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TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
reply to OneWorld9

Re: TekSavvy - glorified reseller, not ISP

This is a complicated issue.

We don't get anything from any incumbent other than maintenance or downtime on links that we are explicitly paying for. If something is going on in Toronto and we have 100 users affected. We hear about it when they all call us.

The issue is that for 100 users we're going to notify thousands and thousands of people even though this has nothing to do with them.

This is what we've been doing. We have no way to know how many users are actually affected. With Bell and Rogers in particular since we have so many users with them, when there is any outage almost anywhere, we hear about it.

What's the right thing to do?
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy

OneWorld9

join:2010-12-09
East York, ON
said by TSI Marc:

This is a complicated issue.

...

What's the right thing to do?

I'll assume you're asking me (and others) this question, and that it's not rhetorical.

I think what you should do (assuming you want to be an ISP, and not simply a reseller) is outlined in my longer post above. How you arrive at that level of service (both short and long term), that's for you to figure out - I did provide some suggestions to consider. Beyond that, if you want to hire me to consult with TSI about this, I'm open to suggestions.


sbrook
Premium,Mod
join:2001-12-14
Ottawa
kudos:13
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·WIND Mobile
If TekSavvy was a "reseller of Rogers services", then the world would be different. You'd be paying very very close to Rogers rates, and be paying UBB with their ridiculously low caps.

It's time you got that idea out of your head (of being a Rogers reseller). That they have to pay Rogers or Bell to get from their network to you is the limit of Rogers involvement. A reseller would be Rogers from end to end.

There are precious few "tools" that one can create that allow diagnosis of connection problems. Heck, Rogers don't provide any to themselves either, relying on tracerts that they commonly make invalid assumptions from, and the modem stats that they make invalid assumptions from.

If you look at any cable MSO elsewhere in the world, they all suffer the same problem ... because it's hard to isolate problems except when they stand out like a sore thumb ... like an upstream signal strength of 55 dBmV

Tracerts with timeouts in them take a lot of working out to determine where a problem may be, if there's a problem at all. I can show you tracerts that are utterly useless and will lead you to the wrong assumption.


NightMayor

join:2010-04-28
York, ON
reply to TSI Marc
Is there a way to just notify a select area instead of thousands and thousands of people, say by postal code? If it's a local node congestion you wouldn't need to issue a big advisory, possibly only to customers within that postal code or near a major intersection and adjust accordingly based on calls/posts.

This is for a local area obviously. If it's a spread out 100 people then it's not wise to issue one.

Just putting my 2 cents.

xdrag

join:2005-02-18
North York, ON

4 edits
reply to TSI Marc
said by TSI Marc:

This is a complicated issue.

We don't get anything from any incumbent other than maintenance or downtime on links that we are explicitly paying for. If something is going on in Toronto and we have 100 users affected. We hear about it when they all call us.

The issue is that for 100 users we're going to notify thousands and thousands of people even though this has nothing to do with them.

This is what we've been doing. We have no way to know how many users are actually affected. With Bell and Rogers in particular since we have so many users with them, when there is any outage almost anywhere, we hear about it.

What's the right thing to do?

Marc, on the TSI website, you need to have a section to post any suspected network downtimes. Twitter, RSS or anything.

If you think there's a downtime or congestion in an area. It wouldn't hurt to post it. When those who are affected by these unforeseen problems, they can see on your website and be like "oh, maybe that's why my connection is sucking".

i.e. comstock POI is being upgraded - users in the scarborough area may experience network issues

said by OneWorld9:

Service advisories are common practise, and any ISP *should* be able to provide them. What information Rogers does or does not provide is between TekSavvy and Rogers - they need to get that information to properly support their customers.

I'm fully cognizant that Rogers doesn't want to change things. As TSI Marc has pointed out, though, that has to change. TekSavvy and other TPIAs cannot operate this way if they want to be successful as ISPs. You said it yourself - if TekSavvy cannot offer services they promised to provide, customers will favour Rogers and will leave. At the end of the day, TPIAs will become a niche-market provider - servicing customers who hope that "one day" things will change, or are OK getting subpar service for a bit of cost savings - if they cannot surpass these obstacles.

