How come MTS can't provide internet speeds even remotely close to what they advertise?

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  • Updated 1 year ago
I have been paying for so called "Lightning" internet on the outside perimeter of Selkirk for over 4 years now. Yet again the internet drops out on us, when it comes back, I have my wife check what we are paying for.
We have some "Lightning" high speed package max 512Mbps up and 5Mbps down @$60.00 per month.
Pretty bad when the "Lightning 10" is twice the speed and $2.00 more, and apparently "unavailable" on the perimeter of a city like Selkirk.
Yet when I checked it tonight we have blazing speeds of 0.51Mbps up and 6.27Mbps down, with a ping of 11ms. 0.62Mbps up, 6.64Mbps down @10ms ping
http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/5756512585
Talk about 3rd world speeds and above first world prices.
We switched over to MTS to have less hassles and better service, speed, and unlimited data.
Not dial up speeds and gouging rates, and all too often poor performance.
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Tony T.

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  • upset

Posted 1 year ago

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CoryB, Champion

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From your description it sounds like you have Lighting Reach service. On a high level it provides some service, as opposed to none, to residents in rural areas where distances between properties are greater. Distnace between property matters as you need to hit certain density numbers to cover the equipment costs and rural densities would either need to pay double or more for service or have a lower service level. Nothing out of the normal here and it applies to all companies globally, not just MTS.
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Ed Latour

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I too am rural, Hazelridge area. As Cory indicated there is a lack of infrastructure in rural areas. The only availability is DSL or wireless. The speeds you are getting are quite good for DSL especially considering that wireless packages offer much less and inconsistent speed for a much higher price and data caps. As for losing your connection I would suggest having MTS check your line, connections, Modem and filters. I get much the same speed as you and have had loss due to all of the above. After replacing the modem, installing filters and replacing house wiring/jacks I have not lost my connection.
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Tony T.

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We are only rural as to being located right on 9A hwy (bypass around Selkirk). I could see these speeds if I lived miles from a urban center be it a small city or town, but still not the price.
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Tony T.

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And yes, I would be willing to pay more for a faster connection and more stability and reliability.
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Scott Stewart

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Tony - Have MTS send a technician to come check the setup. After many calls earlier this year they finally sent someone to chack my setup and it turned out that while MTS was supplying the proper speed on their end, the unit in my home had been capped by the initial MTS technician to not exceed one of their lowest speeds. 

It had been set like that for a year while I had made several complaints so MTS actually had to pay me back (in credits) $700.00 as they were forced to admit that I was paying for something that they had made it impossible for me to receive.

Hope that helps - the downside is it could mean a lot of time spent on hold for you while you try to get it dealt with.
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CoryB, Champion

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The speeds Tony is receiving actually exceed what is advertised for the service he has.
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Scott Stewart

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Excellent. My advice still stands for others searching the forum for solutions to their issues.

Thanks Cory!
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Wally

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Congestion is a ridiculously huge problem in most places once you get past the perimeter.  mts simply does not have enough bandwidth to supply for the demand. It has been this way already for many years with little to no sign of improvement. mts has been extremely slow with upgrading infrastructure and is quite content with continuing to gouge most of their rural customers in this manner. You would expect better for Selkirk which is now a city! One can only hope that Bell will invest in the long overdue upgrades that mts quite obviously is not!
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DXintel

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I was just thinking the same thing. Could you imagine if MB hydro said we are not running power lines to your community because we can't make millions of dollars off you? It would never fly. Heck I think they are obligated to run power to any residents, the customer may just have to pay for the pols.
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Dustin, Champion

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That's not exactly a fair comparison.  One is a luxury, and the other is pretty much a necessity of life.  

Now...if MTS were to state that they will not provide basic phone service to a community...that would be a totally different story.  
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Verlin

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not like Manitoba Hydro has funds but if Manitoba Hydro Telecom (MHT) could make a business case to continue to expand it's network within the province it could be a win/win for all involved as more accessible fiber would help growth and competition. :)
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Rob S.

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The internet is no longer a luxury. It's no different than basic phone service really. How many people's phones are VOIP or something similar? Mine is. Also, how many people are now connected to their jobs through the internet? I am there as well.
 Ask anyone younger than 30 if they can do without the internet. Then watch the look of horror on their face.
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While personally I agree the Internet is a utility and not a luxury it is definitely not classified as such in Canada and likely not in any jurisdiction globally. Even if it was classified as a utility though the current expectations from most rural residents is a service that can only be offered at a financial loss. Even a publicly owned crown would not be obligated to provide service at a loss.
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MTS would likely tell you that it barely makes any money off Lighting Reach service as it is today and increasing the cost people pay to help fund the desired upgrades is a zero sum game as for every extra dollar they bring in they will end up losing at least as much.

In terms on congestion, this issues almost directly follow the popularity of media streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. A possible way to address congestion would be to limit those services. Limiting media streaming services though would also likely anger affected customers so it it truly a difficult position to be in.
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Wally

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Wireless services must be a losing proposition as well because it suffers the same congestion problem at most locations outside Winnipeg. Based on population densities, we are ahead of some provinces and even some US states, but yet we still come dead last in this country for internet speeds. Even so, if you cannot or are unwilling to provide a service then, quite simply, stop advertising it!
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DXintel

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Not to hijack this thread, but I am curious how does MTS provide LTE services to rural located cell tower sites. Yet turn around and say they don't have fiber or the infrastructure to supply better speeds to the town/community that the same cell tower is located in?
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Norway House is the model. They wanted wireless voice service and got it. Now it's time for them to find the next upgrade.
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I have approached such an idea to involve our local municipal government and our local residents to build out a 15 meter stealth pole, even had a couple business interested, but where it fell short was with MTS no one could seam to provide me with a true cost so I could take something back to the people and municipality.

