There are many people that are outside the range of DSL and Cable. They have had little choice for Internet access other than good old fashioned dial-up. But now, with the launch of Anik F2 and the recent availability of High Speed Internet by 2-way satellite (doesn't touch your phone line at all), anyone in North America has access to high speed (but high latency, not very good for gaming or VOIP) Internet.
Telesat Canada has annointed Barrett XplorNet as the main Canada-wide ISP. Up in northern Canada, they've annointed NetKaster. In the USA, it is WildBlue.
Here are the links:
Southern Canada: http://www.lincsat.com/e/index_e.asp
Northern Canada: http://www.netkaster.ca/
Cost to start-up:
Xplorer is as much as Cdn$975 to start. Cdn$699 just for the equipment plus a $75 start-up fee. Installation about Cdn$200.
NetKaster is only Cdn$399 to start. Cdn$250 for the equipment, but (basically) you have to pay an extra $5 per month for rental of the interior modem. Installation about Cdn$150.
WildBlue is about US$480 (~Cdn$584) to start. US$299 for the equipment and US$180 for the installation.
The monthly charges are all in the same range - about Cdn$60 per month at the low end for 512kbps service.
As far as I know, the equipment is exactly the same from all the various ISPs.
These numbers might change at any time so recheck if you care.
So, why do people in most of Canada (southern Canada) have to pay about THREE times more for the equipment - $700 (or even $770 w. fee) vs. $250 - than the people living way up north. Even the USA is cheaper.
THREE TIMES MORE !!!!! This sucks.
Honestly, I don't know what the real price should be, but when a supplier in one area is about three times the price of a supplier in another area (an area with generally a much higher cost of living), then it makes one wary. I don't care what the price is, but I don't like being hosed.
Even their special "$275" discount is smoke and mirrors once you read the fine print. For most people (the normal $60 per month folks, as opposed to the $199 per month folks), it wouldn't be $275; it would be $125 and that consists of waiving a $75 fee that they had never previously mentioned, and a $50 discount off of one month's service <twirling finger in air mouthing the words 'whippity doo duh'>.
The purpose of this posting is to alert the public to the price differential in the hope that shedding light on the difference might assist Barrett Xplornet with reevaluating their pricing strategy. If they can find a way to offer a better start-up price, then maybe I will be able to finally have access to High Speed Internet.
As it stands now, I'm repelled by their approach. And thus, I'm still stuck with dial-up.
Shame on Telesat Canada for setting up what appears to be a series of monopolies.