An Angus Reid study released this week found that 46 per cent of Canadian respondents would give up watching television before they would ditch using the Internet or their phones.

Thirty-five percent said they would rather give up their phone in order to continue their online and television access, while only 20 per cent would give up their Internet access. The research shows what many Canadians already know, internet access is no longer a luxury in our present day western society, it’s an essential.

Unfortunately for internet users, it appears that Canadian cable companies know this as well and have spent the last few years jacking up internet pricing at rates well in excess of inflation because they know Canadians won't cancel their service.

Yesterday Rogers Cable in Ontario announced new higher bandwidth caps for some of their subscribers, which was great until you realized the bandwidth caps were simply going back to similar levels Rogers had in place in 2009. In 2010, shortly after Netflix announced its entry into the market, Rogers substantially cut its bandwidth usage allowances and is only now beginning to restore them.

Like readers, the Digital Home is always trying to rein in costs so six months ago, I decided to check out Teksavvy as an alternative to Rogers Cable for internet service in Ontario.

Founded in 1998 in Chatham Ontario, Teksavvy is a third party internet access (TPIA) provider which has been popular among Digital Home readers for several years for its DSL internet service. Just over a year ago, the company announced it was doing for cable internet service what it had previously done for DSL service, lower prices and expand bandwidth caps.

In the middle of January, I decided to sign up for Teksavvy cable service. Here was my comment to readers after signing up that day
Just signed up with TSI today for the $36.95 a month Express package.

I phoned them, rather than sign up over the web, because I needed to clarify a few things. On hold for about 3 to 4 minutes then dealt with a very well trained sales representative who was friendly, articulate and helpful. After answering my questions, we set up the account, I gave her my modems MAC ID etc, she read off all terms and condition, took my credit card number and completed the sale. Once my questions were answered she completed my order in about five minutes.

A very positive customer experience.
In six months of daily usage with Teksavvy, I have found the service to be every bit as good and reliable as Rogers High Speed internet. In that time, I have had two significant disruptions of approximately four hours and three hours. That downtime was shared by Rogers users on my street so I was in no worse shape than if I had been with Rogers.

So in six months, I have had great customer service and cable internet service as good as what I would have received from Rogers. Moving from Teksavvy to Rogers does not mean you have to sacrifice on quality.

Plan Pricing

Simply speaking, pricing at Teksavvy is superior to anything Rogers offers. If you are currently a Rogers high speed internet customer and wish to lower the cost of internet service then I recommend you call Teksavvy internet right after you read this article.

The chart on the next page ranks the ten internet plans offered by Teksavvy and Rogers on a price per gigabyte basis. The internet is all about data so I think the best way to measure the cost is by how much you pay for the data. The price per gigabyte cost has been calculated by taking the plans monthly cost and dividing it by the monthly plans bandwidth cap.



A quick review of the chart shows the pricing superiority of Teksavvy plans. The cost per Gigabyte of Teksavvy plans ranges from 9 cents per GB to 14 cents per GB whereas the cheapest Rogers plan was 56 cents per GB and went all the way up to an eye popping $13.00 per GB! (Please note that for the Teksavvy Unlimited plan we assumed 500GB since we could not divide by unlimited.)

The difference is especially astounding when we look at what has been Rogers most popular internet plan - Extreme. The Rogers Extreme high speed internet plan costs $59.99 per month and offers 15 Mbps download speeds and a 80 GB usage cap which works out to 75 cents per Gigabyte. Compare that to the Teksavvy Extreme plan which costs $42.95 per month, offers the same 15 Mbps download speeds and a massive 300 GB usage cap which works out to just 14 cents per gigabyte.

On an absolute basis, the Teksavvy Extreme plan is $17 a month cheaper than Rogers Extreme and on a per gigabyte basis is more than 80 percent cheaper.

If you are a heavy downloader, Netflix or Youtube user who required a higher bandwidth cap then Teksavvy offers incredible savings.

In order to achieve the same 300GB usage cap, a Rogers customers would have to order the Ultimate package at $99.99 per month plus a $50 a month bandwidth surcharge to get the same download cap as the Teksavvy Extreme package. That's $149.99 a month with Rogers vs. $42.95 per month with Teksavvy.

Hardware and Activation Costs.

Before signing up for any Internet plan, I always recommend you pay close attention to hardware and activation costs to make sure that hidden costs or extra costs aren’t eating up any savings.

Teksavvy charges $75 and $99 for its modems, Rogers charges $99 and $199 for its modems. Teksavvy charges between $25 and $45 for activation (depending on whether you buy a modem from them) while Rogers charges $15.

Assuming readers go for the higher end modems, the total hardware and activation cost would be about $125 for Teksavvy and $214 with Rogers. Should you choose the entry level modems, the total hardware and activation cost would be about $100 for Teksavvy and $114 with Rogers. Either way, Teksavvy wins out on hardware and activation costs.

Summary

In the High Speed Internet Smackdown between Rogers and Teksavvy, the clear winner is Teksavvy.

Discuss in Digital Home's Internet, Landline and Wireless Phone forum .