Monday, June 08, 2009

Ultra package

So the other day I was over on Jim's blog where we were doing a little bit of complaining about how much we hate Northwestel's awful internet service. To live up north means to have to deal with certain quirks and inconveniences. If you can't handle them, then you won't last. But as Jim pointed out in his comments section, the demands on NWTel's internet services have gone up considerably in recent years, but they had apparently done little to improve their level of service.

So a funny thing happened when I went to get my mail today. There was a letter there from NWTel letting me know about changes in my internet service. Granted, it's hard to compare the old service to the new one as the old description is delightfully vague. However, we new have new options, even though they're not up on the site yet. Which says something about your internet provider, I think, but anyway.

So what's the new options for Iqaluit users?

High Speed Iqaluit Lite gets you download speed of up to 512 kbps, upload speed of up to 128 kbps, 2 email addresses (who uses these email addresses anyway?) and a 2GB usage cap. That's $70

High Speed Iqaluit Classic gives you download speed of up to 768 kbps, upload speed of 256 kbps, 2 e-mail addresses and a 5GB usage cap. This is what I currently use, in theory, although I have doubts about the speeds. Oh, but there is one change, the cap has been reduced. It used to be 10GB, but they cut it in half. Nice of them. Unless I say anything, this is what I'll have as of July 1.

High Speed Iqaluit Ultra gets you a whopping 1.5 mbps of download speed, 384 kbps upload speed, 5 useless email addresses and a 10GM cap. Note: although I mention the cost a bit further down, I didn't make clear here how much this option costs. It's $100/month.

Oh, and if you go over the cap, it's $20 for every GB.

It's interesting because I'm wondering if there's been an upgrade of satellite service for Iqaluit. Last week Iqaluit Cable (it's cable, but the signal still comes in via satellite) announced they were switching to digital service and offering up a bunch of new channels. I won't bore people with all the details, but it's about 100 more channels and you can easily spend $150/month if you were to buy the complete package.

So between that and NWTel offering up higher speed internet, for a price of course, they must have found some extra bandwidth somewhere.

I imagine we'll get the Ultra when we come back from Australia. Not much sense spending the extra money when we'll be in Australia. The speed will be nice, but really, the notion of me getting by on a 5GB cap is ludicrous. I'll blow through that in no time at all.

Still, $100/month for internet. And we'll probably be close to $100/month for cable. They do make you pay dearly for your entertainment/information vices up here.

Last Five
1. Backstreets (live) - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
2. Slow motion - David Gray*
3. Kreuzberg - Bloc Party
4. Something/Blue jay way - The Beatles
5. Jet stream - Brendan Benson


Anonymous said...

Similar rates in California, though a reliable server, Paul

Ron said...

It sounds like you have a DSL service which is not available in Baker. I have a NetKaster dish and pay 99.95 per month for the "Ultra" service which gives me "download speeds up to 1 Megabit per second and upload speeds up to 256 kbps" and altho it isn't quite as fast as the service you describe in Iqaluit there are no caps on bandwidth. The only disadvantage is that the speed decreases the more people sharing the satillite transponder. So sometimes service can slow down in the evenings and on weekends. I have only had a problem with this occassionally. Also when I signed up I got a free installation with a 3 yr agreement. For anyone planning a long term stay I would definitely recommend the "dish" option.

Amanda said...

Why is your blog so awesome..It makes me laugh...I personally cant stand the internet service here or the cable...or the cell phone service at that...

Nunavummiut Jaime said...

You are worrying me, Townie. I just cancelled my Qiniq account today because it's so expensive (I had the $120/month package). I plan to sign up for Northwest Hell after I come back from holidays. Qiniq isn't the greatest provider either, but the speeds are pretty steady. I hope things improve with the new nwtel system, though that's pretty optimistic.

And don't even get me started on hell phone service here, either.

The Prefect Storm said...

A little salt for the wound, sorry.

In Southern Ontario (those southern #$*#&!) I have the 7Mbs service with a 60 GB cap from Sympatico and I think I am paying around $45 a month. Doing a speed test here shows I'm doing 7.17 Mbs from Mississauga to Hamilton at the moment.

There's nothing I could run a speedtest through to in Iqaluit but I did one to Nuuk Greenland and it clocked in at 3.58Mbs.

For the all-you-can-eat crowd there's the 16Mbs service with a 100 GB cap at around $85 a month.

The Feds investing in the North's internet infrastructure would pay back well I believe.

Virtualization means knowledge workers can be almost anywhere, and high speed internet into our remote communities would be a boon for more than just economic reasons.