Rather than ensuring consumers receive fair Internet pricing, the CRTC seems content to line the pockets of Cable and telecommunications companies by forcing Canadian consumers to pay Internet data rates that have no basis in reality.
— Globe & Mail (Feb 2011)
We demand reliable Internet access. When the services work, we don't notice. When there's a problem, we gripe and spread the negative news (see What’s up with Roger’s high-speed Internet? from four days ago). Criticism is predictable since Canadians pay very high prices.
MarketingMarketing makes the problems worse. Click to enlarge the latest Rogers ad which attacks Bell Fibe directly. Naturally, Bell claims that Fibe Internet rules because of fibre optics. According to Digital Home, “you will never receive the true benefits of a fibre optic network until you have a fibre optic cable inside your home”. That’s not happening anytime soon.
The ClaimsMaking outlandish or subjective claims give us more reasons to be cynical. For instance, Rogers offers SpeedBoost, which temporarily gives you free faster downloads when capacity is available. What an amazing idea. That's like getting bumped to first class when there's an empty seat. What's not to like?
The fine print says that the boost is only for the first 10 MB of a file. If you were downloading the 700 MB iOS 5 update, there would be no noticeable benefit. More fine print says "Actual speed may vary based on network traffic, amount of data transferred and the length of time since the last boost and other factors."
Conclusion: SpeedBoost is of no real benefit (beyond the marketing hype).
LessonsAttacking your competitors directly is risky. Even if they don't respond, you're setting yourself up as a punching bag for the day something goes wrong.
Look at RIM. Why would you tolerate a behind-the-times smartphone with a miniscule keyboard, tiny screen and very few apps? Because of the security and reliability. The recent multi-day, multi-continent outages may have changed your opinions of the perfect smartphone.
THE REAL ANSWERThere is another solution: understand your customers and give them increasing value. For Internet access, we want
- 100% uptime
- ever faster speeds
- unlimited bandwidth
- reasonable prices
- friendly customer service
|Internet Source||Very satisfied|
What about you? Are you making real improvements that benefit your clients or just advertising that you are?
- What’s up with Rogers’ high-speed Internet? (Toronto Star, Oct 21, 2011)
- Myth: Bell Fibe TV is fibre to the home (Digital Home, Oct 13, 2011)
- With fibre Internet, the future is here, but not for most Canadians ( Globe & Mail, Oct 5, 2011)
- What is a fair price for Internet service? (Globe & Mail, Feb 2011)
- The fine print taketh away
- The perfect smartphone to replace your Blackberry
- Google Fiber for Communities: get involved