Regardless who supplies TekSavvy with the ability to service customers as an ISP, it is TekSavvy's responsibility to provide support. If that support is not provided, and they end not providing the service and/or needlessly wasting their customers' time, it's up to TekSavvy to make things right. If you read my latest posts, TekSavvy agrees, and is working towards that.

Great theoretical points. you're saying we should change this and all these problems. but How? you've pointed out all the problems but what's going to happen between here and there. How practical are all these changes, how hard/easy will it be to implement, how will we execute this, how do we find support, how much will it cost.

It's like saying, if we had fusion power, it could solve the problem of all our energy needs. How do you get fusion power?

Someone people think they have great ideas (sometimes they are) but in reality they're either terrible or not plausible to execute - dragon's den. In reality, you need to pick a few gems and run away with them.

The biggest need at the moment is consumer education. Most people have NO clue to what's going on and only blame TSI as their sole source of woes. If people became self-educated on the issue between TSI's arm-lock with rogers and bell, there would be more action. The prime example is UBB. People heard about it, learned about it and took action against it.

»openmedia.ca was suppose to do this, but it's clearly not working. Bell and Rogers own all the media outlets in canada so unless you start a riot in DT, most of this will fall on deaf ears


NightMayor

join:2010-04-28
York, ON

1 edit
said by xdrag:

said by TSI Marc:

This is a complicated issue.

We don't get anything from any incumbent other than maintenance or downtime on links that we are explicitly paying for. If something is going on in Toronto and we have 100 users affected. We hear about it when they all call us.

The issue is that for 100 users we're going to notify thousands and thousands of people even though this has nothing to do with them.

This is what we've been doing. We have no way to know how many users are actually affected. With Bell and Rogers in particular since we have so many users with them, when there is any outage almost anywhere, we hear about it.

What's the right thing to do?

Marc, on the TSI website, you need to have a section to post any suspected network downtimes. Twitter, RSS or anything.

If you think there's a downtime or congestion in an area. It wouldn't hurt to post it. When those who are affected by these unforeseen problems, they can see on your website and be like "oh, maybe that's why my connection is sucking".

i.e. comstock POI is being upgraded - users in the scarborough area may experience network issues

I agree, there needs to be something there on the website with suspected downtimes. And like you said it could be anything more. Right now as far as I know we only have advisories on the phone like when you call Teksavvy there may be a message right off where it says which POI has problems.

I think a map would be good, like Toronto hydro's, since not everyone knows about POIs. Red could mean confirmed disturbance, yellow could mean suspected, and green could mean normal.

said by xdrag:

The biggest need at the moment is consumer education. Most people have NO clue to what's going on and only blame TSI as their sole source of woes. If people became self-educated on the issue between TSI's arm-lock with rogers and bell, there would be more action. The prime example is UBB. People heard about it, learned about it and took action against it.

»openmedia.ca was suppose to do this, but it's clearly not working. Bell and Rogers own all the media outlets in canada so unless you start a riot in DT, most of this will fall on deaf ears

I also agree with this. Communication is always key. I think the problem though is that the general public thought just because UBB is gone all our internet problems are solved. So yeah, there needs to be another uprising of sorts, rioting is a little extreme IMHO.


NytOwl

join:2012-09-27
canada
Right now as far as I know we only have advisories on the phone like when you call Teksavvy there may be a message right off where it says which POI has problems.

I think a map would be good, like Toronto hydro's, since not everyone knows about POIs. Red could mean confirmed disturbance, yellow could mean suspected, and green could mean normal.
Great points here.

I heavily dislike not being advised about a known problem until I pick up the phone to hear an automated message telling me so. It would be a lot easier for TekSavvy to publish these known issues, as they become known, on a "Network Status" page of their website, and/or via Twitter to their followers. Ditto for Facebook. We are in the age of social media, after all. Yes, there is this forum, which is very useful, but they'd reach far more clients via other means.

