At last I can now get 6mbps downloads through my ISP, Cable & Wireless (well, theoretically – I have yet to see the speedometer go above 3.5). Better still, I am paying the same – $179.95 – that I was for 3mbps. Not that Cable & Wireless were in a hurry to tell me this. I only found out about the new deal by accident last week when I figured I’d look at upgrading, what with our increasing use of Apple TV, BBC iPlayer and the like. Imagine my surprise when I found out via their website that C&W had changed their pricing structure. This apparently happened more than a month ago but C&W didn’t bother to tell its customers and instead kept charging me the top whack for 3mbps when I could have cut my monthly rate to $109.95 for 3mbps or continued paying the same rate but for 6mbps.
I upgraded anyway but having been a loyal C&W customer for some years, I figured a month or twos credit wouldn’t have been amiss. C&W told me they did advertise (must have missed that) and had contacted major businesses about the changes but hadn’t gotten around to contacting small businesses like ours. Gee thanks, C&W – you mean a major ISP doesn’t have the wherewithal to send out a mass e-mail? And no, I couldn’t have a credit.
But then there’s the whole debate about whether this is such a good deal anyway. Don’t forget there’s the $135/month BTC DSL access charge on top of the $179.95. As the Computer Society noted the other day:
We noticed with the introduction of 4/4.5 Mbps, prices moved up to $129.95; and now with the introduction of 6 Mbps for $179.95, prices are going further upward as more bandwidth is made available into Bermuda. With 6 Mbps being introduced we are seeing a price increase of 38% for the new top speeds.
With higher volume consumption, shouldn’t prices be drastically improving per Mbps? The international trend has been to increase the speed to the line, not drastically increase the prices; matter of fact, prices for internet is going down elsewhere as capacities increase – you can see this with Virgin UK, Verizon US, Rogers CAN. Bermuda seems to be going in the opposite direction.
If the trend is any indication, should we [see] speeds above 6 Mbps, prices may climb well above the $318 (ISP and Access) for a 6 Mbps connection.