Archive for Rogers

Globe & Mail Discusses Bell & Rogers Rollouts Of Gigabit Internet

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 31, 2017 by itnerd

There’s an interesting article in The Globe & Mail today that talks about the rollout of Gigabit Internet in Canada and the costs and challenges associated with that rollout for Bell and Rogers. Here’s a snippet of what I am talking about:

“Rogers has completed its upgrade to the next generation of cable technology (known as DOCSIS 3.1) and said Thursday that between itself and BCE, the city of Toronto is now covered by gigabit Internet services.”

“It costs cable companies such as Rogers and Videotron Ltd., which is BCE’s biggest competitor in Quebec, about $250 to $300 a home to upgrade their networks and provide gigabit speeds, according to an estimate by Desjardins Securities Inc. analyst Maher Yaghi. In contrast, he estimates it costs BCE from $1,000 to $1,500 a home to make its fibre-to-the-home upgrades.

However, in both Toronto and Montreal, BCE is making use of aerial options – such as hydro poles – to string its cables, which is cheaper than building underground. Barclay’s Capital analyst Phillip Huang estimates it costs about $400 to $700 to connect homes using aerial infrastructure. He said that while 60 per cent of the build in Toronto had to be done through buried infrastructure, it will only be about 10 per cent in Montreal.”

This explains to some degree why Rogers and Bell have been engaged in battle to grab as many users as possible. They have to recoup the costs of this rollout somehow. I suspect that this will escalate over the next few months. That means that users will win because prices for Gigabit Internet will drop because of the competition between the two. If you’re in the market for Gigabit Internet, see if both Bell and Rogers can service your area with that service. If they can, I can say from personal experience that you’ll have leverage over both to get the best deal that you can. Especially if you bundle your services.

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Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet: It Is Working Again… Mostly

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 16, 2017 by itnerd

Let me bring you up to speed with my latest issue with Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet. After I posted the original story, my issue got escalated to the Office Of The President at Rogers. That means that my issue was being taken seriously by Rogers. That might have something to do with:

A) My profile as a blogger.

B) The fact that I was considering bolting to Bell to get decent Internet service.

C) All of the above.

Now the person that I was dealing with was extremely responsive and attentive. I will give him points for that. However, I am not sure if he had to do much. I say that because during this period, Rogers had two serious outages. And I do mean serious. Now once they were resolved, things actually improved greatly and my connection was almost back to normal. But it wasn’t totally normal as I still suffer from the occasional lag spike that is short lived. As in lasting for just a second or two. But even that was a huge improvement over what I was dealing with before, thus I can live with that. But this wasn’t there before Rogers rather problematic rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 which I have documented here since late last year. Thus it is safe to say that Rogers still has a lot of work to do before I consistently get the service that I am paying for, and I had previous to that rollout.

Speaking of paying, the upshot of this experience was that the Office of The President dropped the cost of our TV, Internet and home phone from $195 a month to $155 a month until April 2019. This is a $40 reduction that they served up because according to them my wife and I were long standing customers of Rogers and they appreciate our business. The cynic in me also thinks that this is due to the fact that we were thinking of bolting to Bell because of these Internet issues and this is a way to keep us from doing that. But whatever the reason, we’ll take it. Lower telco costs in Canada are always a good thing as Canadians pay way too much in the first place for their telco services. Having said that, it’s not going to stop us from bolting if we continue to have issues in the future as we’ve tried out Bell’s Fibe Gigabit Internet in our friends units, and it is very tempting to switch to that because of the speed it offers both upstream and downstream and the fact it according to my tests offers a very low latency connection to the Internet.

Rogers clearly has issues with their Ignite Internet service and their rollout of DOCSIS 3.1. A quick look at places like Red Flag DealsDSLReports, and even their own Rogers community forums illustrate this. They really need to get a handle on this and quickly. Otherwise the bad press that issues like these generate will simply mount to the point where it will be difficult for them to get customers in areas where Bell offers a competitive product. And even in areas where they don’t have to worry about Bell. I’m sure Rogers and their shareholders don’t want that. Thus they may want to redouble their efforts to have a stable and reliable Internet offering.

BREAKING: Rogers Ignite Internet Customers Continue To Have Issues After Last Night’s Outage

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 10, 2017 by itnerd

Last night Rogers had a major outage that affected all of Southern Ontario and some points beyond where users could not surf the Internet Intermittently and there were significant ping times and a large amount of packet loss. The issue was thought to have been fixed this morning:

Apparently it isn’t fixed. Reports are once again coming in of people complaining of the same issues that they were complaining about last night. DSLReports and Canadianoutages.com are tracking an uptick in reports of issues. For example, the latter not only has a graph of the volume of issues:

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But their live outage map looks similar to the one from last night:

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While the volume of complaints isn’t nearly as high as last night, there clearly is still an issue that has enough scale to it that it is difficult to miss. So Rogers declaring the issue as fixed is clearly premature. I will be tracking this story and provide updates as I get them. In the meantime, I hope Rogers has a plan to bring back full functionality for their Internet users quickly and completely as I can say that based on the feedback that I am getting directly and what I am seeing online, there are a lot of very unhappy campers out there right now.