Separate of that, I can't help but to have some sympathy for TekSavvy here.

For a few years, I worked for Primus Canada, whose DSL service (among other types of connections) operates mostly at Bell's mercy. Many-a-night would there suddenly be a surge of calls coming in, reporting issues in a particular area. It wasn't until some time would pass that we'd learn it was due to maintenance on Bell's end that we had zero notice or control of. Customers were screaming at us while my employer was not at fault in any way. The irony is that some of those clients had just switched to Primus from Bell, to get away from the headaches that they had gone through with Bell. Surprise!! ... At the end of the day they were still saving money, though.

Side note [& rant]: virtually all of us who have worked in ISP support can certainly recall [business] customers who are yelling that they're losing hundreds of dollars every hour that their Internet is down, while they solely rely on one single basic DSL connection. ...Dude. Get a backup/secondary connection. And get off my phone.

My 2¢.

OneWorld9

join:2010-12-09
East York, ON
reply to sbrook
said by sbrook:

It's time you got that idea out of your head (of being a Rogers reseller). That they have to pay Rogers or Bell to get from their network to you is the limit of Rogers involvement. A reseller would be Rogers from end to end.

I oversimplified TSI to a "reseller" to point out that the service is comparable to one, since many of the issues related to support are in Rogers' hands, and they have to reach out to Rogers to get things done - I totally understand they are a "hybrid". The point is they have a long way to go, in my mind, before they compare with the level of reliability and support I received when I was with Rogers. What good is it that you can talk to someone locally, who is fluent in English, if they can't resolve your issue? I don't call TekSavvy to chat with someone. I'm also not going to debate why that is - I do agree a lot of this is Rogers' fault. However, I'd like to see TekSavvy get to that level of reliability / support and even better, if at all possible. Higher costs aside, my connection *was* better with Rogers - for *several years*. Downtime was infrequent, and usually a matter of hours (never longer than a couple of days), and I only had a slow speed issue (lasting long enough to warrant support) *once* - it was quickly repaired by a tech putting a filter on my cable, because the signal was too strong. This is exactly the same connection (I have been at this address a long time) that I'm using with TekSavvy - when I switched, no tech came out to install anything. However, in the past less than two years, there have been numerous support-related issues / headaches.

As I stated in my first post, the reason I switched to TekSavvy was primarily cost related - specifically, related to caps and UBB - and the reviews suggesting that TekSavvy was a "better ISP".

I do agree the incumbents shouldn't have so much control over the "last mile", and they shouldn't be allowed to charge such high prices. However, we need to be clear about this - if TekSavvy is giving us these great deals at the expense of support, then people need to be informed of this and make their decision of which ISP to go with when they are informed. I joined TekSavvy with the impression it was "better" than the incumbents. My experience shows otherwise. TekSavvy's marketing suggests they are "different, in a good way". I suppose that depends on your definition of "good". I don't agree that "good" includes subpar service. I'm paying less, but I didn't agree to pay less to get an unrealiable connection and no real support. I think everyone deserves to know the truth about the service they can expect.

Is it nice that the CEO and staff talk to us in a forum? Of course it is. Will talking with the ISP actually make the service better? Time will tell.

OneWorld9

join:2010-12-09
East York, ON
reply to NightMayor
said by NightMayor:

said by xdrag:

said by TSI Marc:

...

What's the right thing to do?

Marc, on the TSI website, you need to have a section to post any suspected network downtimes. Twitter, RSS or anything.

If you think there's a downtime or congestion in an area. It wouldn't hurt to post it. When those who are affected by these unforeseen problems, they can see on your website and be like "oh, maybe that's why my connection is sucking".

i.e. comstock POI is being upgraded - users in the scarborough area may experience network issues

I agree, there needs to be something there on the website with suspected downtimes. And like you said it could be anything more. Right now as far as I know we only have advisories on the phone like when you call Teksavvy there may be a message right off where it says which POI has problems.

