The sign we have been waiting for. 

Internet hope

When you’re Raymond and me, people, this is the sign you want to see.

It appeared recently on Queensborough Road (which you can see in the background of my photo) just a little north of Highway 7. Its message: that a newly erected communications tower – that would be the one on which I was pinning my hopes for decent internet at a reasonable price; I wrote about it here when word of the tower’s coming first landed – is operational. Which means that, in theory at least, the people of Queensborough, many of whom have been struggling with poor internet and/or exorbitant prices for it, will be able to enjoy the luxury of a service that city folk take for granted.

Without sticker shock!

Longtime readers will be well aware of our internet woes here at the Manse:

How we had to rely in the early days on our phones and a very dodgy Rogers signal. (Which, I should note, has since improved a fair bit.)

How we investigated the possibility of satellite-delivered internet, though worried about snow and rain disrupting our signal; and in the end decided no way when the internet guy told us the only way we could get a decent signal was if we put the satellite dish atop a pole we’d have to erect in concrete at our property’s edge.

How we were thrilled when the folks at Telus informed us that they could supply us with internet, and promptly shipped us a wireless modem that, wonder of wonders, did supply the internet. (Except when it didn’t.)

How we were less thrilled when we learned that our regular monthly bill for this pay-per-usage service would be about $100. And we weren’t even using it heavily!

How were really unthrilled when we got a bill for almost $412. What the !&%$!? (It turned out it was because Raymond had tuned in to a CBC Radio online channel featuring opera. Naïfs that we were, we had no clue that logging in to a music-streaming service like hundreds of millions of people do every day would send our bill through the stratosphere.)

How that wasn’t the last such monster bill.

And how we continue to be frustrated and annoyed that we can’t take advantage of great inventions like Netflix, because watching a movie or TV show via internet would send our bill completely through the roof once again.

But all of that expense and frustration may finally be at an end!

Some people in Queensborough have already had the new service installed, and, though it’s very early days, seem to be quite satisfied. Others have set up appointments for the internet guys to come around, and are anxiously waiting for that to happen.

Among the households in that situation is us, here at the Manse. We’re hoping to get a package that should give us all the high-speed internet we could reasonably use – Netflix included! – for $70 a month. I have to tell you that after many, many months of frustration at signals that cut out, constant worry that we’re using too much data just by watching something like a YouTube video, and more than a few bills in the $200 to $300 range, we are very, very excited.

Will it work? Can this actually happen? We’ll find out Thursday. Which cannot come too soon.

17 thoughts on “The sign we have been waiting for. 

  1. Our house was the first to be connected to the new tower. We were using the one on Elsevir Road before that, with intermittent quality. Now we’re quite happy with 100 Gb and an average download speed of 5 mbps. Upload is still a bit slow but we can cope. What is nice, Xplornet has an on-site usage meter you can check and also they will advise you via email when you have reached 75% of your allotted bandwidth.

  2. We, too, had what seemed like a lengthy wait in order to get internet via something other than dial-up. Xplornet began to service our hamlet about eighteen months ago. We have been extremely pleased by the service, and it has been very reliable.

    One Saturday morning, I realized at 8:30 a.m. that we had no internet. While I was doing some serious checking of our internal wiring and connections a little after 9:00 a.m. we had a phone call from Xplornet informing us that they were aware that there was an outage in our area, that they expected to have it fixed by 1:00 p.m., but that if they did not they would call us at that time with an update as to when service would be restored. In fact, they had it restored by 11:15 a.m. I was very impressed, especially by the unsolicited phone call to tell us that there was a problem in our area and giving us a sense of when the service would be restored.

  3. Xplornet is not the greatest, but it will feel amazing after what you’ve had. And let’s face it–this whole Internet thing is kind of miraculous. Even if it is still pretty slow in the country, it’s pretty great that we have this (imperfect) tool that allows us to work from our little corners of rural Ontario.

    • Totally agreed. And with any luck the signal and service will only get better. The improvement in our cellphone signals since we first started coming to Queensborough is incredible – so there’s hope!

  4. Welcome to the wired world! we are on bell DSL and have been for some years. Got a Roku stick from our son, for my birthday. The world of Netflix has cured me forever with American sitcoms. It is a great feeling to be cured! Roku stick is a great remedy!

      • It just connects your TV to your WiFi and allows you to stream video from various providers such as Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, PBS, HBO, each of which though will require some type of subscription. Personally, I picked a RCA streaming box from CTC last week for $39 – I will be able to control it via the included remote and from my Android phone. Chromebox from Google and AppleTV [which you can control from your iPhone] devices do the same thing.

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