By: Justin Humphries
I grew up in Campbellford, Ontario, a small town about three hours away from here. I didn’t have what I would consider Internet access until I was about 16 years old. This meant I was at a severe disadvantage compared to kids living in big cities. When it came time for me to choose a college, I wanted to ensure the Internet was fast and reliable. I figured Algonquin would have that. After all, it is Canada’s capital.
Algonquin has an easily accessible bus station that students can easily get to through the heated school and the cellphone service on campus, while not perfect, is generally pretty reliable from what I have experienced. However, one glaring weakness I found with Algonquin was the stability of its Internet and the overall service it provides.
Very quickly I realized spending the rest of my savings on a computer was a huge mistake. This past semester my Internet has been disconnecting and reconnecting at random times. I was unable to complete timed online tests in my dorm for fear of the Internet disconnecting. When I called about this, I was told someone was going to check on the cables in my room later that afternoon. I called again, and had it explained to someone who identified himself as “Justin” that no one was coming up that night since the problem was with the cables, and he could not give me an ETA on when someone would be able to fix my Internet.
It took almost a week for someone to come by and replace the cables. I understand things can get busy, especially with a school as large as Algonquin. But this to me was completely unacceptable and made my overall impression of the Internet on campus negative. It was fast when it wanted to be, but I certainly wasn’t getting what I paid for.
The Internet was fast, at least until I attempted to play games online or download something from thepiratebay.org. I guess it makes sense to throttle these things because it may strain the connection, but this wasn’t the explanation given to me when I looked into it myself.
Back in September, when I called ITS to ask about the Internet, they explained to me it was only to be used for scholastic purposes. I was absolutely shocked by this response, since I don’t see a need to do things for our own good. We’re not children, and we’re paying for a service they aren’t fully providing. I would like to know how much of a strain playing games puts on the network.
As a result of my experience, next year I’m buying my own private connection. I’m not sure if it’s Canada that’s behind the world in Internet connection or just Algonquin that’s behind Canada.