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Johny

join:2012-12-06
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..

Start.ca VS Distributel

Hey guys,

I recently cancelled my Rogers service since they frauded me into one of their retention plans. I was on a 45/4 with 150GB service, and couldnt take the cap. They "offered" me their extreme package (25/2) with a 300gb cap for much cheaper. I took it. I soon realized that it was not an extreme package, but a student plan after my speeds were constantly slow as hell. It was a 13-0.5 package.. I immediately called them after reading similar posts here, and cancelled the service.

Now I'm stuck choosing between Start and Distributel.

My initial thought would be Distributel cause they have a 28-1 unlimited for 50/m. Only thing thats holding me back is their support. Anyone know how good it is? How are the speeds?

Start.ca also has 28-1 but with a 300GB cap for 50. It isnt unlimited, but I do see a Start employee posting on the forum which makes me think support is better than that of Distributels.

So, any opinions on the matter? Teksavvy was a choice, but after reading the reviews on the site, seems like they are getting worse?

Also, my line is being cancelled on the 6th, so am I able to run another provider in the mean time? I mean, the 13/0.5 speeds are rediculously slow.. I havent had internet this slow since 2005.

Thanks


El Quintron
Resident Mouth Breather
Premium
join:2008-04-28
Etobicoke, ON
kudos:4
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
·TekSavvy DSL
Out of the three I'd say Start or Teksavvy, I've been with both Teksavvy Cable and DSL and my experience has been overwhelmingly positive.

Most folk's experience with Start is similar.
--
Support Bacteria -- It's the Only Culture Some People Have

Kane Hart

join:2012-11-17
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed
reply to Johny
I myself am considering Distributel. I think all the rest of them are unlimited but start. I been to busy to actually do more investigation but start for me would be pretty much a tiny tiny upgrade from rogers and the reason I'm leaving rogers is the lack of bandwidth.


Comeagain

@start.ca
reply to Johny
Distributel's support is pretty sad, 45+ min wait for a level 1 tech, shame. Same story with Teksavvy, which is why I am now with Start, pretty good I'd say.

My 2 cents?
Start > Distributel > Teksavvy > Everybody else

Johny

join:2012-12-06
reply to Johny
Yeah I called Distributel and waited half an hour. Called start and got speaking to someone instantly. Sorta Start VS Tek now..

alexpb1

join:2005-06-23
Barrie, ON
reply to Johny
I switched from Teksavvy 6Mbit DSL last February to Distributel cable. I would have went to Teksavvy Cable but they didn't (and still don't) service Barrie for cable.
I am happy I went with Distributel because the service and speeds have been great.

I've never had to use their support though so I can't comment on that.

Samgee

join:2010-08-02
canada
kudos:2
reply to Johny
For some it does come down to what level of support you require.

I've been with Acanac for over 2 years now, and couldn't be happier. With recent concerns over online privacy I'm even happier since they offer a free VPN and SSH tunnel with the accounts saving me at least $10 a month.

You'll find some less than favorable reviews around for them, and in a lot of those cases the issues came down to the support disconnect since they do rely on Rogers to do all the tech visits and connections. If you're comfortable with that arrangement and can live with some downtime should issues come up (in my 2 years I've been down 3 days total, all due to Rogers) no other ISP comes close to their price.

$40 per month if you sign up for 1 year, that includes the VPN as well as a few other included services for unlimited 28/1. There's a setup fee and modem purchase up front, but I think that's common with all third party providers.

When I moved providers after getting sick of Rogers screwing me over, I had heard some negative things about Acanac. I'm posting my experience with them because I want others to give them a chance. I've always had my support tickets answered quickly, but if you're the kind of person who needs to talk to someone on the phone right away about problems that come up, you may be better served paying more with another company. I've been on the internet for years, and for the first time in a long time I feel I'm getting actual value for the money I pay.

graniterock
Premium
join:2003-03-14
London, ON
reply to Johny
Start staff hangout here on the boards and seem to be actively helpful so they would be my preferred choice of the two.

Guru

join:2008-10-01
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
Start or Teksavvy! Both of their support is good but I find Start is bit better at the moment. Tek used to be good but they have been dropping a ball a lot lately.

Also you will find, Start has some good reviews coming up whereas, Teksavvy has somewhat neutral reviews!

ps: I like both of them but I'm just being honest!

Johny

join:2012-12-06
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to Johny
Haha okay cool thanks for the help guys. I'm probably gonna go with start, theyre waiving my setup fee, so it seems like a good choice. No contract either, so if I dont like it, I'll switch to someone else


shwatkin
Premium
join:2007-10-02
Bowmanville, ON
Reviews:
·Distributel Cable
reply to Johny
Start has one major advantage, you can get their service anywhere Rogers or Cogeco is available. Distributel is more widely available than TekSavvy. Ultimately you are are the mercy of the backbone. Check these forums, you'll see endless messages about TekSavvy cable going down and sometimes staying down for long periods. I'm on Distributel (have been for last year), I've had two outages and the longest one lasted about 8 hours. Its a pain but I can certainly live with that a couple times a year. Start has wider availability because of their type of connection to the two big players but they only offer unlimited on their basic cable account (4 Mbps). Distributel requires you to buy your modem from them, the other two allow you to bring your own but you'll have to check out a list of compatible modems for your territory to make sure you have a supported device.

