Shaw Go WiFi cuts speeds

News, discussion and questions about technology and computers, whether broadcast-related or not.

Shaw Go WiFi cuts speeds

Postby kal » Sat May 28, 2016 7:06 am

Anyone notice the changes that Shaw has made to its Go WiFi service?

Go WiFi has gone through numerous changes over its life. At one time speeds were fixed, then they were coupled to user account home speeds, then they became uniform, and, now, in the most recent change, they've become two-tier.

Basically, if your home Internet subscription from Shaw has a speed rating under 30 Mbps your Go WiFi is now capped at 5 Mbps.

In my case this has made for quite a change and the service has become essentially useless on a smartphone. My subscription is for a grandfathered Shaw Extreme package, rated at 25 Mbps. When Shaw shuffled packages the "25" was eliminated, and users had a choice of going down to 20 or up to 30. Or staying put, as long as nothing else changed.

A few months ago, without notice, Shaw quietly changed its Go WiFi speed. At first I thought something was amiss in the various locations where I typically use the service. However I now have confirmation from the company that it has indeed reduced my bandwidth for Go WiFi. And this despite paying a premium for years to get a 25 megabit service into the house.

Of course this move is designed to shake loose those on grandfathered accounts in an effort to shake loose a few more subscriber dollars. The irony here is that Shaw has, probably inadvertently, raised my default bandwidth to 30 megabit service, a level at which everyone else gets the faster Go WiFi service.

I'm considering filing a formal complaint with the regulator, but I'm not expecting anything as the CRTC is too busy dealing with complaints over "skinny" TV.

This move by Shaw has, for the first time, prompted me to consider a move to Telus service. A visit to a Telus booth, in the local mall where my Go WiFi is now capped at "5" brought the surprise revelation that I can get 100/10 Mbps Telus service, with 130 channels of Optik TV for $135. And that's not a promo price. That's a price going forward. With Shaw I am paying $180 for my 25 Mbps service plus TV, with HD Plus as my only add-on.

It's decision time. Abandon Shaw, whose service I've had since it took over from Rogers in this market? Upgrade to a higher Shaw plan to have Go WiFi speeds restored? Switch to Telus Optik service? Abandon TV altogether and go with a third-party such as Internet Lightspeed?

What are your thoughts?
kal
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 503
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:04 pm

Re: Shaw Go WiFi cuts speeds

Postby jon » Sat May 28, 2016 7:10 am

I'm not seeing this here in Edmonton. In fact, speeds have improved in the last few weeks at places I frequent, as Shaw Go is introduced alongside the existing Shaw Open Wi-Fi hotspots.

Admittedly, speeds often vary from one day to the next at the same location.

For example, I have Shaw Internet 30 at home and have seen speeds as high as 400Kbps with Shaw Go or Shaw Open.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9074
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: Shaw Go WiFi cuts speeds

Postby kal » Sat May 28, 2016 7:47 am

No sure what you mean by 400 kbps. That would be really poor, for d/l speeds. Note that if you have "30" service you are unaffected (supposedly) by the change made to the WiFi service.
kal
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 503
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:04 pm

Re: Shaw Go WiFi cuts speeds

Postby jon » Sat May 28, 2016 8:23 am

You're right, of course. The unit is Mbps. Mega-bits per second.

I'm seeing speeds as high as 400 Mbps from Shaw in their Wi-Fi hot spots, which is as good as I can get at home off my gateway using the 5 GHz band.

I can confirm that I have the Internet 30 service at home, as I need it for the upload speed for my BackBlaze backup service. Any lower plan currently available has a much slower upload speed.

As for advice, all I can say is what I am doing. My plan is to wait until the CRTC rules about the Big Boys offering fibre to smaller Internet companies come into effect. For example, I'd hate to make a decision now that saw me sign a contract with TELUS and then find out that I could save $50/month for better service from an independent 6 months from now. In addition, if TELUS is doing fibre into your area in the near future, you might be able to swing a better deal by waiting for that.

Plus, I forget the details, but I seem to recall that it didn't cost me much, if anything, to switch at Shaw from the grandfathered 25 plan to the new 30 plan. Easy to forget as I was more interested in getting rid of the 10-15 year old Shaw hardware I had and replace it with the hitron Internet wireless gateway I have, and very much like, now.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9074
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton

Re: Shaw Go WiFi cuts speeds

Postby kal » Sat May 28, 2016 1:19 pm

Thanks for the advice. There is fibre in my street, and to my house if I want it, from Telus. Telus will supply 100 megabit d/l and Shaw will provide 120 megabit. Telus has the better u/l at 10.

400 Mbps doesn't seem feasible from a Shaw connection. Are you sure?


I no longer trust speedtest.net as Shaw can fire bursts when they see that URL. Have you tried fast.com? That seems to be a more reliable way of measuring d/l speeds.


By going for one of the second-tier suppliers I have to give up the access to ubiquitous wi-fi. The speed issue with Shaw notwithstanding, they do have a pretty widespread network, at least here in the greater Vancouver area.
kal
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 503
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:04 pm

Re: Shaw Go WiFi cuts speeds

Postby jon » Sat May 28, 2016 3:17 pm

The numbers that I watch, when choosing between multiple Wi-Fi hotspots available at the same location, are from the Android Settings App, in the Connections-Wi-Fi section. Touch the current Connection and look in the Link Speed field in the pop-up. (you can safely touch CANCEL after, without dropping your connection).

400 Mbps refers to the maximum speed from your device to the Wi-Fi gateway. If there are 5 smartphones all downloading at the same time, each will get about 80.

How fast the connection is from the gateway back to Shaw is anyone's guess. Even here at my desk, I suspect that I would top out at 100Mbps even between local devices given the still common practice of setting the hardware and software defaults of hardwired Ethernet connections to 100Mbps.

Here in Edmonton, Shaw is the only one with widespread Wi-Fi hotspots, at least anyone I go. TELUS has a few, up from virtually none a few months ago, but even those seem to be disappearing. Mike Cleaver has talked about huge growth in public (not limited to Shaw customers) Wi-Fi hotspots in Vancouver, but that may just be in the most heavily populated areas of the City itself. I'm also not counting all those merchants who demand way too much personal information and/or have a complex login process before allowing you access to their Wi-Fi.

So, yes, I really will have to think about the costs of not having access to Shaw Wi-Fi hotspots when deciding whether to switch away from Shaw in the future. Personally, for example, I use 2.5GB a month on Wi-Fi hotspots, but rarely hit 250MB off the cellular network. It would cost me another $25/month to expand my Data Plan to cover that.
User avatar
jon
Advanced Member
 
Posts: 9074
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 9:15 am
Location: Edmonton


Return to Computer & Technology News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests