Rogers Sucks. Bell Rocks!

Katya and I recently switched our internet and cable provider from Rogers to Bell. I know this may not seem like an exciting topic, but such is the excitement in my life.

Rogers is a staple in the cable industry in Ontario. They've been offering television and internet for decades, and recently were tested by PC Mag and rated as having the fastest internet speeds in North America. Unfortunately, that comes at a price.

We had originally signed up for Rogers back in October when a sales associate at a Rogers store in Stone Road Mall called us over while we were walking by. He offered us 80 GB of internet and 200 channels on a NextBox HD PVR with no install fee for $102 per month. We decided "Sure, let's do it".

The internet was blazing fast, but it went down quite a bit. Roger's uses taps in a main line, with each "tap" going off to the individual house. This means that all the data that travels down the main line is shared with every house and/or user connected to it, resulting in slower internet speeds during peak hours. Also, if one "tap" goes down it can bring down the whole line. This was happening to us, and it cut out on my online classes several times resulting in a loss of students (and business).

The NextBox was a piece of crap. There was a 30-second lag after pressing a button on the remote while it "thought" about the action. It took another ten seconds for it to change channels. Opening up the guide took forever, and forget about On Demand! We had a technician swap out the NextBox but the problem was the same. It's something to do with inferior technology, methinks.

Billing was horrendous. Our charges just kept creeping up and up and up. When our bills were reaching $200 a month we cancelled our cable just to cut down on costs (the shitty NextBox made it impossible to watch, anyways). That didn't help. We started getting charged for data overages on our internet. Every time we called we received a lecture about how data works. I know how it works. They would ask "Are you downloading anything?" "Are you watching YouTube videos?"
"Well you know. When you download things, it uses data. Let me explain how downloads work..."
"I'm not an idiot. "
"Okay. Well, you see, when you download..."

The thing is, in BC Katya and I had Telus Optik internet and television, with a 60 GB data plan. We NEVER went over that. Our usage hasn't changed here. Same computers, same mobile phones, same XBox. In fact, as costs were going up we actually cut down on our usage! That didn't stop Roger's from overbilling us, however. The customer service reps didn't listen to us.

Me: "We haven't changed our usage. In fact, we've cut down on our usage. Why are using more? Could it be that your company is billing us incorrectly?"
Rogers: "Well you know, every time you download something, it uses data. Let me explain how downloads work..."

A month ago Katya and I went to Ottawa for the weekend to visit family, and just to test shit we unplugged EVERYTHING in the apartment, including the modem and the router, all the computers, etc. When we came back Katya called Rogers and asked about our usage over the weekend.
"You've used 4.4 GB of data this weekend"

Proof that Rogers are thieves. We immediately cancelled Rogers, but not before receiving a $397 internet bill for that month.

I require internet for my business and Katya requires internet to stay in touch with her family back home. We were going to switch over to TekSavvy, with their $50 a month unlimited internet, but they don't provide modems, routers or set up home networking. We were getting ready to fork out $200 for modems and routers, when one day a flyer from a Bell sales rep slid under our door.

I had to read the flyer a few times to make sure I was seeing correctly. Fibe TV and unlimited internet for $70 per month for 12 months, and then $90 a month thereafter. Unlimited internet AND television?

I promptly emailed the sales rep, "Kathy", and asked her to confirm the deal. She replied that this was, indeed, what was on offer.

Screw TekSavvy! Sign me up, Bell!

Bell has recently updated its network to fiber-optic (hence the name "Fibe" for their services). Bell, founded by Alexander Graham Bell more than 150 years ago right here in Ontario, is Canada's oldest telecom provider and thus has the most extensive infrastructure in the country. Unlike Roger's "tap" system, Bell has lines that go directly to each individual home, so the user is never sharing data streams with other people. If one house goes down, it doesn't effect everyone else. Not only that, but Bell's internet speeds were ranked as the fourth fastest in North America, and that's still damn impressive!

We got Bell hooked up two weeks ago and I couldn't be happier. The technician was friendly and spent about an hour getting everything set up, including our home network. Best of all, he showed us how the cable box is wireless! This means we can easily move the TV into the bedroom and watch it there, without worrying about cables stretching across the apartment!

The Bell internet is super fast and hasn't gone down even once. It provides a reliable connection and the unlimited usage factor has taken a huge load of stress off our shoulders.

The Fibe TV is amazing. The remote is slim and sexy and ultra-modern and has all the same functionality as the huge bulky Roger's remotes with their gazillion buttons. The on-screen menus are sleek and modern and extremely user-friendly. Best of all there is no lag like with the NextBox. Bell's menus change instantly and the remote is very responsive. I can flip through channels without taking up half an hour.

My new sexy Bell remote does everything the big clunky Roger's remote ever did.
The Bell cable box (top) and router (bottom) are also sexy. Plus, the cable box is wireless, so it's easy to move from room to room!

Bell's on-screen guide is responsive and user-friendly, and looks nice, too.
The customization options and the ease of use is mind-blowing.
Their On-Demand offerings rival Rogers, with easier access. I love the "home" menu on the side that is always there, allowing me to quickly jump between movies, tv shows, music, rentals, etc. Roger's is miles behind Bell in this regard.

Bell has the CBC Galaxy Music Videos I love, and some nice karaoke offerings, if you're into that, for no additional cost.

My HD channels are crystal clear and fast, and there has been no loss of quality when running both HD and internet at the same time, like many naysayers claim. In fact, I'm watching the Uruguay-England game in HD and writing this blog post at the same time!


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