Island Tel Goes Offshore

I’m not exactly sure who I get my high-speed Internet service from, to be honest. I get bills from Island Tel Advanced Solutions (if you click on that link, you get a quick vestigal flash of their old identity, and then get redirected to an Aliant page). But as far as I know, Island Tel, nor its Advanced Solution, don’t exist any longer.

Being the curious lad that I am, I had to get to the bottom of the crazy speed increase on my connection that I first noticed last night. So I called the local number for the Help Desk, and, alas, got a recording: “this number isn’t the technical support number any longer,” or something to that effect. I was given a new number to call, a toll-free one.

So I called that new number, and after navigating through a telephone tree, got to speak to a very friendly chap. I explained the situation, and much to my surprise, he said “there’s no cap on the speed” of my connection. When I told him I was getting download throughput of 4Mbps on what is purportedly a 1Mbps connection, he seemed to suggest that there’s no such thing as a “1Mbps connection,” and that I have access to seemingly infinite bandwidth. When I pressed him on this, he said it depends on where in the Maritimes you are, and that they usually see highest speeds of 150Kpbs.

Needless to say, I remain confused.

More disturbing is that this fellow was talking to me from a call centre out of Moncton. He told me that there were only three technicians working out of the Charlottetown help desk, and two of them have moved on, and one is the head technician. Help desk calls aren’t answered in Charlottetown any longer as a result.

So, in other words, Island Tel or Aliant or whatever they are has moved my local support “off-shore” without telling me. Thus evaporates one of the few remaining benefits of dealing with a “local” company; talking to a tech in Moncton, I might as well be talking to a tech in Katmandu for all the local knowledge and local relationships he doesn’t have.

Remember Dave Moses’ beautiful television commercials with pictures of our friends and neighbours climbing up the telephone poles and installing our phones? Well, I guess that’s over. Too bad; I believed it.


Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on June 26, 2003 - 14:37 Permalink

If Charlottetown callers get Moncton phone centers, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mocton callers get Charlottetown phone centers.

Does the massive bandwidth remain? I have a similar connectioni at home — I’ll have to try it out.

Alan's picture
Alan on June 26, 2003 - 15:27 Permalink

Isn’t massive bandwidth what was really wanted and never provided by the late “great” “local” company? If seemingly turning a switch and firing a few tech was all it required to provide it, what was holding the service back?

Andrew Chisholm's picture
Andrew Chisholm on June 27, 2003 - 01:26 Permalink

As long as the rates stay reasonable and the service remains good I don’t care what name or brand the company goes by.