TekSavvy

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TekSavvy Solutions, Inc.
Privately held
Industry Telecommunications
Founded January 1998 (1998-01)
Headquarters Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Key people
Marc Gaudrault (CEO)
Products Internet, Telecommunications
Parent None
Website www.teksavvy.com

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TSI) is a Canadian residential and business telecommunications company based in Chatham, Ontario. In most of the country, it is a wholesale operator and competitive local exchange carrier, providing a last mile service that utilizes existing infrastructure from Bell Canada, Bell Aliant, Rogers Communications, Cogeco Cable, Telus Communications, Shaw and Videotron.

History[edit]

TekSavvy Solutions Inc. was founded in January 1998.[1] The company ranked 27th in 2008, 33rd in 2009, 44th in 2010, and 33rd 2011 on the list of fastest growing companies in Canada on Canadian Business Magazine's Profit 100 list.[2] By 2011, it had been rated as the number one ISP in Canada by the users of DSLreports.com[3] for five years. In 2012, it was 12th on the Branham 300 Top 20 Movers & Shakers list.[4]

Services[edit]

While TekSavvy operates primarily using "last mile" infrastructure from Bell, Bell Aliant, Rogers, Cogeco, Shaw, Telus and Vidéotron, it differs in terms of pricing and features. All cable and DSL services include unlimited uploads at all times and unlimited downloads from 2 to 8 AM.[5] TekSavvy also provides home phone services through landline (branded as "TekSavvy Home Phone"), long distance packages, and web hosting across eight provinces. An additional VOIP service, branded as "TekTalk", is only available in Ontario and Quebec.

Business Internet is also available at a higher cost than its residential counterpart.[6]

"SkyFi" wireless broadband[edit]

TekSavvy offers wireless broadband in the rural areas of Chatham-Kent and Essex County in Ontario.[7]

Digital subscriber line (DSL)[edit]

TekSavvy offers digital subscriber line (DSL) service using Bell lines in Ontario and Quebec, Telus lines in Alberta and British Columbia, and Bell Aliant lines in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Before the summer of 2011, TekSavvy could only access Bell's "Performance" speed tier, with maximum speeds of 5 Mb/s. Starting in July 2011, several months after the Canadian government allowed third-party ISPs to access higher speed tiers, TekSavvy started offering the same DSL speed tiers found at Bell. High-end plans with 10 Mbit/s upload speeds require an approved VDSL2 modem, while all lower DSL tiers can be used with any compatible ADSL2+ modem.[8] In 2014 TekSavvy replaced the rental with rent-to-own and one-time purchase options of a SmartRG 505N modem.[9]

On March 20, 2013, TekSavvy added a 50 Mbit/s tier, the fastest FTTN tier that Bell started offering a month earlier. TekSavvy offers the same FTTN DSL speeds available from Bell. The only exceptions are that for the slowest plans, 6 Mbit/s regular DSL and 7 Mbit/s FTTN DSL is sold by TekSavvy instead of Bell's 5 Mbit/s plans. All DSL plans now offer a choice between 150GB, 400GB or unlimited Internet access. Overage charges are only 25 cents per GB (with a cap of $25). Also included are unlimited internet usage between 2am and 8am for those users not on an unlimited internet package, and uploads are free and not counted towards the monthly bandwidth cap.

Cable Internet[edit]

TekSavvy's cable Internet offerings rely on Rogers, Shaw, Videotron or Cogeco infrastructure to connect customers to TekSavvy Internet. In areas served by Rogers, TekSavvy cable Internet is offered with either 15, 30 or 100 Mb/s download speeds with the choice of 150GB, 400 GB or unlimited downloads. In areas served by Cogeco, most predominantly in the Niagara region, there are 5 packages available at speeds of 6, 10, 20, 30 or 60 Mb/s with a standard bandwidth cap of 150 GB/month, excluding the 6 Mb/s service, and a 300 GB or unlimited option for a fee. The same 300 GB and unlimited options are available in Chatham-Kent, Ontario and major cities in Vancouver with lower speeds due to the Cogeco and Shaw infrastructure used in those regions. In Quebec, Vidéotron provides the cable infrastructure.

