Intervention: Intervenor 269

Document Name: 2015-134.223969.2394437.Intervention(1fbk501!).html

I would like to comment about the poor internet service provided by Eastlink's Rural Broadband in Southwest Nova Scotia and how it is becoming a detrimental factor in quality of life and business retention in our region.As you may have heard, Eastlink is implementing a cap of 15Gb/month on us starting **** 1. The service they are capping rarely delivers 1Mbps down and 0.4Mbps up. From **** 1 overage of data will be charged an additional $2/Gb, up to a capped additional $20. Consumers who have spoken with the corporate office have discovered that this policy will be short lived. This fall there will be no cap, and Eastlink will charge a straight $2/Gb, to no maximum billing amount. We do not know if at this time customers will be cut off, or throttled.The President of Eastlink, Lee Bragg, has stated publicly that this is to promote “fairness” over the whole system. I cannot in any way see how this is possible. How does no change to service, but caps and fee increases promote “fairness” to anyone but the Braggs? This billing change also coincides with the expiry of their supplier contract with the provincial government, in which it was agreed there would be no cost increases to consumers during the contract’s life.Even though they received much federal and provincial money to implement our service, they have made no attempt in time since to upgrade in any way at all to increase delivery speed or account for increased data demand. Nor do they plan to.I am independently employed and routinely use 150-200Gb of data per month. So my cost will end up being $300 - $400 ($3,600 - $4,800 yearly) for 1Mbps/0.4Mbps service. This is completely unacceptable in 2015.Essentially, the two-fold decision by Eastlink to cap at an unreasonably small amount of data monthly will make it almost impossible for this area of Nova Scotia to maintain, let alone attract, business and retain professionals. There is no way that we can fully participate in today’s digital economy with the poor service we are currently receiving from Eastlink. In much of Southwest Nova Scotia, Eastlink has a monopoly on internet services. So it’s pay what they demand, or go without.There needs to be some solutions brought forward to solve the problems that poor rural internet service, as delivered by Eastlink, will cause to this entire region of Nova Scotia. Thank you for your time and consideration.