At first it started off around $100,000 (our part of the shared cost) then it was $300,000 then it was suggested it would take a $1,000,000 because the back haul was starting to get involved. At the $100,000 it had my interest as it could be achieved.

Crazy thing is I deal directly with SaskTel (with my job) and they could provide the company I work for with a 15 meter stealth pole (we provide the fiber, the piece of land and power) and the cost was only about $60,000 non LTE enabled and they can (obviously) service any clients off it.
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Back hauls can get very expensive.

I could also see MTS starting on the analysis and thinking it might just need a new tower. Stealth poles though seem to be more common in urban areas where objections are to be likely due the appearance while a larger tower is much less of an issue in rural areas. That alone might explain the cost difference.

Then as MTS got further into the project they did a current and future traffic analysis and determined that the tower upgrade would provide minimal benefit as the back haul was overloaded and would need an upgrade.

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DXintel

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I keep hoping that MTS turns on 700mhz in the rural market being optimistic that just that change alone might improve the signal propagation in our area. Our community is located right dead center of two large 300+ foote rural towers, that have been up from back in the analog days. But when MTS moved over to the HSPA network the signal was also greatly reduced. This is why a stealth pole or even an COW would drastically help.

Actually many older people where still rocking old CDMA flip phones because they still got some sort of signal in the community, but now that the MTS center are refusing to activate any old phone on that network we are really living in a dead zone. It's about a 5 KM radius dead zone and it can also be encountered driving along the yellow head highway 16
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CoryB, Champion

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It has been touched on elsewhere by Graham. As the load on a tower increases the signal radius shrinks. Not surprisingly the customer base for CDMA is stable and likely shrinking. Demand on the HSPA/LTE side though is high. Seasonal differences can also be a factor as trees having leaves is actually enough to interfere with fringe wireless service.

And while you say there is currently a coverage gap of approximately a 5 km radius it is actually possible the demand For a new tower would come from a winfer area as people with signals may be closer to the new tower. You then also need to account for configuration to limit cross tower interference. It is definitely not a simple fix.
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Peter Parker, Champion

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One thing to note is that you do have your speeds incorrectly written down. 

Lightning and Lightning Reach have a peak download speed of 5.0 Mbps and a peak upload speed of 518 Kbps.

With you having speeds in your home of 6 Mbps down and 618 Kbps up you are actually exceeding the advertised speeds,
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Wally

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mts  providing services to rural customer at a lose is completely false! Based on population density we are ahead of several states and several provinces but yet we still have the slowest internet services in the entire country, even behind the Yukon!
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D Reimer

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Not to mention third world countries.....
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Tony T.

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If only there were other feasible options besides MTS available, I know I would definately be looking at switching..... SHAW where are you....

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D Reimer

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Count yourself lucky that you are getting the speeds you are. I am lucky if I get over 100kb/s download speeds. Yes, that's right KB/S! Wikipedia says that 88.2% of Canadians enjoy download speeds of 5MB/s or more. In addition, I can't even make a cell phone call from home because the connection is so bad. In addition, MTS service personal is rude, uninformed, and have no desire to service their customers. Having moved here from Alberta I can't believe that there isn't a major outrage over the lack of high-speed internet service in this province, specifically the poor quality service and product that MTS provides to this province.
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Wally

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Check out High Speed Crow and other providers. They have recently been expanding in the Selkirk area.
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Tony T.

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Well FYI Cory B, I do have urban travel times to a hospital, 2 mins or less, garbage collection at the end of my driveway, public transport within walking distance. Distance to work takes long to warm up a vehicle than time to drive there. So yes, I would like proper high speed internet available to me.
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Scott Stewart

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I would just like to add that it doesn't matter what the industry, location, or situation is. If MTS has offered services at a stated rate and is unable to deliver, that is an issue.

Profit or loss, MTS is offering the service. Don't offer it if you can't do it.

If you can do it, then please have an actual customer representative respond to Mr. Tony T. He's paying you to do so. 
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CoryB, Champion

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The service Toby subscribes to is "up to 5 Mpbs" and he has speeds in excess of 6 Mpbs. This issue is more that he wants higher speeds that are not available where he lives.
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Scott Stewart

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Great - Thanks Cory!

While I did refer to Tony specifically, the thread as a whole became more about rural supply vs changing demand, to which my comments still apply. Profit or loss is not part of the equation... so saying be happy with what you have because they're taking a loss on it, doesn't really matter. It was the providers choice to offer it even if they are taking a loss.

Less of a comment on MTS and more of a comment on that argument. That's all. 

And not to take this wide ranging thread on yet another tangent, but... you guys have talked about this for 2 weeks starting 4 weeks ago and an MTS rep still hasn't chimed in to resolve the thread?

That could have been the walk-off home run of customer service.