

Tonight's results are a classic example: latency 152 ms upload 534 Kb/s download 207 Kb/s are they kidding me. When running this test I could not continue typing this page froze!

Access is extending the promotion but unless the quality meets even basic expectation I will not stay with Access. I did not sign up to high speed to save money. But I will not pay $74.00 a month for dial up quality!

member for 5.2 years, 0 visits, last login: 5.2 years ago
lodged 5.2 years ago

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Review by aaronparks45 See Profile

  • Location: Greensburg,Green,KY
  • Cost: $45 per month
  • Install: about 2 days
Good "Smokin Deal, Blistering Fast, No Hassle Install"
Bad "Cant think of any!"
Overall "Best bang for the buck in this area... period."
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6meg for $45, rocksolid 5.7meg or better downloads. Technician arrived on time, exactly as scheduled. Fast, friendly, local, and what a bargain!

Folks, you cant beat the deal in this area. I had 1.5meg through Windstream and it performed as advertised, but for the same price as my now insanely fast cable from Access. And unless you live in downtown Greensburg, you cant get anything faster from Windstream. Oh yea, Windstream blocks the good ports for your downloading pleasure... BOOO! My Access line is wide open

Access has packages from 512k all the up to 8meg, no matter where you are. You DONT have to have cable TV service either. They are so flexible. I cant really say enough, so heres how the experience went, shouldnt leave any questions for you.

Walked into Access office on Tue, spent 10 minutes browsing packages and speaking to staff. Made our choices, scheduled the install, paid cash upfront to start services.

Technician arrived as scheduled on Thur at 9am. He was very friendly and fast. However, having your own knowledge of internet stuff helps, Im not sure how they handle non-techy type folks. He was here about 15 minutes total, leaving me with 2 TV's on cable, an operational internet connection, a new modem, and my own copy of software. Speed was verified before he left.

Now here I sit, happy as can be, with 6meg service for the same price I was paying for a fraction of the speed.

member for 6 years, 14 visits, last login: 3.8 years ago
updated 5.9 years ago

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Review by Chessmassacr See Profile

  • Location: Yorkton,SK
  • Cost Contract price not specified.
Good "Used to be great!"
Bad "Now it is not!"
Overall "They promise you 'Unlimited Bandwidth' and then penalize you for using too much BW. Also internet (cable) is slow"
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I think this is BS! This is the only speedtest that tells me I have 3000+ bandwidth (not to mention that I am paying monthly for 4000+ and I haven't been getting it for weeks now). Anyway, every other speed test out there tells me that I'm only getting 1000+ bandwidth as well as the testament to having to wait for every page to load slowly. Its not spyware, I have run them all. Its not viruses, I have ran up to 6 different virus scanners, and i have done all of the diagnostics that the ISP has offered as well as a wealth of experience in this area since 1995, which tells me that my bandwidth has been cut IN HALF or it has something to do with that dang akamai technologies ip number that keeps coming up every time I do a netstat. I suggest they get rid of that somehow and get my internet bandwidth back or I am going to move to a different province. The reason why is because I know a secret about Sasktel and Accesscomm that I found out a few years back, but i'm not here to slander the service, I just want what I am paying for and if there is a problem, don't ignore me hoping I will go away. Accesscomm wont do anything further to remedy my problem, which ticks me off! All they said was unplug my modem and replug it, of course that did nothing. BTW, this all started when they changed my IP number. Ive had the same one for many years and now they changed it and I have had less than half of my purchased internet speed ever since. I WANT MY SPEED BACK OR I LEAVE!. Want my input, accesscomm is uncharacteristically beginning to suck. Just after I praise them in forums and now this. Wake up and get to work and stop sticking it to your customers.GET RID OF THIS AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES BANDWIDTH HOG that is imperative to make our internet operable, its killing our Bandwidth.

member for 6.6 years, 0 visits, last login: 6.6 years ago
updated 6.6 years ago

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Review by biles See Profile

  • Location: Regina,SK
  • Cost: $45 per month
Good "High download and upload speed, Great tech support. 2 static IPs. New modem whenever you want"
Bad "Download cap"
Overall "More customer oriented than the competition. Cap is bad for heavy downloaders."
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$45 a month if you don't have cable. If you are a university student, you can get the same service for $25 a month. Compaired to the competition, this is a great ISP. On average I get 4.5meg for 5 meg service. Pings are around 97ms and upload is around 890kbps of 1meg. If you have a problem, they try to fix the problem asap. I haven't had any service disruptions besides a bad amplifier. They fixed that the day I called.

member for 12.2 years, 1246 visits, last login: 177 days ago
updated 7.4 years ago

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Review by saskjohnny See Profile

  • Location: Yorkton,SK
  • Cost: $27 per month
  • Install: about 3 days
Good "Always Free Service Calls. Consistent Speeds. Always Right Near Advertised Speeds."
Overall "Superior Company! Customer Service Is Stunning! Speeds Are Awesome."
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Access has been one of the best companies I have ever done business with. They are always very fast to answer questions. Dealing with any line issues has been a suprisingly pleasant experience. I one had an issue that caused me to lose cable/internet and they arrived 15 minutes after I called on a Friday evening! (Turned out to be a simple connection that had to be replaced.. For a total fix time of 5 minutes or so).

I've always seen very consistent speed tests using broadbandreports.com, regardless of time of day. (Even though I am always told that in general cable users experience slower service the more people on-line in the neighborhood, etc).

Others have posted comments about a bandwidth limit of 70 Gigs. While I will admit that I never realized there was a limit, which probably should be noted more clearly... I don't think that realistically average users will be affected by this limit. It's actually pretty high. General Internet use is not going to come close to that limit. I believe that the people affected by numbers like that are mostly those that are downloading music/movies. (Though I am sure there are some out there that download tons of shareware, etc or something too). I once downloaded movies (a practice I have since stopped).. They were an average of 700megs. It would take downloading 100 movies a month at that rate to hit the limit. For music, I see a high average being 5 meg per song (usually less it seems though). That would require (unless I miscalculated) 14,000 song downloads. Now, it's just my opinion, but I think that 99% of LEGITIMATE downloaders aren't going to hit these numbers. (The 1% that does is going to be either spending a ton of money at iTunes or is a software developer downloading huge amounts of development kits or something!)

Again, the download limit should be advertised, however, at those numbers it's going to be very unusual for people to hit it that are downloading legitimate items. (My opinion)

member for 8.7 years, 20 visits, last login: 6.3 years ago
lodged 8.7 years ago

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Review by omega1682 See Profile

  • Location: Regina,SK
  • Cost: $51 per month
Good "Very Fast Download and Upload speeds"
Bad "Cap you at 70 Gigs per month"
Overall "Great Overall"
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I have used Access Communnications for 4 years now and I have been very happy with their service to date. They are very reliable with their connection and their customer service is above all the rest.

They sometimes have to do maitenance, but this is only 15 mins at a time, is during the late hours of the night (3:00am-3:15am) and they e-mail you each time it is about to be done.

Their advertised speed of 5 megs dowload and 1 meg upload is rarlely below what is advertised.

The only problem I have is that they "Cap" your monthly usage. If you use more then 70 gigabytes per month of data... both upload and download combined, then they will "downgrade" you to a lower speed. (high speed lite, high speed ultra-lite)

All in all I would reccomend Access Communications to everyone I know.... as they have never let me down.

member for 11.1 years, 323 visits, last login: 1.1 years ago
lodged 8.9 years ago

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