I think a map would be good, like Toronto hydro's, since not everyone knows about POIs. Red could mean confirmed disturbance, yellow could mean suspected, and green could mean normal.

+1 ... this is constructive and getting somewhere. It's a good start.

said by NightMayor:

said by xdrag:

The biggest need at the moment is consumer education. Most people have NO clue to what's going on and only blame TSI as their sole source of woes. If people became self-educated on the issue between TSI's arm-lock with rogers and bell, there would be more action. The prime example is UBB. People heard about it, learned about it and took action against it.

»openmedia.ca was suppose to do this, but it's clearly not working. Bell and Rogers own all the media outlets in canada so unless you start a riot in DT, most of this will fall on deaf ears

I also agree with this. Communication is always key. I think the problem though is that the general public thought just because UBB is gone all our internet problems are solved. So yeah, there needs to be another uprising of sorts, rioting is a little extreme IMHO.

+1. I'm all for this as well. While TekSavvy (and other TPIAs) work towards improving their service to the best possible levels (given the limitations of working with incumbents), getting things to change is obviously one of the main factors needed for long-term benefits for all.

There was no violence (that I'm aware of) which caused so many people in Canada to protest UBB - there doesn't need to be here either. Education / action is what is needed.


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
reply to xdrag
said by xdrag:

Marc, on the TSI website, you need to have a section to post any suspected network downtimes. Twitter, RSS or anything.

»www.teksavvy.com/en/support/tools/tools

twitter: @TekSavvyNetwork
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy

xdrag

join:2005-02-18
North York, ON

1 edit
said by TSI Marc:

said by xdrag:

Marc, on the TSI website, you need to have a section to post any suspected network downtimes. Twitter, RSS or anything.

»www.teksavvy.com/en/support/tools/tools

twitter: @TekSavvyNetwork

That's good but i think that's too hidden honestly.

Support -> tools -> tools. The average person will only spend 10 seconds on a webpage.

IMO it should be smack in the frontpage or a link that easily be followed from there.

A twitter box for network status on the right hand-side would be a nice addition.

A good way to implement a mapping system for outage is flagging. When a customer calls in or contacts CSR about a network disruption (speed/packetloss/congestion), the system can flag their location at the end of the call. Overtime, if there's a high concentration of flags in a certain area, the manager of the CSR can review the heat-map and issue "suspected" node congestion notices.

I'm unsure how practical or easy this would be to implement but I think that would be a simple way giving your CSR a tool to check for network congestion and the consumers as well.

OneWorld9

join:2010-12-09
East York, ON
said by xdrag:

said by TSI Marc:

said by xdrag:

Marc, on the TSI website, you need to have a section to post any suspected network downtimes. Twitter, RSS or anything.

»www.teksavvy.com/en/support/tools/tools

twitter: @TekSavvyNetwork

That's good but i think that's too hidden honestly.

Support -> tools -> tools. The average person will only spend 10 seconds a webpage.

IMO it should be smack in the frontpage or a link that easily be followed from there.

A twitter box for network status on the right hand-side would be a nice addition.

+1

Was this announced to customers in any way? This is the first time I've heard any network status announcements were available.

I see the Twitter account was only created earlier this month. I think separating tweets (or RSS) in some fashion would be helpful. I'm not all that interested in what happens outside of my area of service, and with services I don't subscribe to, other than to perhaps periodically check what TSI is dealing with.

xdrag

join:2005-02-18
North York, ON
said by OneWorld9:

+1

Was this announced to customers in any way? This is the first time I've heard any network status announcements were available.

I see the Twitter account was only created earlier this month. I think separating tweets (or RSS) in some fashion would be helpful. I'm not all that interested in what happens outside of my area of service, and with services I don't subscribe to, other than to perhaps periodically check what TSI is dealing with.

It always existed in some shape or form. Whether it would be announcements on DSLr or on their website. It was on the old website but once again, it was buried and not too many updates were fed through.