If the bandwidth limitation of up to 400GB (depending on your package) isn't an issue I'd probably go with Start, if you want truly unlimited service then Distributel (if its available in your area) gets my recommendation. I see no reason to recommend TekSavvy for cable service, DSL is a different story.

In any event no matter which service you decide to go with make sure you spend a few bucks extra up front and get a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, it makes a big difference in your speed because of the channel bonding and you won't see the peaks and valleys during high traffic times of day. The Thomson/Technicolor modems appear to be the most widely supported at the moment, avoid the Motorola's (their fanbase comes mostly from the early adopters of TekSavvy cable service), some people seem to have issues getting them activated on the Rogers network.


patioslab

@rogers.com
reply to alexpb1
Alexpb1, I have distributel cable in Barrie and have had for a year now. Pretty fast too with little congestion.

Johny

join:2012-12-06

1 edit
reply to shwatkin
Thanks for the info man. Yeah I have a DOCSIS 3 right now, I plan on buying the one Start offers. Do you know if that one is good?

Out of curiousity, Teksavvy DSL > Cable?

Edit: the one im getting would be the DCM476


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
reply to shwatkin
Oish. More widely available? How do you figure that? Unless you're on aggregated we largely have the same footprint.

Being down? How do you figure that? What you see is DHCP issues that effect any of us equally.. It just so happens we have way more subs than any others so more people are on here voicing their concerns.

For capacity issues, with the exception of the St. Laurent POI just this past week that's getting an upgrade next week, we haven't had any POI congestion since we lifted stop sells earlier this year.
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy

Radar73

join:2008-01-20
Ajax, ON
said by TSI Marc:

Oish. More widely available? How do you figure that? Unless you're on aggregated we largely have the same footprint.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but start is aggregated, hence more widely available than TSI at the moment, is that not right?


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
said by Radar73:

said by TSI Marc:

Oish. More widely available? How do you figure that? Unless you're on aggregated we largely have the same footprint.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but start is aggregated, hence more widely available than TSI at the moment, is that not right?

There are a few factors here. The first is that each incumbent is different and not all independent ISPs have infrastructure to all incumbents. We have Aliant, Bell, Telus, Vidéotron, Cogeco, Rogers and Shaw. So on that alone, I would say that few are as widely available as us if any. We've stopped that expansion more than a year ago but once things settle down, we will surely continue to expand that.

Now, within each one of those, that's where you get into the aggregated vs. non-aggregated on the Cable side. For the DSL incumbents, we already have their entire footprints. Similarity with Vidéotron, we have their entire footprint.

That leaves us with Rogers, Cogeco and Shaw.

Each one of those have specific reasons for the state they are in.

For Rogers, its a simple matter of rapid growth. A couple years ago, when we first started up with them, the only thing available was non-aggregated. At the time, you had to build or buy connectivity to each POI you wanted to serve. At the time I think there were something like 50 POIs just for Rogers. We connected to 19 of them. The majority of all the major centers they serve except for Barrie (don't ask me how we managed to miss that one). Today they split one of them into two and created the Comstock POI, so we now server 20 POIs I believe. Today we have over 75 gig links (with 10 more on order) going to all those 20 POIs and they all aggregate back to something like 6-8, 10 gig links.

Cogeco, we have a single gig link to the Chatham POI and it back hauls to our office in Chatham where we have multiple links going back to our main POP in Toronto and out to the web from there.

For Shaw, we have a single gig link with a second on the way aggregating to our POP in Vancouver.(We also have a POP in Halifax where we aggregate all of Aliant.)

All three are currently on the non-aggregated TPIA since they were all setup prior to the big CRTC decision. (Remember that late last year a CRTC decision was made to change the way we interconnect with the Cable co's networks.. That's where this aggregated vs. non-aggregated business started)

For Shaw, the result of the decision is that they now have more aggregated POIs than they used to have non-aggregated.. Odd result but that's what happened. We're in the process of migrating but we're not sure yet what coverage we'll have

For Cogeco, we are essentially very close to go live BUT, the usage is so crazy high, that the roughly 1000 users we have in Chatham would take something like a $10/mth price hike just to break even, not even making any profit. So, we're reluctant to go live with it now that we've done the math even though I said we would, I'm now inclined to wait until the new year (there are also other factors that are delaying this that will become known soon).

For Rogers, we simply have a massive migration to do and it's just not simple. We have agreements that need to be dealt with for the existing gig links that would all be dropped if we migrated.. Rogers is working with us to come up with a plan. We met with them last week and we have a plan to begin by enabling the rest of their POIs first, sometime in Feb or March, then start migrating one POI at a time over to the aggregated model and by end of year we should be fully migrated.