UPDATE: The latest issue appears to be resolved as of 2:30PM. I seem to have no issues at present. But there are still scattered reports of issues.

BREAKING: Rogers Ignite Internet Down Across Southern Ontario

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 9, 2017 by itnerd

Rogers appears to have widespread and severe issues across Southern Ontario where Ignite Internet users are intermittently unable to surf the Internet and ping rates that are through the roof. Reports first surfaced on DSLReports of this at 5PM and were later confirmed by Canadian Outages as per this map that I took a screen shot of:

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That is not a small piece of real estate. I can confirm that these problems exist and they are serious. As I type this, Rogers appears to not be admitting that they have an issue despite the fact that they clearly do. This will only add to the frustration of Rogers users who have suffered through their rather problematic rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 which I have documented here since late last year. Myself included.

Updates as they come.

UPDATE: A reader pointed me towards this Tweet where Rogers seems to be admitting that there is a problem. But they seem to be minimizing the impact:

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 7.18.28 PM

UPDATE #2: According to a post on DSLReports, this appears to have started at 1:45PM. I took a screen shot of the post in question where you can see when the trouble began:

Screen Shot 2017-03-09 at 7.26.00 PM

UPDATE #3: Rogers has finally publicly admitted on their Twitter feed that there is an issue:

UPDATE #4: At 3:30 AM this morning (Friday March 10th) the issue was apparently resolved. A modem reboot may be required to restore full functionality. But based on the e-mails and the odd Tweet that I have received, this might have been the last straw for Rogers customers who have been frustrated with issues that the provider has had over the last couple of months. Rogers retention department is going to be a very busy place today I suspect.

UPDATE #5: This appears to not be fixed. Please click here for a new story on this issue.

Rogers Ignite Gigabit Internet: Not Living Up To The Hype…. AGAIN

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 6, 2017 by itnerd

I have been following Rogers rather problematic rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 which I have documented here since late last year, and I have more than a passing interest in this subject. DOCSIS 3.1 was supposed to help Rogers pave the way to provide gigabit and faster speeds when it comes to its Internet offering. However, all its managed to do is cause frustration for their users. A quick look at places like Red Flag Deals, DSLReports, and even the Rogers community forums show that users who mostly have Gigabit along with others at lower speed tiers complain about not being able to get anywhere close to the speeds that they should. Another thing that many complain about is lag. In fact, I am in that boat as I note it when I play online games, use a VPN, or do video conferencing. My wife noticed the same thing while doing a video conference last week and it was so frustrating to her, she demanded that I do something about it.

Now we know that people in our condo who get Bell’s Gigabit Fibe service are getting at worst the 1Gbps down and 100Mbps that Bell claims that they should get. In most cases, they’re actually getting more. Plus they don’t report the sort of issues that Rogers customers seem to be getting. In other words, it seems that Bell Fibe Gigabit is a much more stable and mature product versus what Rogers offers. Now I am not a fan of Bell as I have had some very negative interactions with them in the past. But given just how frustrated my wife and I are with Rogers, we were willing to give their Internet offering a try. So I started to investigate what it would cost to get Internet from Bell so that we could dump Rogers. But upon researching it, we found that it was difficult to get a price for just Internet alone as Bell wants to push you down the road of getting a bundle. Since we wanted to just get our Internet from them, I decided to Tweet them to see if that was a possibility:

I got a reply very quickly from Bell to set up a direct message session. But I also got this reply from Rogers:

So after dealing with Bell and getting a quote from them which on the surface, is in line with what Rogers pricing is, I responded to Rogers and have a long conversation about the state of my Internet connection. Long story short, he promised to get a network architect to look at my connection. That took a couple of days, which given that I had already expressed my desire to take my Internet business elsewhere may not have been the best thing for them, but when they finally came back to me they said this (please note that I have copied and pasted this directly from Twitter…. Thus I have left everything the way it was written):

We’ve now thoroughly investigated this issue and it’s come to light that there may be signal issues within the area. Your signal varies wildly and thhe uplink signal is off spec for one channel. We’re also seeing a large number of packets being discarded or errored. We would like to send out a tech to investigate and if need be, he will make a referral to maintenance to have the area issues repaired.

Well. That would explain why my connection lags a lot. I agreed to have a tech look at it and made an appointment for this past Saturday. Which didn’t actually lead to any resolution. Even before taking a look at my connection, he said:

This building is a mess. You’ll note that we’re here every day because things are so bad with this building. I’ll take a look at your connection, but if it’s like everything else that is going on with this building, only head office can fix your issues. 

Now let’s stop here and think about this for a second. If I as a customer hear something like this, I am going to be thinking “why am I with this company?” After all, it’s Rogers that provides the infrastructure, and Rogers who maintains it. Thus if things are a “mess” that’s totally on Rogers because they should be making sure that their infrastructure works and doesn’t cause issues for their customers. Clearly that is not the case. In any case, he did take a look at my connection and confirm the diagnosis that was made remotely. He did promise to make some changes from the “Rogers Box” that feeds this building to see if that would help, but he didn’t think it would. For that he would have to request that someone at head office address this, and it may take 48 hours or more to happen.

