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.