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EastLink Delivers Minor Speed Increases, Higher Prices to Its ‘Clueless Customers’

Phillip Dampier July 23, 2013 Bell Aliant, Broadband Speed, Canada, Competition, EastLink 1 Comment

Our customers often don't have a clue what speeds we give them now. -- EastLink

EastLink customers in Nova Scotia are getting three things from their local cable company: slightly faster Internet speeds, a higher bill, and insulted.

EastLink has mailed letters to subscribers in certain parts of Atlantic Canada notifying customers they are now getting speed boosts on the company’s lower speed tiers.

Basic Internet customers subscribing to 1.5Mbps service will now see 5Mbps, while those at 5Mbps are getting upgraded to 10Mbps service.

EastLink said the upgrades target its budget-minded customers who are also getting pelted with competing mailers from Bell Aliant, which sells fiber service in the region. But the speed upgrades don’t come for free. In a move EastLink denies is tied to the broadband speed improvements, the company is also notifying customers of its annual general rate increase.

EastlinkLogoAtlantic Canada enjoys some of the fastest Internet service in the country, often without any usage caps. EastLink offers, in addition to its budget Internet tiers, service at 20, 40 and 80Mbps. Their primary competitor is Bell Aliant, which operates its FibreOp broadband at speeds of 50, 80, and 175Mbps.

“Our customers have told us that they want and need faster internet service,” Isabelle Robinson, media relations with Bell Aliant said about the company’s higher Internet speeds. “Things like file sharing, uploading, video streaming have really become commonplace. The demand for both speed and bandwidth has been exploding.”

Nonsense, responds Jordan Turner, EastLink’s public relations coordinator. He said subscribers often have no comprehension about the broadband speeds they get now, and certainly don’t need anything faster than what EastLink now provides.

“Frankly, that is plenty of speed and all the speed customers need,” Turner told Halifax NewsNet. “When you read what they suggest people are going to do with the Internet, you can already do that with our standard Internet offering. It’s not like, because you have faster Internet, you’re going to watch a three-hour movie in half an hour.”

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Alex Perrier
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Why can’t EastLink keep current 5 Mbit/s customers on that same speed, but charge them the same price as former 1½ Mbit/s customers? To double the speed and increase the price is customer-unfriendly because not everyone wants to pony up for a speed upgrade. For example, TekSavvy also offered customers like me a speed increase. The options in my case were: * Optionally, save $4/month on the Internet bill, but obtain double the download speeds; or * By default, save $20/month on the Internet bill, keeping the same speeds as before. It’s great to see independent providers lower prices for… Read more »

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