Computers & Electronics

What alternatives to Shaw/Telus Internet exist in BC?

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  • Apr 20th, 2019 9:24 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 19, 2016
117 posts
14 upvotes

What alternatives to Shaw/Telus Internet exist in BC?

Any recommendations for a reliable, cheaper alternative to Internet service in BC? I'd like to move away from Shaw and Telus who really seem to own the market at this time and subsequently don't care much about customer service.
27 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 20, 2009
8862 posts
2673 upvotes
Vancouver
Obviously you can't get away from Shaw and Telus entirely, because they own the infrastructure. If you want to try 2nd-tier ISPs, there are many, e.g.:

Teksavvy
CIKTel
Lightspeed
Uniserve

They offer cheaper published monthly rates than Shaw or Telus, but:

a) They often have higher up-front costs: you have to buy a modem, pay an installation fee, put down a last-month deposit etc.
b) Shaw and Telus deliberately provide 2nd-rate service for any infrastructure problem when you are a 2nd-tier ISP customer
c) Shaw and Telus may still match them on price if you negotiate hard

There are options like Novus if you live in a condo in a central high-density area, but not available for most people.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
21595 posts
7511 upvotes
Unless you're one of the lucky ducks that lives in a building with access to fiber, nothing.
There's resellers of Shaw/Telus but you're ultimately backed by them but have to deal with your reseller in terms of support.
Fine if nothing goes wrong but a pain in the butt if something does.
Jr. Member
Jan 15, 2016
158 posts
31 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
christmaspi wrote:
Apr 8th, 2016 11:43 am
Any recommendations for a reliable, cheaper alternative to Internet service in BC? I'd like to move away from Shaw and Telus who really seem to own the market at this time and subsequently don't care much about customer service.
I recommend surfinternet.ca. I recently switched after being a long time shaw customer. After one month I have no complaints, no service interruptions, and they are using shaw's infrastructure anyways. Bill went from 73 to 39.99 before taxes. Like the previous poster was saying, up front costs are 85$ install, 50$ modem purchase and 1 month deposit. If you are worried about losing shaw wifi, there are some coffee/bubble tea places which post their shaw login and password=)
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 19, 2016
117 posts
14 upvotes
JamesA1 wrote:
Apr 8th, 2016 12:57 pm
Obviously you can't get away from Shaw and Telus entirely, because they own the infrastructure. If you want to try 2nd-tier ISPs, there are many, e.g.:

Teksavvy
CIKTel
Lightspeed
Uniserve

They offer cheaper published monthly rates than Shaw or Telus, but:

a) They often have higher up-front costs: you have to buy a modem, pay an installation fee, put down a last-month deposit etc.
b) Shaw and Telus deliberately provide 2nd-rate service for any infrastructure problem when you are a 2nd-tier ISP customer
c) Shaw and Telus may still match them on price if you negotiate hard

There are options like Novus if you live in a condo in a central high-density area, but not available for most people.
in regards to point C, have you ever managed to get Shaw to match a price. The most they have ever offered to drop my bill by was $5/month for perhaps 6 months at the most.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 20, 2009
8862 posts
2673 upvotes
Vancouver
christmaspi wrote:
Apr 8th, 2016 3:25 pm
in regards to point C, have you ever managed to get Shaw to match a price. The most they have ever offered to drop my bill by was $5/month for perhaps 6 months at the most.
Sure. I got Shaw internet once for $10/month for a year. More recently I managed to get 12 months of Shaw internet at half price. Right now I'm getting about 1/3 off Telus internet for 12 months after getting it for $15/month for the first 6 months. No contracts ever.

It never hurts to ask, and keep on asking. It also doesn't hurt if you know exactly what the competition is offering and you're prepared to switch if you don't get a deal.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 12, 2005
8566 posts
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Victoria
Outside of a small fibre company that operates in downtown vancouver, your stuck with shaw/telus and companies who rely on shaw/telus to offer their service. Here in Victoria teksavvy only offers DSL. Last fall they couldn't bond it or offer me 50mbps. They didn't offer cable services here either (if I lived in Vancouver I probably would of gone with Teksavvy cable internet). I did try a service here called juce (website is juce.ca). They were ok for a while but then I had big speed issues.. Every day around 5 or 6 my speed with completely drop off. It made watching anything in the evening impossible. I wasn't sure if the node was overcrowded, if they were throttling me, if they didn't have enough backend bandwidth etc.... I gave up went on a Telus promo. Telus has been solid..... the best kind of isp is one you don't need customer service on. You want installed and never have problems.