Opposition to usage-based billing[edit]

TekSavvy has been very public about its stance against usage-based billing (UBB), opposing the CRTC's decision to enforce data caps on wholesale operators that would be similar to incumbents. Former CEO Rocky Gaudrault argued, in 2011, that the larger bandwidth allotments of wholesale operators is one of those operators' more distinguishable factors, stating, "The answer to future growth is not to stifle it by imposing punitive pricing but to encourage it, accommodate it, and make more money on greater volume consumed at lower prices with more efficient infrastructure." [10] TekSavvy devotes most of its news page to addressing its concerns about UBB.[11]

Policy on disclosure of subscriber personal information[edit]

TekSavvy has a policy to "not provide personal information to a 3rd party when copyright infringement is alleged unless ordered to do so by a court... [and] do its best to ensure that its customers receive notice when disclosure of their personal information is sought in such cases."[12]

Voltage Pictures v. Does[edit]

In November 2012, Voltage Pictures, an American film production company with a history of suing people it says have illegally shared movies online, sought disclosure of personal information belonging to approximately 2000 TekSavvy subscribers based on data collected by the Canadian anti-piracy company Canipre between September 1, 2012 to October 31, 2012.[13][14]

On November 14, 2012 Voltage filed a Statement of Claim in Federal Court, initiating action against TekSavvy (court file T-2058-12, Voltage Pictures LLC v. John Doe and Jane Doe)[15] seeking a court order for the release of subscribers' personal information, including telephone numbers and email addresses,[16] associated with about 2000 IP addresses allegedly involved in copyright infringement.

On February 21, 2014 the Federal Court released its decision compelling TekSavvy to identify the consumers identified by Voltage as alleged downloaders while also implementing several constraints on Voltage. The court ruled that the demand letters sent by Voltage to the specified consumers be approved by a judge to ensure "there is no inappropriate language" and that "any correspondence... shall clearly state in bold type that no court has yet made a determination that such subscriber has infringed or is liable in any way for payment of damages", and that Voltage must pay TekSavvy's legal costs and any costs associated with identifying the consumers.[17] The Federal Court ruling further limited the information Voltage could request from TekSavvy, only permitting them to access the names and addresses of the subscribers in question.

TekSavvy stated in a 21 February 2014 press release that they were satisfied with the framework implemented by the Federal Court for the case, claiming that it will protect consumers by discouraging future copyright trolling, but will only provide the information when Voltage meets all conditions of the courts orders and the affected customers have been notified.[16] Yet, some scholars have contended that the framework implemented by the Federal Court in this case fails to adequately protect the affected customers' online privacy rights in accordance with the principles recently articulated by the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Spencer.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TekSavvy: About". Retrieved October 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ Rogers Communications (2011). "Profit 200". Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  3. ^ DSL reports (2011). "Charts - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Issue #613". Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Branham 300 Top 20 Movers & Shakers". Branham Group Inc. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r28199868-Cable-Cable-unlimited-2-8am-and-upload-on-ATPIA-
  6. ^ TekSavvy (2011). "Please select your region". Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "SkyFi". TekSavvy Help Centre. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Residential Internet". TekSavvy. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  9. ^ "DSL TekSavvy Online Help Centre". Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  10. ^ Gaudrault, Rocky (February 7, 2011). "Internet usage debate, Part 1: The real myths". Financial Post. Retrieved October 27, 2011. 
  11. ^ TekSavvy News
  12. ^ TekSavvy: Copyright FAQ. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  13. ^ Voltage Pictures LLC Statement of Claim. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  14. ^ http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2014/08/voltage_pictures_is_back_suing.html
  15. ^ Court docket. Retrieved July 02, 2013
  16. ^ a b "Ruling in Filesharing Suit Imposes new Safeguards for Canadians". TekSavvy in the News. TekSavvy Solutions Inc. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  17. ^ The Canadian Press (21 February 2014). "TekSavvy ordered to ID alleged movie downloaders". CBC News. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  18. ^ Okidegbe, Ngozi (2014). "Rethinking online privacy in Canada: Commentary on Voltage Pictures v. John and Jane Doe". Canadian Journal of Law and Technology 12: 245. 

External links[edit]