Given the growing consumer base though, i think it would be a good idea to give the system a bit of an overhaul. More frequent updates and the addition of issuing "code yellow" warnings for unofficial reports of network issues would be nice. Get a few TSI regulars on the board to join the monitoring group which would provide a steady stream of pings in different areas.

UK_Dave

join:2011-01-27
Powassan, ON
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
Earlier this morning I had an example of this system in operation.

Long story short:

Power went off.
Worried about missing tv golf = very annoyed.
Called Hydro. Auto-voice said "We know, 400 houses involved. ETC 3 hours."
I was happy.

Now as it turns out, it was on again in less than 60 minutes.

Really Happy.

Cheers,
Dave

OneWorld9

join:2010-12-09
East York, ON
said by UK_Dave:

Earlier this morning I had an example of this system in operation.

Long story short:

Power went off.
Worried about missing tv golf = very annoyed.
Called Hydro. Auto-voice said "We know, 400 houses involved. ETC 3 hours."
I was happy.

Now as it turns out, it was on again in less than 60 minutes.

Really Happy.

Cheers,
Dave

+1 ... announcements like this and others will a) show they know what's going on, and b) prevent a lot of wasted time troubleshooting, etc. Granted, power is a lot simpler to troubleshoot than your ISP connection, but TekSavvy needs to work towards that kind of knowledge of their customers' connections (at least from the network side).

geokilla

join:2010-10-04
North York, ON
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to OneWorld9
said by OneWorld9:

+1

Was this announced to customers in any way? This is the first time I've heard any network status announcements were available.

I see the Twitter account was only created earlier this month. I think separating tweets (or RSS) in some fashion would be helpful. I'm not all that interested in what happens outside of my area of service, and with services I don't subscribe to, other than to perhaps periodically check what TSI is dealing with.

Only people that know such a tool would be tech savvy people... And if the Internet is down, how do they expect us to get onto the Internet....

xdrag

join:2005-02-18
North York, ON
said by geokilla:

Only people that know such a tool would be tech savvy people... And if the Internet is down, how do they expect us to get onto the Internet....

True but don't forget more and more people have smartphone and data plans. The day and age where our home is the sole connection to the internet world is shrinking.

That being said, an automated voice message would be great for those who have outages like the hydro example earlier. For slow-downs, it's a bit more complicated.

UK_Dave

join:2011-01-27
Powassan, ON
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
reply to OneWorld9
"+1 ... announcements like this and others will a) show they know what's going on, and b) prevent a lot of wasted time troubleshooting, etc. Granted, power is a lot simpler to troubleshoot than your ISP connection, but TekSavvy needs to work towards that kind of knowledge of their customers' connections (at least from the network side)."

--------------------

Sure. I add it only as an example - fully aware that although many might see it as a the "Gold Standard", some would refer to it as the "Industry Gold Standard".

Different industry needs different approach maybe?


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28

1 edit
reply to NightMayor
said by NightMayor:

I also agree with this. Communication is always key. I think the problem though is that the general public thought just because UBB is gone all our internet problems are solved. So yeah, there needs to be another uprising of sorts, rioting is a little extreme IMHO.

It's simple really and it's that UBB is far from gone. There is more regulatory activity right now than ever. Many issues are being held up because UBB wasn't dealt with properly the first time around. I agree we all need to get on the same page but we're too busy arguing about support issues while the whole forest is on fire.
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy

bbiab

join:2004-05-26
I think most knowledgeable customers appreciate TSI's position and effort Marc.


sbrook
Premium,Mod
join:2001-12-14
Ottawa
kudos:13
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·WIND Mobile
reply to OneWorld9
said by OneWorld9:

+1 ... announcements like this and others will a) show they know what's going on, and b) prevent a lot of wasted time troubleshooting, etc. Granted, power is a lot simpler to troubleshoot than your ISP connection, but TekSavvy needs to work towards that kind of knowledge of their customers' connections (at least from the network side).

Short of pinging all their customers on a routine basis ... which means they have to be told by Rogers who's been assigned what IP, there's no way that TSI can tell who's having problems. Supply side monitoring is very very difficult. Rogers won't in any hurry provide access to their DHCP service to implement supply side monitoring.