So really, we should have all of their entire footprints in the first few months of the new year... Getting back to your original question, I don't know where others are at but at least now you know where we are at hope that helps.
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy

Slam_83

join:2002-09-08
Oshawa, ON
reply to Johny
Hey Marc

When you say "enabling the rest of their POIs" and "we should have all of their entire footprints in the first few months of the new year"

Does that mean expanding to areas like Oshawa? I hope that's what it means.

Phorkster
Premium
join:2004-06-27
Windsor, ON
kudos:1
reply to Johny
Start has awesome support. I can't say enough good things about them.


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
reply to Slam_83
said by Slam_83:

Hey Marc

When you say "enabling the rest of their POIs" and "we should have all of their entire footprints in the first few months of the new year"

Does that mean expanding to areas like Oshawa? I hope that's what it means.

Yep, that's right.
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy


shwatkin
Premium
join:2007-10-02
Bowmanville, ON
Reviews:
·Distributel Cable
reply to TSI Marc
Sorry Marc, wasn't trying to pick on TekSavvy (I was a TekSavvy DSL customer for years) but the fact is there are some major urban areas serviced by Rogers (Barrie and Oshawa to name two from this thread) that you cannot get TekSavvy cable. And most often in those areas (again Barrie and Oshawa to name 2) you can get Distributel cable service. Also for the same 28/1 package TekSavvy is $12 more a month than Distributel. I love TekSavvy just wish that they had cable service available in my area when I decided to make the jump from DSL. At this point I don't see any reason to pay $12 more for the same speed tiers though (not that it matters as TekSavvy still doesn't service my town).

No hard feelings and I hope to see your service available in more areas soon.


TSI Marc
Premium,VIP
join:2006-06-23
Chatham, ON
kudos:28
No worries shwatkin, I hear you. For my part, I was more pointing out the fact that those two cities hardly account for the whole country...

I do agree about those two cities though.. we wanted to turn them up but given the CRTC proceedings at the time. It just wasnt possible, we ran out of time. I do believe that we have some areas that they dont also though but its a moot point.. it is what it is for those few areas. In a few months it will all be history anyway.
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy


Upsidedown

@utoronto.ca
reply to shwatkin
Long story short.

-Start covers Telus, Bell, Rogers and Cogeco's footprint.
-TSI covers Telus, Bell, parts of Rogers and Cogeco. Not sure about Videotron.

Start is more widely available in specific cable provider's footprint.
Teksavvy has/uses more cable providers, but doesnt cover 100% of their respective footprint.

Although I wouldn't really include Shaw, TSI covers one market. Cant even get it in Edmonton or Calgary.

Also, I for one don't take companies seriously when they say things like coming soon, or upgrading very soon. Everybody has a different interpretation of that, and if you don't meet expectations, it just hurts your own rep. Perfect example of that is Mobilicity, especially when their "retention" says they'll be improving coverage soon in the downtown core.


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

Although I wouldn't really include Shaw, TSI covers one market. Cant even get it in Edmonton or Calgary.

Vancouver is the third largest City in Canada population wise. Just FYI..
--
Marc - CEO/TekSavvy


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
reply to Upsidedown
said by Upsidedown :

-Start covers Telus, Bell, Rogers and Cogeco's footprint.

I don't normally hop into sales threads (especially 'us' vs 'them' ones), but just a slight correction on the above as we're not in Telus area. Right now mainly just focused on all of Ontario, which we cover with Bell, Rogers and Cogeco.

Kane Hart

join:2012-11-17
Reviews:
·Rogers Hi-Speed
reply to Johny
All I can say is Start and Distributel are both in Barrie. I'm also stuck deciding.t I'm leaning a bit towards Dist for the bandwidth. Start because they got a slight higher tier.

For now Start will not charge you for extra bandwidth usage as far as I know. But they will be in the future from what I hear.


ErrorError

@start.ca
reply to rocca
Why does Start's website qualify DSL in Edmonton if you guys dont cover Telus? Man, I was JUST about to wean my sister off of Telus' stupidity.

Guru

join:2008-10-01
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
said by ErrorError :

Why does Start's website qualify DSL in Edmonton if you guys dont cover Telus? Man, I was JUST about to wean my sister off of Telus' stupidity.

What method did you use to qualify? For DSL, you use phone to qualify not by address I believe. *Correct me if I'm wrong!


ErrorError

@start.ca
I punched in my sister's postal code after clicking on "High Speed" and it says she can get DSL 2, 6 or 15.


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
The main services page uses the postal code to determine the cable zone. The highspeed availability link is the main tool that does qualification and can check phone #'s for service (ie postal codes are too large to do useful dsl qualification). It's a good point for out of province searches though, I'll see what I can do. We don't do any advertising outside of Ontario so it hasn't come up before.

Johny

join:2012-12-06
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to Johny
Well I signed up for Start yesterday, so thanks for all the input. We'll see how it goes with them, hopefully the speeds stay stable (mainly need the upload one to be).

Will report back for those who are interested in their services in Vaughan