When it comes to network connectivity, bandwidth and latency are ‘brothers from another mother’ – close enough to be related but different enough to be noticeable. Understanding this distinction can mean the difference between an acceptable user experience and utter frustration.
If you’ve been following our progress these past couple of years, you would have noticed a steady upward trajectory in terms of our geographic growth in both of our operating territories of Saskatchewan and the National Capital Region.
This growth has been fueled by the pent-up demand for accessible, affordable, ultra high-speed connectivity by many of the organizations we have proudly added to our roster of Customers. And the best thing about this is that its exponential in nature – our growth produces more growth.
Like me, you were probably vaguely aware of a debate taking place in the U.S. on something called Net Neutrality. I knew it had something to do with keeping the Internet an ‘open’ place; meaning no government or corporation could control it, regulate it or operate it. Once I started investigating it more deeply, however, I quickly came to realize how Net Neutrality could impact us here in Canada, too.
The FCC, America’s version of the CRTC, recently repealed Net Neutrality rules in the United States (New York Times Net Neutrality Repealed), allowing their mega ISP’s, think Verizon and Comcast, to gain control of the Internet. How? By giving them the ability to throttle traffic, based on a multitude of factors.
Essentially, they are now free to create an Internet highway with multiple lanes, each with different speeds and permitted applications – you pay for the super-fast lane, you get high-speed/unlimited data transfer plus Facebook, YouTube and Netflix. You pay for the slow lane, you get a lot less.
Think about this for a second: when was the last time you picked up a landline telephone somewhere in Canada and didn’t get a dial-tone? I can recall maybe one or two times in the distant past when I got a ‘fast-busy’ signal instead of the tell-taledrone of dial-tone.
The geographic disparity of our vast country did not stop each of the provincial telephone companies nor the Federal Government from investing the billions of dollars required to build out both the provincial and national phone network, to the point that we have achieved 99% dial-tone coverage across Canada. It is and continues to be a universal right that all Canadians, regardless of their location, have access to landline dial-tone.
Broadband internet access, however, is another story.