Electric power companies also tend to rely on client side monitoring too and as a result the delays tend to result in cascade failures like the Ontario outage a few years back. Supply side monitoring is far more common at the power distribution level in Europe so cascade failures are far less common, but that requires more infrastructure that it would be very costly to implement in an internet environment.

The other problem with supply side monitoring is the tin-foil-hat folk will start up with "What's my ISP doing probing my system ever hour every day? They're spying on us."


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
reply to bbiab
that's good. maybe I take these things too personally.
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy


NightMayor

join:2010-04-28
York, ON

1 edit
I'm pretty sure all of us here really appreciate you guys reading our replies and suggestions.

You have to understand though, we can't share something that most of us don't know exist. That's why there's all this confusion of not knowing where to go to find service advisories. So I don't agree that we are spoiled, just uninformed. This is part of the communication problem some of us are suggesting needs to be fixed.

In any case, here's follower 87!


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
that's very fair. mostly I feel that everybody is supportive and honestly voicing their opinions and thoughts.. as I'm doing too.. so it's all good. It's raw and it's real that way. I like that.
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET
reply to xdrag
said by xdrag:

said by geokilla:

Only people that know such a tool would be tech savvy people... And if the Internet is down, how do they expect us to get onto the Internet....

True but don't forget more and more people have smartphone and data plans. The day and age where our home is the sole connection to the internet world is shrinking.

That being said, an automated voice message would be great for those who have outages like the hydro example earlier. For slow-downs, it's a bit more complicated.

How many of those people know how to download a file on their phone and transfer it to their computer? How many of them even can (iPhone users can't, for example, it's just not something the phone can do)?


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET
reply to bbiab
said by bbiab:

I think most knowledgeable customers appreciate TSI's position and effort Marc.

And some non-customers...


BronsCon

join:2003-10-24
Walnut Creek, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
·SONIC.NET
reply to TSI Marc
said by TSI Marc:

that's very fair. mostly I feel that everybody is supportive and honestly voicing their opinions and thoughts.. as I'm doing too.. so it's all good. It's raw and it's real that way. I like that.

You heard it here first, folks. Marc likes it real raw.


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
LOL. glad you like the position and effort!
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy

UK_Dave

join:2011-01-27
Powassan, ON
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL

1 edit
reply to TSI Marc
said by TSI Marc:

that's very fair. mostly I feel that everybody is supportive and honestly voicing their opinions and thoughts.. as I'm doing too.. so it's all good. It's raw and it's real that way. I like that.

Maybe it's because I'm not used to it - but I find it quite amazing that we're here on a Sunday afternoon, having this kind of discussion, with the CEO of our ISP.

Cheers
Dave

edit: Because it's Sunday. Not Saturday.

sgtux

join:2012-07-14
reply to TSI Marc

It's simple really and it's that UBB is far from gone...

Mister CEO! I have been kept silence reading all this thread till now. How can you even discuss the issue like UBB? It's just ABSURD and you know it better than anyone because you are CEO of an ISP company that first protested against it in Canada. I immigrated from Europe only 8 years ago and I've been with TekSavvy for 5 years. The Internet UBB exists in Canada only. Even your notorious Rogers is just a big Bell re-seller at the end. Canadians, wake up, do not be sheep!

Mister CEO! I 100% agree with OP. Fortunately Canada still has companies like TekSavvy and CEO like you are, even if you are a re-seller at the moment and not ISPs yet I hope it's gonna changed soon. But even so, you are in charge to get rid of such incompetence your company has acquired for the last two years like crappy customer and technical support even if you blame that most of TekSavvy employees are the same as 5 years ago. Mentality (or something else) was definitely changed. That's why you can only *sigh* when you see such complaints every week.

P.S. Personally I would discuss anything only with adequate people like OP or UK_Dave for example... I'm a professional programmer with over 20+ years of experience in Networking and UNIX OS, so I don't think I might accept any arguments from kids or teenagers like xdrag, sorry in advance.