And then he left.

I watched my TV go flaky for about 30 minutes, which was an indication that he was doing some work downstairs. But when it finally settled down, there was no real change to the quality of my Internet connection. It was still as laggy as ever. #Fail.

Honestly, my wife and I to the point where Bell as much as we aren’t fans of them are a viable option at this point. We have zero confidence that Rogers are going to resolve this issue any time soon. Thus seeing as Bell are in our building offering deals to get us to switch from Rogers, we’ll be taking a good hard look at them the next time they appear. But at the same time, I have a request. If you’ve got Bell Gigabit Fibe, can I get some feedback from you as to what your experiences have been like? The good, the bad, the ugly? I want to make sure that we’re not trading one problem for another by doing this. Please leave a comment below with your thoughts. In the meantime, expect updates on this story as this is far from over.

UPDATE: I should have pointed out this is our second go round in terms of trying to get decent quality Internet from Rogers. Here’s what happened the first time, and what Rogers had to do to resolve those issues.

Rogers QUIETLY Dropping Upstream Speed Of Ignite Gigabit Internet…. Why?

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 28, 2017 by itnerd

Rogers seems to have gone out and created a problem that likely didn’t need to be created. They’ve come out with new pricing and some new tiers for their Internet offerings. But they’ve also altered their top tier which is Rogers Ignite Gigabit so that it now says this:

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What’s wrong with this picture? When Rogers announced the availability of Gigabit they promised upstream speeds of up to 50Mbps. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof via Google Cache and for bonus points, I’ve posted a screen shot below:

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So now they’ve dropped the max upload speed by 20Mbps. Likely hoping that nobody would notice. Well, people on DSLReports among other places have noticed. And they are not happy. Another thing, this puts Rogers at a massive disadvantage when you compare their offerings to what Bell offers. For giggles, since I know that Bell has their Fibe gigabit service available in my condo, I checked to see what they offered:

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Ignoring the price, you get 100 Mbps upstream. And I do know that people in my condo who are actually getting these speeds or faster with Bell. Thus if you aren’t happy about what Rogers offers, and you can get Bell Fibe Gigabit, you’d be tempted to switch.

Part of me wonders if this sudden change is the result of Rogers rather problematic rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 which I have documented here since late last year? In other words, they might not be able to consistently get close to 50Mbps upstream in the locations where Gigabit is offered, so as a result they’ve lowered the bar to 30 Mbps? I know I’ve never gotten anything more than 30Mbps with my Rogers gigabit install, so that seems like a reasonable assumption. Whatever the reason, Rogers isn’t doing itself any favors and may find that there will be some blowback from this move.

BREAKING: Rogers Rollout Of DOCSIS 3.1 Seems To Be Back On The Rails

Posted in Commentary with tags on February 23, 2017 by itnerd

I’ve been tracking the rollout by Rogers of DOCSIS 3.1 which when completed will give Rogers the ability to offer faster than Gigabit speeds. It started with them exchanging their customer’s modems. But that quickly hit a snag as the modems had problems when they actually started flipping the switches for DOCIS 3.1 to go live. In fact, I was one of those customers who had problems as I noted:

I am noticing lag when I play online games that was not present before DOCSIS 3.1 was enabled. Clearly Rogers still has issues that it has to get sorted. But according to my sources inside Rogers, I am doing better than some people who have had severe speed drops when Rogers enabled DOCSIS 3.1.

Since writing that story, I did some additional digging and noted this when I logged into the modem/router that Rogers supplied me:

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 10.35.56 PM.png

Now let me explain what you are looking at. I want to focus your attention on the downstream overview section which is what’s coming into my condo. More specifically, I want you to focus on the Port ID column. You’ll note that I have ports numbered 1 – 16 and 27-32. That’s a problem as I should have ports numbered 1-32 with none missing. My theory was that this was somehow responsible for my lag issues in whole or in part.

That changed today when Rogers posted this notice to their community forum informing users that they were pushing a firmware update that would address the issues that users of this modem/router were having. As an added bonus, they would also be enabling IPv6 as well. All users had to do is reboot the modem/router and the new firmware would download and install. Then the modem/router would reboot again to complete the installation. So I did a reboot and within a few minutes I got the new firmware. I logged into the modem/router and saw this:

Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 10.57.12 PM.png

For the first time, I have all 32 ports. Plus the lag issues so far do not appear to be present. I will be monitoring this for the next few days, but this does look promising. I also enabled IPv6 on my router and got an IPv6 address on Rogers network. So that part works as well. I would be interested to find out what results other people who have the CODA-4582 modem/router from Rogers are getting as I’d like to get a sense of how well this fix addresses the issues that have been reported by users. Please leave whatever feedback you can in the comments below.

UPDATE: The Lag that I spoke of is still present. Though it has been reduced. While it seems that Rogers has made significant efforts to make things better for users of Ignite Gigabit Internet, it clearly has work to do.