Unfortunately your stuck with resellers (they'll say they aren't resellers but they rely so much on the incumbants technology, that I still use the term).
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 22, 2010
1370 posts
225 upvotes
BC
christmaspi wrote:
Apr 8th, 2016 11:43 am
Any recommendations for a reliable, cheaper alternative to Internet service in BC? I'd like to move away from Shaw and Telus who really seem to own the market at this time and subsequently don't care much about customer service.
I've been with Shaw forever and I've had no problems with Customer Service. YMMV.
Their on-line techie solved my email problems yesterday efficiently and fast (after a 3-5 minutes wait). I've had absolutely nil complaints about TV and phone service. Everything just works. Maybe I'm lucky.
Sure their prices are high but so is the cost of living in Vancouver.
I wouldn't go to the smaller Companies. They may be a few bucks cheaper but the associated extra costs is not worth the hassle.
Richmond: the only place where you need a sign that says no vehicle parking on the sidewalk, yet it’s still disobeyed
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 6, 2003
10341 posts
557 upvotes
Vancouver
I stick with Telus and just haggle the price down repeatedly. For ammo, I use whatever the best deal being offered by a reseller is at the time. They're pretty good about this. Negotiating with Shaw is hit-or-miss from what I hear.
Deal Addict
Apr 5, 2016
3278 posts
1894 upvotes
Calgary/Vancouver
Shaw is useless to negotiate with. Even worse if you constantly go over. This is why they aren't willing to budge for me. Best they willing to do was $10 off 12 months. 500gb is not enough for me and my family. We have too many devices. Sucks that Telus caps data, or would've switched. Now just waiting for corporate rate so I can get 50% off. I even have a friend that works for Shaw, and there's not much he can do. Gone were the days where they can add all the packages and just discount everything.
Newbie
Aug 2, 2017
1 posts
1 upvote
This thread could use a current 2017 price list for the ISPs mentioned along with another suggestion, VMedia.

Internet Lightspeed Cable Internet 60 is currently the cheapest on this list at $49.95/month but tech support is limited (M-F 7am-10pm and worse on weekends).

Uniserve and VMedia Internet 60 is next in price at $59.99/mo. Uniserve's tech support is limited (M-F 7:30 am - 11 pm and less on weekends). VMedia's tech support is 10am—9pm PST 7 days a week. Also, VMedia has Cable Internet 150 for $69.95/month.

Next in price is TekSavvy Cable Internet 60 currently at $62.95/month. Tech support and sales are both 24/7.

CIK Telecom is the most expensive on the list with both Internet 60 and Internet 150 for $109.99/mo. with 24/7 support.
Newbie
Dec 27, 2017
97 posts
29 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Internet Lightspeed Cable Internet 75 is currently 39.95./month. Cable 150 is 69.95/month.

I've been a Lightspeed cable user since 2014. Never once had to deal with a support issue; cable service very reliable, just like it was before when I paid Shaw a lot more. I have zero reservations recommending them to anyone, provided their existing cable internet service is known to be reliable. I've also been using their voip phone service since 2014 and the only interaction with support I've had is they requested I make a change to the device and reboot once about a year ago. I'm about to move our phone service to voip.ms just to have more flexibility, not so much the minor cost optimization.

I may try to negotiate a deal with Telus for cut rate fibre service... but to be honest I'm perfectliy happy with Lightspeed cable service, mine is very constant; I agree with the comments above that Shaw is not that flexible when it comes to customer retention. Their loss - I was spending almost 2k$ a year with them, now I just take basic cable and soon cutting that off too.
Newbie
Nov 4, 2005
18 posts
1 upvote
Vancouver
Just a note that I’ve been with Surf for a few years now and the first couple of years were great but this last year the connection goes down for several hours every week or two. I’ve had a tech visit in the past but to no avail. When I talked to tech support they tell me it will go down for up to four hours any time someone new gets hooked up on cable internet in my apartment building. Sounds strange to me. I’ve been thinking of trying another provider. Maybe DSL/dry-loop.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 3, 2004
5009 posts
3281 upvotes
Vancouver
Novus has the best internet service in BC (and probably in Canada) but it is only available in Vancouver, and only in certain high rises.
Sr. Member
User avatar
May 8, 2007
881 posts
230 upvotes
Fraser Valley, BC
Got an offer letter from Shaw about 6 weeks ago (I'm using Telus in GVA), but it expired last week. I'm still thinking about what I should eventually do. Want to do some network wiring changes in my house before I change anything related to Shaw/Telus.

Shaw letter offered Internet 75, 500GB monthly date, free wi-fi modem rental.
Also Limited TV - main Can/USA channels, 2 months HBO Canada/CraveTV, free boxes for 2 TVs including a HDPVR.
$60/month 6 months, $114 afterwards next 18 months.

I was planning on asking Telus to beat the Shaw offer but never got around to it. I'm in GVA - Telus generally works fine, I only have 20 Mbit rate VDSL but it's enough for me. No reliability/speed problems, they are trying to get locals like me to move to fibre (but only 25 Mbit) for a slightly lower initial rate than I pay now, but what I want is at least 50 Bit speed and two 4K TV boxes and basic TV channels at a longterm price a lot less than my current $100/month.

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