First published on January 12, 2009
When searching for a home Internet (and phone) provider in British Columbia, it’s a bit discouraging to hear other people talk about the options. It’s mostly a two-headed Shaw Telus monster in Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Depending on who you ask, you hear stories with different combinations of bad or unreachable customer support, bad connection speed and reliability, and hidden fees.
If you’re in a supported building in Vancouver or Burnaby, you can try Novus, which has built its own fibre optic network. My building is not serviced by Novus…
I discovered Burnaby-based Lightspeed, aka Internet Lightspeed Communications, and their VoIP division, Dolphin Tel. Lightspeed / Dolphin Tel offers business or residential ADSL, high-speed Internet and phone services for both BC and Alberta. To see if they’re available in you’re area, search using your postal code here.
I’ve signed up for one of the “Freedom Plans” that combines an Internet and landline phone plan for $45 a month (that price includes a $5 system access fee). The up-front cost is a $140 modem, router, and phone adapter device. Of course, they have to use the building’s Telus wiring, but they do run their own network.
Lightspeed / Dolphin Tel does not have a 24/7 support line. Instead, it keeps a Monday through Saturday schedule of standard business hours. What’s nice is that when you call them during their business hours, an actual, qualified person answers the phone!
So far so good in that the Internet connection is speedy and the phone works. I’ll provide a review of Lightspeed / Dolphin Tel after I’ve used it for a bit longer. In the meantime, know that you have options! And if you’re a current or previous customer of Lightspeed / Dolphin Tel, I invite you to share your comments on them!