Tuesday, 1 February 2011

OT: Ups, downs

Once upon a merry time, Canadians would buy a television set, plug it in and not have any additional costs until it was repair time. 

Then along came cable, satellite and all of the other home entertainment bells and whistles and "free" TV for all but antenna holdouts now costs $400 on up depending on consumer demands.

And the conglomerates that control the airwaves are forever nickel and diming consumers with the full support of the CRTC.

So what's new this week?

Bell has tacked on another $2 or so for its satellite customers, pushing the basic, plus one theme pack, to almost $50 per month - or $600 a year.

And, thanks to the CRTC, the Teksavvy Internet service we fled to in 2009 after three months of calls to India and other Bell Hell, announced it must reduce its cap to 25 gigs, down from 200, as of March 1.

Leave it to government control to corrupt the spirit of the Internet.

For the past couple of years, newspapers, TV networks, movie distributors, social networks, YouTube and other Internet draws have increased our access needs.

Teksavvy was a blessing after Bell, with its 24-hour service in fluent English direct from Chatham, Ontario, dependable service, the freedom of 200 gigs per month and a telephone/ISP package that trimmed $40 a month off the bill. 

In a nutshell, Teksavvy has been providing the kind of independent service all Canadians deserve but are not getting via the arrogant, fat cat conglomerates who have lost touch with their customers.

Teksavvy is not happy with the CRTC decision  to reduce the cap to 25 gigs and is encouraging its growing customer base to be vocal, sign petitions etc.

We salute Teksavvy.  

Meanwhile, Bell's attitude about its service, from our experience, is take it or leave it. 

The more they nickel and dime customers for inflexible TV channel choices and frustrating outsourced calls to India, chances are more people will leave it for an antenna, the Internet or TV-free environments.

Did we say the Internet? With the 25-gig cap at the basic rate, paying more to watch our weekly quota of television and movies on the Internet won't be economical.

Internet surfing and television viewing are becoming elitist pastimes in the 21st century. 


  1. Bell Sympatico modem died. India said - after trying to revive it - that another would arrive in three business days. Meanwhile, paid $34 for a new non-Bell one. Tried to cancel the first one (lease is $3.95 a month). Sorry, said India, lease is part of the Sympatico plan regardless whether you have your own modem. Neat, eh?

  2. Lot of folks don't realize that with a decent antenna and a rotor, "free tv" is pretty damn good in Toronto. I get 17 channels, all the main networlks, and a slew of specialty UHF channels over-the-air. Cost me $300 to get the antenna set up. Half the channels are in HD, too. No bill.