Made the switch today from Sympatico to a local (Toronto) co-op called Wireless Nomad. All that I can say is (fifteen minutes later) so far, so good.
The story so far:
With Katie moving out and Heather moving in, it seemed like a perfect time to (at least) look into switching ISP. Katie and I had Sympatico for the past two years, and while I’ve never had a problem with Sympatico, there appears to be a move with all the “big” ISP towards what has been called the two-tiered internet: in a nut-shell, large ISPs (including Rogers and Shaw) have “throttled” bandwidth so that certain programs have little or no connectivity. I find that problematic, and I don’t want to be a Sympatico customer when they decide to follow suit. In my experience, the large Canadian ISPs have folllowed each others’ lead when it has come to capping bandwidth and increasing speeds (of course, with the exception of Sympatico-part of the reason why I was happy with ’em) so I figure it’s a matter of time.
However, what I was really disappointed with was the cost per month to access Sympatico. We had signed up for “High Speed” and were paying ~$48.00 month, including tax. That works out to ~$576 a year: a chunk of change for a student. So, I decided that I wanted to at least look for an alternative ISP that would offer a similar connection speed, no bandwidth cap, no “throttling” of certain programs and, all for less money than I was currently paying.
Earlier in October, while surfing boingboing I read about a Toronto ISP that “encourages connection sharing“, which is a big no-no with Sympatico (and other ISPs too) since it effectivly means a reduction in subscribers. This ISP was (and still is) Wireless Nomad. So I checked out what they offered and their price, and I decided that this seemed like an excellent idea. Long story short: they installed the hardware today and Wireless Nomad is my new ISP.
I’m going to make a few more postings on this service as I know that friends are looking for alternatives to large ISPs and I’m the guinea pig.