Internet Data Usage (Bell v.s. Rogers): Is That How They Calculate It On Your Bill?

uptime-downtime

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This is nothing new. Over the last 6-7 years big Canadian phone/data/ISP providers like Bell and Rogers have set a bandwidth cap for users paying for their internet service. They would charge a certain amount, and then have a cap. How accurate is this cap though?

A friend of mine that presently owns his own private ISP company recently informed me that it’s impossible for these ISP companies to accurately tell you how much data you’re using: it’s impossible. With Rogers, what they do is take a survey of all users around a block, then average this amount. With Bell, they take the username of your Modem and charge any bandwidth from that username, which is relatively more accurate.

How Rogers Does It

I found this out the hard way on two occasions. We originally started out with Rogers internet in 2007. Back then, Rogers didn’t have the bandwidth cap they have now. We ended up switching to a different internet provider once we saw that our overage charges ended up making our internet bill double what it should have been. We later found out that rhere’s a “black box” between what Rogers says one is using and what one actually is using. Bottom-line, Rogers takes an average of the whole block you are on and charges each person the same data. Apparently, one or more people were using too much bandwidth and we were getting hit with a way-too-high average for the block!

How Bell Does It

We later on switched to Bell’s internet service. A Bell salesman was going from apartment to apartment on our block selling plans at a very reduced rate for the first six months. We signed up, as did many others. After the six month deal ended, we saw that not only did our rates go up, but Bell upped the rates every so often. What caused us to end up switching providers was when we saw how much bandwidth we were “using” and knew ourselves that we could not have possibly have passed the bandwidth mark (which was capped at 265 GB). The fact that Bell was making such a claim that we were starting to go over made us suspicious.

We later on found out Bells’ methodology. Bell takes the username associated with the modem/router they give you and calculates data, which is a more accurate metric. The only problem there is in the modem Bell gives each customer. Bell gives a modem/wireless router combo that has a poor signal. Get this: the Wireless router portion of each modem is not very secure at all. Even if you set a secure password, there are still ways for one to hack it. And once its hacked, Bell charges your router indiscriminately. There’s no way for them to determine what was “invalid” data usage and what wasn’t. We ended up leaving Bell’s internet, but not before getting hit with an $80 overage charge on data. Never again.

Colosseum Internet

As far as I know, Colosseum Online is the only “truly unlimited” internet provider, charging nothing extra. I’ve been using them so far and am happy.

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